Congregation Beit Simchat Torah’s Big Day 48
Guilty Plea In Islan Nettles 2013 Slaying 18
MISSISSIPPI GODDAM! Pages 08 - 09
J e an
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FREE | VOLUME FIFTEEN, ISSUE EIGHT | APRIL 14 - 27, 2016
Talking softly, pope holds onto big sticks
Dirt Candy’s false choice
08 - 09
IN THE NOH
Thinly veiled, then overt
No fouettés left to give
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New Odefsey is now available Actual Size (15.4 mm x 7.3 mm)
One small pill contains rilpivirine, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF).
Ask your healthcare provider if ODEFSEY is right for you. To learn more visit ODEFSEY.com
Please see Brief Summary of Patient Information with important warnings on the adjacent pages.
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Brief Summary of Patient Information about ODEFSEY ODEFSEY (oh-DEF-see) (emtricitabine, rilpivirine and tenofovir alafenamide) tablets Important: Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with ODEFSEY. There may be new information about ODEFSEY. 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 ODEFSEY? ODEFSEY 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 ODEFSEY or similar medicines. Lactic acidosis is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Lactic acidosis can be hard to identify early, because the symptoms could seem like symptoms of other health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms which could be signs of lactic acidosis: – feel very weak or tired – have unusual (not normal) muscle pain – have trouble breathing – have stomach pain with nausea or vomiting – feel cold, especially in your arms and legs – feel dizzy or lightheaded – have a fast or irregular heartbeat • Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems may happen in people who take ODEFSEY. 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 – nausea – pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking ODEFSEY or a similar medicine for a long time. • Worsening of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. ODEFSEY is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV and take ODEFSEY, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking ODEFSEY. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before. – Do not run out of ODEFSEY. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your ODEFSEY is all gone. – Do not stop taking ODEFSEY without first talking to your healthcare provider. – If you stop taking ODEFSEY, 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 ODEFSEY.
What is ODEFSEY? ODEFSEY is a prescription medicine that is used to treat HIV-1 in people 12 years of age and older: • who have not received HIV-1 medicines in the past and have an amount of HIV-1 in their blood (“viral load”) that is no more than 100,000 copies/mL, 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 a viral load that is less than 50 copies/mL, and have never failed past HIV-1 treatment. It is not known if ODEFSEY is safe and effective in children under 12 years of age or who weigh less than 77 lb (35 kg). When used to treat HIV-1 infection, ODEFSEY may help: • Reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. This is called “viral load”. • Increase the number of CD4+ (T) cells in your blood that help fight off other infections. 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). ODEFSEY does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. You must keep taking HIV-1 medicines to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Ask your healthcare provider about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to others. Do not share or re-use needles, injection equipment, or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them. Do not have sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.
Who should not take ODEFSEY? Do not take ODEFSEY if you also take a medicine that contains: • carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro ®, Tegretol®, Tegretol-XR®, Teril®) • dexamethasone (Ozurdex®, Maxidex®, Decadron®, BaycadronTM) • dexlansoprazole (Dexilant®) • esomeprazole (Nexium®, Vimovo ®) • lansoprazole (Prevacid®) • omeprazole (Prilosec ®, Zegerid®) • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) • pantoprazole sodium (Protonix®) • phenobarbital (Luminal®) • phenytoin (Dilantin®, Dilantin-125 ®, Phenytek®) • rabeprazole (Aciphex®) • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • rifapentine (Priftin®) • the herb St. John’s wort or a product that contains St. John’s wort
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking ODEFSEY? Before taking ODEFSEY, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have liver problems including hepatitis B or C virus infection • have kidney and bone problems • have had depression or suicidal thoughts • have any other medical conditions • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ODEFSEY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking ODEFSEY.
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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 ODEFSEY. – 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 ODEFSEY can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in ODEFSEY 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. Some medicines may interact with ODEFSEY. 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 ODEFSEY. • Do not start a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take ODEFSEY with other medicines. How should I take ODEFSEY? • Take ODEFSEY exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take
• • •
it. ODEFSEY is taken by itself (not with other HIV-1 medicines) to treat HIV-1 infection. Take ODEFSEY 1 time each day with a meal. Do not change your dose or stop taking ODEFSEY without first talking with your healthcare provider. Stay under a healthcare provider’s care when taking ODEFSEY. Do not miss a dose of ODEFSEY. If you take too much ODEFSEY, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. When your ODEFSEY 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 ODEFSEY and become harder to treat.
What are the possible side effects of ODEFSEY? ODEFSEY may cause serious side effects, including: • See “What is the most important information I should know about ODEFSEY?” • Severe skin rash and allergic reactions. Skin rash is a common side effect of ODEFSEY. Rash can be serious. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get a rash. In some cases, rash and allergic reaction may need to be treated in a hospital. If you get a rash with any of the following symptoms, stop taking ODEFSEY and call your healthcare provider right away: – fever – skin blisters – mouth sores – redness or swelling of the eyes (conjunctivitis) – swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat – trouble breathing or swallowing – pain on the right side of the stomach (abdominal) area – dark “tea-colored” urine
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
• Depression or mood changes. Tell your healthcare provider right
away if you have any of the following symptoms: – feel sad or hopeless – feel anxious or restless – have thoughts of hurting yourself (suicide) or have tried to hurt yourself • Change in liver enzymes. People with a history of hepatitis B or C virus infection or who have certain liver enzyme changes may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening liver problems during treatment with ODEFSEY. Liver problems can also happen during treatment with ODEFSEY in people without a history of liver disease. Your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your liver enzymes before and during treatment with ODEFSEY. • 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 ODEFSEY. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking ODEFSEY if you develop new or worse kidney problems. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take ODEFSEY. 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 effects of rilpivirine, one of the medicines in ODEFSEY, are depression, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and headache. The most common side effect of emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, two of the medicines in ODEFSEY, 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 ODEFSEY. 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. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about ODEFSEY. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about ODEFSEY that is written for health professionals. For more information, call 1-800-445-3235 or go to www.ODEFSEY.com. Keep ODEFSEY and all medicines out of reach of children. Issued: March 2016
ODEFSEY, the ODEFSEY logo, EMTRIVA, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, and GSI are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2016 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. GILC0216 03/16
Actors Conrad Ricamora and Jack Falahee.
Peter Nowalk and Greg Louganis with several Point scholars and alumni.
Messages of Hope
Television writer Pete Nowalk.
Honoring Greg Louganis, Pete Norwalk, Point Foundation emphasizes need for support in youths’ lives BY MICHAEL SHIREY
Five-time Olympic medalist Greg Louganis.
Olympic freestyle skiing medalist Gus Kenworthy presented Greg Louganis with the Point Legend Award. The five-time Olympic medalist teared up as he recounted his 1984 and 1988 Olympic wins, his HIV diagnosis, and his long road to acceptance. Seconding Nowalk, Louganis stressed the importance of education and self-respect and applauded everything the Point Foundation does for its scholars. Evoking his mother’s words, Louganis addressed the Point scholars and alumni, saying, “Make everywhere you go better because you were there.” He added, “Get in the pool — the pool of life, the pool of love, the pool of service. You will find others there, and together those ripples can become waves — waves of higher achievement, of self-acceptance and, just as important, the acceptance, of others from all walks of life.” Singer and Broadway actress Lena Hall closed the night out with a performance of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Other performers included out country musician Billy Gilman and Maddie Shea Baldwin of Broadway’s “Bright Star.”
n the warm glow of the New York Public Library, in a evening hosted by Michelle Collins, a co-host on ABC’s “The View,” the Point Foundation held its annual Honors Gala on April 11. This year’s honorees were Olympic diver Greg Louganis and television showrunner Pete Nowalk. Introducing Nowalk, actors Conrad Ricamora and Jack Falahee, who star in Norwalk’s hit television show “How to Get Away with Murder,” discussed how fortunate they felt to work on a project with such diverse representation. Falahee emphasized his satisfaction at playing an authentic gay character and not just a punch line. “It’s about damn time,” Ricamora chimed in, who plays HIV-positive Oliver on “Murder.” He thanked Nowalk for allowing him to play a character he wished existed when he was a teenager growing up. Accepting the Point Leader ship Award to a standing ovation, Nowalk discussed growing up in the very heterosexual Jersey Shore, his parents’ unfaltering support, and the importance of education.
“The only reason I had the guts to write any of this is because I had parents who made sure I could go to college,” Nowalk said. “But most LGBTQ kids aren’t as lucky as I was. Most can’t even afford to hope for a college education. Thanks to Point Foundation, now a few more can and they are going to do big, world-changing things with their futures.” He noted that the foundation’s long-lasting impact that goes above and beyond providing financial support to students. “Gay sex — America loves it apparently,” joked Nowalk, discussing the early days of “Murder,” where he coyly snuck in network television’s most risqué, some butts about it gay sex scene to date. Responding to positive audience response, Nowalk continued to push the envelope in the show’s second season. “The relationship between Connor and Oliver is one of the show’s most popular, and it has even encouraged me to write more LGBTQ characters into the show — including Viola’s character, who is now one of the only LGBTQ leads on TV,” he said.
Actress Lena Hall.
The Point Foundation, the largest scholarship organization working to support talented LGBT students, was founded in 2001, and provides financial support, comprehensive mentorship programs, leadership training, and community service opportunities. Since its founding, the group has supported 326 scholars, including 85 in the current academic year. For more information, visit pointfoundation.org. April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Defying the First Amendment, Mississippi Enacts “Freedom of Conscience” Law In the heart of Dixie, measure equal parts symbolic and unconstitutional passes easily
BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
ississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant, on April 5, signed into law the Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act, a measure that received overwhelming approval in both houses of the state legislature. The law is clearly intended to encourage businesses and individuals in the state to discriminate against same-sex couples, LGBT people, and even sexually active unmarried heterosexuals. Despite the broad wording of its title, the measure does not on its face protect freedom of con-
science in general. Instead, in Section 2, the legislation states that “the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.” The first of these, of course, defies the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The second defies the 2003 sodomy ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which held that the state may not penalize private sexual relations between consenting adults, regardless of their sex. And the third defies the overwhelming medical consensus that gender identity is a human characteristic that exists apart from biological sex in terms of anatomy and genetics. The law does not specify how it will be determined that somebody sincerely holds these beliefs rather than merely asserting them opportunistically to avoid liability for mistreating somebody. The Mississippi law’s provision regarding gender identity takes things one step further than
the notorious measure North Carolina enacted last month. In North Carolina, “biological sex” is now defined as the sex indicated on a person’s birth certificate, and since the state allows people to obtain new birth certificates consistent with their gender identity with proof of surgical transition — though that’s an insurmountable hurdle for many transgender people — the law there does not treat sex as quite so “immutable” as Mississippi does. The new Mississippi law protects people who act on their beliefs in a variety of ways. Religious organizations and clergy can refuse to have anything to do with same-sex marriages, a provision that largely codifies First Amendment rights they already enjoy. The law, of course, does not stop there, but instead allows businesses to refuse to provide their goods, services, and accommodations to same-sex couples and to exclude transgender people from the use of single-sex-designated facilities even though they are consistent with their gender identity. Under the law, nobody can be subjected to loss of their tax-exempt status or denial of government contracts or benefits because they have and exercise these “protected”
MISSISSIPPI, continued on p.25
Anti-Mississippi Backlash Forces Central Park Picnic Cancellation New York ex-pats back down, citing concerns over protests against that state’s targeting of LGBT community BY ANDY HUMM
he New York Mississippi Society has canceled the 37th edition of an annual picnic in the heart of Central Park that promotes Mississippi culture and tourism due to the backlash against the passage of a virulently anti-LGBT law back home. The picnic was to have taken place on June 11 on Dead Road between the Naumburg Bandshell and the Sheep Meadow. Queer Nation had promised a protest at the event. “This fundraiser marks a heritage of racism and celebrates hatred and bigotry against LGBT people in Mississippi,” the group said in a statement several days before the cancellation on April 12. “It has no place in our city. We will attend this picnic to tell New Yorkers that this city honors diversity and inclusion.”
A call and email to the Society from Gay City News on April 11 about the potential protest and the Society’s stance on the anti-LGBT law elicited no response. The story of the cancellation broke the next day in the Jackson Free Press, which noted that the Society had issued a press statement referring to the “unfortunate enactment” of the new law. An online petition calling on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo to cancel the picnic was cited in the Free Press story, even though the change.org effort had garnered only three signatures as of April 12. When Gay City News asked the mayor’s office last week if the city would lift the permit for the event, Rosemary Boeglin of the press office responded via email, “The Mayor’s non-essential City-funded travel ban [to Mississippi] does not have any implications for this
event. Though we strongly object to recent discriminatory legislation in the state of Mississippi, to preclude the event on that basis could impinge on the constitutional rights of this organization.” The picnic enjoyed a permit to cook (fried catfish) inside the park, a special exemption to a ban on cooking inside the park granted by Mayor Ed Koch in 1985 and never rescinded. De Blasio’s office had not responded to a question about whether that special permit would be lifted by the time the picnic was nixed. The cancellation of the picnic by the New York organizers blindsided the Mississippi Development Authority that promotes business and tourism in the state and cooperates with the picnic. “The New York Mississippi Society has made the decision to cancel the Mississippi Picnic in Central Park,” Jeff Rent of the Authority
told the Jackson newspaper. “We are disappointed in not only their decision, but also their lack of discussion with Mississippi partners before cancelling the event.” Mississippi has been hit by numerous protests over the new law from corporations, 95 prominent Mississippi-born writers, and Bryan Adams, the legendary rocker who canceled a concert there that had been set for April 14. Out lesbian ABC news reporter Robin Roberts, a native of Mississippi, is on the cover of the state tourism magazine this month and issued a statement saying, “What we all deserve to have in common is the right to be treated equally.” And the US Navy is moving the commissioning of the USS Portland from a Mississippi port to Portland itself after the Oregon city’s Mayor Charlie Hales refused to travel to the state.
PICNIC, continued on p.51
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Critics of NC, MS Anti-Gay Laws Funded Their Authors GOP governors enjoy the largesse of corporations calling for repeal of harsh new measures BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
day, but news that legislators would convene a special session to enact the law broke in North Carolina papers as early as February 25 so the Wells Fargo and at least some of the Bank of America donations were made after the public was aware of the proposed law. Moore was organizing House Republicans for the special session that passed the legislation as early as February 23 and discussing it publicly by February 24. HB2 overturned local laws that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and requires transgender people to use public toilets that are consistent with the gender designated on their birth certificates, which could often mean that they end up using bathrooms unsuited to their gender identity. Brian Moynihan, the chief executive at Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and John Stumpf, the chief executive at
LANCE CHEUNG/ US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ome leading companies that are currently blasting state governments in Mississippi and North Carolina for enacting laws that promote discrimination against LGBT people made substantial campaign contributions to the two Republican governors and Republican state legislators who enacted those laws. The Wells Fargo North Carolina political action committee gave Governor Pat McCrory $5,100 on February 29 of this year, according to filings with the North Carolina State Board of Elections. That same day, the PAC also gave $3,100 to Tim Moore, the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and $4,100 to Phil Berger, the president of the State Senate. The PAC gave to other legislators, but Gay City News did not compare those names to the voting record on House Bill 2 (HB2).
Gay City News also found donations to McCrory from what appear to be lower level Wells Fargo employees or company affiliates in 2012. McCrory was elected governor in 2012, and had run unsuccessfully for the post in 2008. On February 25, the Bank of America political action committee gave Berger and Moore $3,000 apiece. The PAC gave McCrory $5,100 on December 10 of last year. Charles Bowman, market president for North Carolina and Charlotte at Bank of America, gave $1,000 to McCrory’s campaign on March 14 of this year. Bowman identified himself only as a “banker” in an elections board filing. As with Wells Fargo, Bank of America made donations to other legislators, but Gay City News did not compare those to HB2 voting records. HB2 was passed by the North Carolina legislature on March 23 and signed by McCrory the next
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.
Wells Fargo, which is headquartered in San Francisco, have joined more than 120 senior executives at other companies who signed a letter calling for the repeal of HB2. The letter is being circulated by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT rights group, and Equality North Carolina, a state LGBT rights group. While AT&T has opposed the Mis-
CRITICS, continued on p.24
Meet Philip Gunn: A Model Modern Homophobic Pol Mississippi’s House speaker has lots of deep-pocketed friends in LGBT-friendly corporate America
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
hilip Gunn knows how to protect his conservative friends. When he thought they might have to solemnize marriages for same-sex couples, provide services for such unions, or aid transgender people, the speaker of the Mississippi House wrote a bill that barred the state from taking any “discriminatory action” against religious groups, people, or businesses that act on the beliefs that marriage is “the union of one man and one woman,” sex is “properly reserved to such a marriage,” and gender refers to “an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.” The legislation, which was attacked as a license to discriminate against LGBT people, easily passed both houses of the state legislature, which is dominated by Republicans, and was signed by Phil Bryant, the state’s Republican governor, on April 5. “I think if you read it, you understand it’s a religious freedoms bill,” Gunn said of the law,
which protects only certain typically conservative beliefs, according to an Associated Press article. The law, which takes ef fect on July 1, prompted an outcry from LGBT groups, businesses, politicians, and others. Some of the companies that are participating in that outcry are Gunn’s friends in the political use of that word — they have interests before the legislature and those companies have supported Gunn with campaign contributions. Since 2008, AT&T has given Gunn $8,300 in campaign contributions. From 2011 through 2015, the company has spent $358,000 to nearly $450,000 per year throwing receptions for state legislators, including Gunn and his family, and on lobbying, according to records filed with the state. In 2014, AT&T publicly opposed a religious freedom law that Mississippi enacted. The records do not indicate if AT&T lobbied on that matter. Other companies that have opposed religious freedom laws have also contributed to Gunn. Since 2008, Eli Lilly and Company has given Gunn $5,750, Comcast has given him $8,000, and Monsanto has given him $1,500. Comcast
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn.
and its NBCUniversal unit have a longstanding relationship with GLAAD, which did not respond to a request for comment, and Monsanto was honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT rights group, in 2015.
GUNN, continued on p.24
Talking Softly, Pope Holds Onto Big Sticks Francis wins good press, but gay sex still “intrinsically disordered,” safe sex “narcissistic” BY ANDY HUMM
L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO/ VATICAN.VA
hile gover nors in North Carolina and Mississippi struggle to defend their anti-gay laws, Pope Francis has found a way to hold on to Catholic teachings that condemn LGBT people, exclude women from power, and forbid divorce by taking a softer tone that has won him plaudits from the mainstream media and kept the Church’s almost universally right-wing hierarchy in check for the moment. Francis’ apostolic letter, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), will never be mistaken for “The Joy of Gay Sex,” but the sub-headline in the New York Times read: “Pope Urges Catholics to Welcome Gays and Single Parents.” When “LGBT News” on Facebook headlined the story as “Cool Pope Continues Cool Crusade,” veteran gay activist Ron Madson responded, “This is a delusional headline. Talking softly but keeping the same big sticks in place does not change the net effect of those rules. Dead LGBT kids are dead kids. Second class treatment of women is second class treatment. Blocking access to civil equality is still anti-human rights.” Of gay people, Francis wrote, “Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration... As for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” What “positive” language there is gets shr ouded in ambigu ous Vatican-speak: “The Synod Fathers stated that the Church does not disregard the constructive elements in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage,” Francis wrote. And while there is an emphasis on priests being more welcoming
Pope Francis with Pope Emeritus Benedict, who as a top aide to the late Pope John Paul II first articulated the Vatican’s continued position on gay sex — that it is “intrinsically disordered.”
to all, including those who have divorced and remarried, there is no relief from the dogma that homosexual acts are sinful and marriage — even to an abusive spouse — is indissoluble. Conservative Catholic New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote, “Francis doubtless intends this language as a bridge between the church’s factions, just dogmatic enough for conservatives, but perpetually open to more liberal interpretations. And such deliberate ambiguity does offer a center, of sorts, for a deeply divided church. But not one, I fear, that’s likely to permanently hold.” Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, the LGBT Catholic group, said on PBS, “I find it to be a very uneven document. There are certainly places where it soars. I love the emphasis on respecting the formed consciences of so many of us and pastoral care, starting from the needs of the person. I think those are fantastic and really consistent with a lot of what Pope Francis has been about. And then there are areas where it really falls short of what I think people were hoping for, and that’s certainly true on the issue of LGBT people, where there really isn’t a lot of progress in this piece.” Under the guise of counsel-
ing that sex is for more than self-gratification, the pope condemns “safe sex,” not acknowledging its role in protecting people from deadly diseases. “Frequently, sex education deals primarily with ‘protection’ through the practice of ‘safe sex,’” Francis wrote. “Such expressions convey a negative attitude towards the natural procreative finality of sexuality, as if an eventual child were an enemy to be protected against. This way of thinking promotes narcissism and aggressivity in place of acceptance.” In a multi-year process that led up to this letter, the input of self-accepting LGBT people was not sought or permitted and no woman was allowed to vote with the bishops meeting in a synod on these issues. The bishops were able to hold the line on reforming anti-gay and anti-woman doctrines. The Roman Catholic catechism continues to say this about gay people: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [Cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10], tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do
not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” Father Bernárd L ynch, speaking on BBC Radio, said, “‘Joy of Love’ does not add a lot of joy for LGBTQ people. Same-sex unions condemned, adoption by lesbian and gay people is condemned. And there is no compassion whatsoever to the complexity of gender identities. We are still on the outer rims of humanity. We are still regarded as ‘disordered’ in our nature and ‘evil’ in our love.” UK gay activist Peter Tatchell said in a release, “The Pope promised reform but has reconfirmed traditional Catholic doctrine on same-sex relationships. He has ignored submissions and appeals by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics. Gentler words do not assuage Vatican opposition to gay equality. ‘Joy of Love’ offers a change of tone, not of substance.” Tatchell also said, “Only ‘unjust’ discrimination is condemned, which implies that some forms of discrimination against LGBT people are justified. All across the world, the Catholic Church is opposing LGBT equal-
POPE, continued on p.24
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
Be prepared. Your lung cancer can spread to your brain. Rose, age 59, Texas
Smoking caused Roseâ€™s lung cancer. She had to move from the small town she loved to get the treatment she needed, including chemo, radiation and having part of her lung removed. Recently, her cancer spread to her brain. You can quit.
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Actual ATRIPLA patients. ‡ ATRIPLA has been chosen by more than 500,000 people with HIV and their doctors. § In the US, ATRIPLA is the #1 prescribed one-pill, once-daily HIV treatment. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR OR VISIT ATRIPLA.COM TO FIND OUT MORE. What is ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) is a prescription medication used alone as a complete regimen, or with other antiHIV-1 medicines, to treat HIV-1 infection in adults and children at least 12 years old who weigh at least 40 kg (88 lbs). ATRIPLA does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. See your healthcare provider regularly while taking ATRIPLA. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA can cause serious side effects: n Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA (which contains nucleoside analogs) have developed lactic acidosis (build up of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis can be a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of lactic acidosis: – feel very weak or tired – have unusual (not normal) muscle pain – have trouble breathing – have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting – feel cold, especially in your arms and legs – feel dizzy or lightheaded – have a fast or irregular heartbeat n Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed serious liver problems (hepatotoxicity), with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of liver problems: – skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) – urine turns dark – bowel movements (stools) turn light in color – don’t feel like eating food for several days or longer – feel sick to your stomach (nausea) – have lower stomach area (abdominal) pain n You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking nucleoside analog-containing medicines, like ATRIPLA (efavirenz/emtricitabine/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), for a long time. n If you also have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and you stop taking ATRIPLA, you may get a “flare-up” of your hepatitis. A “flare-up” is when the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before. Patients with HBV who stop taking ATRIPLA need close medical follow-up for several months to check for hepatitis that could be getting worse. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of HBV, so you need to discuss your HBV therapy with your healthcare provider. Who should not take ATRIPLA? You and your healthcare provider should decide if ATRIPLA is right for you. Do not take ATRIPLA if you are allergic to ATRIPLA or any of its ingredients. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking ATRIPLA? Tell your healthcare provider if you: n Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant: You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
TAKING CARE OF
For adults with HIV-1,
WITH THE STRENGTH OF
Undetectable viral load is a goal, and ATRIPLA has the power to help get you there. In a clinical trial: • ATRIPLA has been proven to LOWER VIRAL LOAD to undetectable* in approximately 8 out of 10 adult patients new to therapy through 48 weeks compared with approximately 7 out of 10 adult patients in the comparator group† • ATRIPLA has been proven to LOWER VIRAL LOAD to undetectable* through 3 years in approximately 7 out of 10 adult patients new to therapy compared with approximately 6 out of 10 adult patients in the comparator group†
SELECTED IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION n Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed build up of lactic acid in the blood, which can be a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. n Some people who have taken medicines like ATRIPLA have developed serious liver problems, with liver enlargement and fat in the liver, which can lead to death. n If you also have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and you stop taking ATRIPLA, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of HBV. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (continued) Women should not become pregnant while taking ATRIPLA and for 12 weeks after stopping ATRIPLA. Serious birth defects have been seen in children of women treated during pregnancy with efavirenz, one of the medicines in ATRIPLA. Women must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, such as a condom or diaphragm, even if they also use other methods of birth control, while on ATRIPLA and for 12 weeks after stopping ATRIPLA. Women should not rely only on hormone-based birth control, such as pills, injections, or implants, because ATRIPLA may make these contraceptives ineffective. n Are breastfeeding: Women with HIV should not breastfeed because they can pass HIV and some of the medicines in ATRIPLA through their milk to the baby. It is not known if ATRIPLA could harm your baby. n Have kidney problems or are undergoing kidney dialysis treatment. n Have bone problems. n Have liver problems, including hepatitis B or C virus infection. Your healthcare provider may want to do tests to check your liver while you take ATRIPLA or may switch you to another medicine. n Have ever had mental illness or are using drugs or alcohol n Have ever had seizures or are taking medicine for seizures. Seizures have occurred in patients taking efavirenz, a component of ATRIPLA, generally in those with a history of seizures. If you have ever had seizures, or take medicine for seizures, your healthcare provider may want to switch you to another medicine or monitor you.
What important information should I know about taking other medicines with ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may change the effect of other medicines, including the ones for HIV-1, and may cause serious side effects. Your healthcare provider may change your other medicines or change their doses. MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH ATRIPLA n ATRIPLA should not be taken with: Combivir® (lamivudine/zidovudine), COMPLERA® (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine), Epivir® or Epivir-HBV® (lamivudine), Epzicom® (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine), STRIBILD® (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF), Trizivir® (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine), TRUVADA® (emtricitabine/tenofovir DF), or VIREAD® (tenofovir DF), because they contain the same or similar active ingredients as ATRIPLA. ATRIPLA should not be used with SUSTIVA® (efavirenz) unless recommended by your healthcare provider. n Vfend® (voriconazole) should not be taken with ATRIPLA since it may lose its effect or may increase the chance of having side effects from ATRIPLA. n ATRIPLA should not be used with HEPSERA® (adefovir dipivoxil). Please see Important Safety Information continued on the following pages.
*Undetectable was defined as a viral load of fewer than 400 copies/mL. † In this study, 511 adult patients new to therapy received either the meds in ATRIPLA each taken once daily or Combivir® (lamivudine/zidovudine) twice daily + SUSTIVA® (efavirenz) once daily. ‡ Symphony Health Solutions, PatientSource APLD and Source® PHAST Prescription Monthly, counts are cumulative and equivalized. January 2007–February 2015. § Symphony Health Solutions, Source® PHAST Prescription Monthly, equivalized counts, July 2006–May 2015. GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (continued) Patient PatientInformation Information These are not all the medicines that may cause problems if you take ATRIPLA. ® ® (uhTRIP TRIPluh) luh)Tablets Tablets ATRIPLA ATRIPLA (uh Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take. ALERT: ALERT: Find Find out out about about medicines medicines that that should should NOT NOT be be taken taken with with ATRIPLA ATRIPLA(efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovirdisoproxil disoproxilfumarate). fumarate). What are the possible side effects of ATRIPLA? Please Please also also read read the the section section “MEDICINES “MEDICINES YOU YOU SHOULD SHOULD NOT NOT TAKE TAKE ATRIPLA may cause the following additional serious side effects: WITHATRIPLA.” ATRIPLA.” n Serious psychiatric problems. Severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry WITH behavior have been reported by a small number of patients. Some patients Generic Generic name: name: efavirenz, efavirenz, emtricitabine emtricitabine and and tenofovir tenofovir disoproxil disoproxil fumarate fumarate (eh (eh FAH FAH vih vih have had thoughts of suicide, and a few have actually committed suicide. renz, renz,em emtritriSIT SITuh uhbean beanand andteteNOE’ NOE’fofoveer veerdye dyesoe soePROX PROXililFYOU FYOUmar marate) ate) These problems may occur more often in patients who have had mental illness. Read Read the the Patient Patient Information Information that that comes comes with withATRIPLA ATRIPLAbefore before you you start start taking taking itit and and n Kidney problems (including decline or failure of kidney function). If you have each each time time you you get get a a refill refill since since there there may may be be new new information. information. This This information information does does had kidney problems, or take other medicines that may cause kidney problems, not take take the the place place ofof talking talking toto your your healthcare healthcare provider provider about about your your medical medical condition condition your healthcare provider should do regular blood tests. Symptoms that may be not or or treatment. treatment. You You should should stay stay under under aa healthcare healthcare provider’s provider’s care care when when taking taking related to kidney problems include a high volume of urine, thirst, muscle pain, ATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. Do Do not not change change or or stop stop your your medicine medicine without without first first talking talking with with your your and muscle weakness. healthcare healthcare provider. provider. Talk Talk to to your your healthcare healthcare provider provider or or pharmacist pharmacist if if you you have have any any n Other serious liver problems. Some patients have experienced serious liver questions questionsabout aboutATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. problems, including liver failure resulting in transplantation or death. Most of these serious side effects occurred in patients with a chronic liver disease such What Whatisisthe themost mostimportant importantinformation informationIIshould shouldknow knowabout aboutATRIPLA? ATRIPLA? as hepatitis infection, but there have also been a few reports in patients without ■■ Some Some people people who who have have taken taken medicine medicine like like ATRIPLA ATRIPLA (which (which contains contains any existing liver disease. nucleoside nucleosideanalogs) analogs)have havedeveloped developedaaserious seriouscondition conditioncalled calledlactic lacticacidosis acidosis n Changes in bone mineral density (thinning bones). Lab tests show changes (build (buildup upofofan anacid acidininthe theblood). blood).Lactic Lacticacidosis acidosiscan canbe beaamedical medicalemergency emergencyand and in the bones of patients treated with tenofovir DF, a component of ATRIPLA. may mayneed needtotobe betreated treatedininthe thehospital. hospital.Call Callyour yourhealthcare healthcareprovider providerright rightaway awayifif Some HIV patients treated with tenofovir DF developed thinning of the bones you youget getthe thefollowing followingsigns signsor orsymptoms symptomsof oflactic lacticacidosis: acidosis: (osteopenia), which could lead to fractures. Also, bone pain and softening of Youfeel feelvery veryweak weakor ortired. tired. the bone (which may lead to fractures) may occur as a consequence of kidney ■■ You problems. If you have had bone problems in the past, your healthcare provider ■■ You Youhave haveunusual unusual(not (notnormal) normal)muscle musclepain. pain. may want to do tests to check your bones or may prescribe medicines to help Youhave havetrouble troublebreathing. breathing. ■■ You your bones. You You have have stomach stomach pain painwith withnausea nauseaand andvomiting. vomiting. ■ ■ Common side effects: n Patients may have dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble ■■ You Youfeel feelcold, cold,especially especiallyininyour yourarms armsand andlegs. legs. concentrating, and/or unusual dreams during treatment with ATRIPLA Youfeel feeldizzy dizzyor orlightheaded. lightheaded. (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). These side effects may ■■ You be reduced if you take ATRIPLA at bedtime on an empty stomach; they tend to ■■ You Youhave haveaafast fastor orirregular irregularheartbeat. heartbeat. go away after taking ATRIPLA for a few weeks. Tell your healthcare provider Somepeople peoplewho whohave havetaken takenmedicines medicineslike likeATRIPLA ATRIPLAhave havedeveloped developedserious serious ■■ Some right away if any of these side effects continue or if they bother you. These liver liver problems problems called called hepatotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, with with liver liver enlargement enlargement (hepatomegaly) (hepatomegaly) and and symptoms may be more severe if ATRIPLA is used with alcohol and/or moodfat fat in in the the liver liver (steatosis). (steatosis). Call Call your your healthcare healthcare provider provider right right away away if if you you get get the the altering (street) drugs. following followingsigns signsor orsymptoms symptomsof ofliver liverproblems: problems: n If you are dizzy, have trouble concentrating, and/or are drowsy, avoid activities Yourskin skinor orthe thewhite whitepart partofofyour youreyes eyesturns turnsyellow yellow(jaundice). (jaundice). ■■ Your that may be dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery. n Rash is a common side effect with ATRIPLA that usually goes away without Yoururine urineturns turnsdark. dark. ■■ Your any change in treatment. Rash may be serious in a small number of patients. Yourbowel bowelmovements movements(stools) (stools)turn turnlight lightinincolor. color. Rash occurs more commonly in children and may be a serious problem. If a ■■ Your rash develops, call your healthcare provider right away. Youdon’t don’tfeel feellike likeeating eatingfood foodfor forseveral severaldays daysor orlonger. longer. ■■ You n Other common side effects include: tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, gas, ■■ You Youfeel feelsick sicktotoyour yourstomach stomach(nausea). (nausea). and diarrhea. Youhave havelower lowerstomach stomacharea area(abdominal) (abdominal)pain. pain. ■■ You Other possible side effects: You may may be be more more likely likely to to get get lactic lactic acidosis acidosis or or liver liver problems problems ifif you you are are ■■ You n Changes in body fat have been seen in some people taking anti-HIV-1 female,very veryoverweight overweight(obese), (obese),or orhave havebeen beentaking takingnucleoside nucleosideanalog-containing analog-containing medicines. Increase of fat in the upper back and neck, breasts, and around the female, medicines, medicines,like likeATRIPLA, ATRIPLA,for foraalong longtime. time. trunk may happen. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen. The cause and long-term health effects of these changes in body fat are you also also have have hepatitis hepatitis BB virus virus (HBV) (HBV) infection infection and and you you stop stop taking taking ■■ IfIf you not known. ATRIPLA, ATRIPLA, you you may may get get aa “flare-up” “flare-up” of of your your hepatitis. hepatitis. AA “flare-up” “flare-up” isis when when n Skin discoloration (small spots or freckles) may also happen. the the disease disease suddenly suddenly returns returns in in aa worse worse way way than than before. before. Patients Patients with with HBV HBV n In some patients with advanced HIV infection (AIDS), signs and symptoms of who whostop stoptaking takingATRIPLA ATRIPLAneed needclose closemedical medicalfollow-up follow-upfor forseveral severalmonths, months,including including medical exams exams and and blood blood tests tests toto check check for for hepatitis hepatitis that that could could be be getting getting worse. worse. inflammation from previous infections may occur soon after anti-HIV treatment medical ATRIPLA ATRIPLAisis not not approved approved for for the the treatment treatment ofof HBV, HBV, so so you you must must discuss discuss your your HBV HBV is started. If you notice any symptoms of infection, contact your healthcare therapy therapywith withyour yourhealthcare healthcareprovider. provider. provider right away. n Additional side effects are inflammation of the pancreas, allergic reaction What WhatisisATRIPLA? ATRIPLA? (including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), shortness of breath, (efavirenz),EMTRIVA EMTRIVA®®(emtricitabine) (emtricitabine)and and ATRIPLA ATRIPLA contains contains33medicines, medicines,SUSTIVA SUSTIVA®®(efavirenz), pain, stomach pain, weakness, and indigestion. (tenofovirdisoproxil disoproxilfumarate fumaratealso alsocalled calledtenofovir tenofovirDF) DF)combined combinedininone onepill. pill. VIREAD VIREAD®®(tenofovir This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your healthcare provider or EMTRIVA EMTRIVAand andVIREAD VIREADare areHIV-1 HIV-1(human (humanimmunodeficiency immunodeficiencyvirus) virus)nucleoside nucleosideanalog analog pharmacist if you notice any side effects while taking ATRIPLA. reverse reverse transcriptase transcriptase inhibitors inhibitors (NRTIs) (NRTIs) and and SUSTIVA SUSTIVA isis an an HIV-1 HIV-1 non-nucleoside non-nucleoside You should take ATRIPLA once daily on an empty stomach. Taking ATRIPLA at analog analog reverse reverse transcriptase transcriptase inhibitor inhibitor (NNRTI). (NNRTI). VIREAD VIREAD and and EMTRIVA EMTRIVA are are the the bedtime may make some side effects less bothersome. ATRIPLAcan can be be used used alone alone as as aa complete complete regimen, regimen, or or components components ofof TRUVADA TRUVADA®®..ATRIPLA inin combination combination with with other other anti-HIV-1 anti-HIV-1 medicines medicines toto treat treat people people with with HIV-1 HIV-1 infection. infection. Please see the following Patient Information for more information about these ATRIPLA ATRIPLA isis for for adults adults and and children children 12 12 years years ofof age age and and older older who who weigh weigh atat least least warnings, including signs and symptoms, and other Important 40 40 kg kg (at (at least least 88 88 lbs). lbs). ATRIPLA ATRIPLA isis not not recommended recommended for for children children younger younger than than Safety Information. 12 12years yearsofofage. age.ATRIPLA ATRIPLAhas hasnot notbeen beenstudied studiedininadults adultsover over65 65years yearsofofage. age.
ATRIPLA is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. 697US1601747-02-01 04/16
HIV HIV infection infection destroys destroys CD4+ CD4+ TT cells, cells, which which are are important important toto the the immune immune system. system. The Theimmune immunesystem systemhelps helpsfight fightinfection. infection.After Afteraalarge largenumber numberofofTTcells cellsare aredestroyed, destroyed, acquired acquiredimmune immunedeficiency deficiencysyndrome syndrome(AIDS) (AIDS)develops. develops. ATRIPLA ATRIPLAhelps helpsblock blockHIV-1 HIV-1reverse reversetranscriptase, transcriptase,aaviral viralchemical chemicalininyour yourbody body(enzyme) (enzyme) that that isis needed needed for for HIV-1 HIV-1 toto multiply. multiply.ATRIPLA ATRIPLAlowers lowers the the amount amount ofof HIV-1 HIV-1 inin the the blood blood (viral (viral load). load). ATRIPLA ATRIPLA may may also also help help toto increase increase the the number number ofof TT cells cells (CD4+ (CD4+ cells), cells),
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April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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allowing your your immune immune system system toto improve. improve. Lowering Lowering the the amount amount ofof HIV-1 HIV-1 inin the the blood blood ■ Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate), Prezista (darunavir) with Norvir (ritonavir), allowing lowersthe thechance chanceofofdeath deathor orinfections infectionsthat thathappen happenwhen whenyour yourimmune immunesystem systemisisweak weak lowers Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), or Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir); these medicines (opportunisticinfections). infections). (opportunistic may increase the amount of tenofovir DF (a component of ATRIPLA) in your blood, which could result in more side effects. Reyataz is not recommended with ATRIPLA. DoesATRIPLA ATRIPLAcure cureHIV-1 HIV-1or orAIDS? AIDS? Does You may need to be monitored more carefully if you are taking ATRIPLA, ATRIPLA does does not not cure cure HIV-1 HIV-1 infection infection or or AIDS AIDS and and you you may may continue continue toto ATRIPLA Prezista, and Norvir together, or if you are taking ATRIPLA and Kaletra together. experience illnesses illnesses associated associated with with HIV-1 HIV-1 infection, infection, including including opportunistic opportunistic experience The dose of Kaletra should be increased when taken with efavirenz. infections.You Youshould shouldremain remainunder underthe thecare careofofaadoctor doctorwhen whenusing usingATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. infections. ■ Medicine for seizures [for example, Dilantin (phenytoin), Tegretol (carbamazepine), or phenobarbital]; your healthcare provider may want to switch you to another Whoshould shouldnot nottake takeATRIPLA? ATRIPLA? Who medicine or check drug levels in your blood from time to time. Together with with your your healthcare healthcare provider, provider, you you need need toto decide decide whether whether ATRIPLA ATRIPLA isis Together rightfor foryou. you. right These are not all the medicines that may cause problems if you take ATRIPLA. Do not not take take ATRIPLA ATRIPLA ifif you you are are allergic allergic toto ATRIPLA ATRIPLA or or any any ofof its its ingredients. ingredients. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take. Do The active active ingredients ingredients ofof ATRIPLA ATRIPLA are are efavirenz, efavirenz, emtricitabine, emtricitabine, and and tenofovir tenofovir DF. DF. Keep a complete list of all the prescription and nonprescription medicines as well as The Seethe theend endofofthis thisleaflet leafletfor foraacomplete completelist listofofingredients. ingredients. See any herbal remedies that you are taking, how much you take, and how often you take them. Make a new list when medicines or herbal remedies are added or stopped, Whatshould shouldIItell tellmy myhealthcare healthcareprovider providerbefore beforetaking takingATRIPLA? ATRIPLA? What or if the dose changes. Give copies of this list to all of your healthcare providers Tellyour yourhealthcare healthcareprovider providerififyou: you: Tell and pharmacists every time you visit your healthcare provider or fill a prescription. Are pregnant pregnant or or planning planning to to become become pregnant pregnant (see (see “What “What should should II avoid avoid while while This will give your healthcare provider a complete picture of the medicines you use. ■■ Are Then he or she can decide the best approach for your situation. takingATRIPLA?”). ATRIPLA?”). taking How should I take ATRIPLA? Arebreastfeeding breastfeeding(see (see“What “Whatshould shouldIIavoid avoidwhile whiletaking takingATRIPLA?”). ATRIPLA?”). ■■ Are ■ Take the exact amount of ATRIPLA your healthcare provider prescribes. Never Havekidney kidneyproblems problemsor orare areundergoing undergoingkidney kidneydialysis dialysistreatment. treatment. ■■ Have change the dose on your own. Do not stop this medicine unless your healthcare provider tells you to stop. Havebone boneproblems. problems. ■■ Have Have liver liver problems, problems, including including hepatitis hepatitis BB virus virus infection. infection. Your Your healthcare healthcare ■ You should take ATRIPLA on an empty stomach. ■■ Have
provider may may want want toto do do tests tests toto check check your your liver liver while while you you take takeATRIPLA ATRIPLAor or may may ■ Swallow ATRIPLA with water. provider switchyou youtotoanother anothermedicine. medicine. switch ■ Taking ATRIPLA at bedtime may make some side effects less bothersome. Haveever everhad hadmental mentalillness illnessor orare areusing usingdrugs drugsor oralcohol. alcohol. ■■ Have ■ Do not miss a dose of ATRIPLA. If you forget to take ATRIPLA, take the missed dose right away, unless it is almost time for your next dose. Do not double the next dose. Haveever everhad hadseizures seizuresor orare aretaking takingmedicine medicinefor forseizures. seizures. ■■ Have Carry on with your regular dosing schedule. If you need help in planning the best What important important information information should should II know know about about taking taking other other medicines medicines with with What times to take your medicine, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA? ■ If you believe you took more than the prescribed amount of ATRIPLA, contact your ATRIPLAmay maychange changethe theeffect effectof ofother othermedicines, medicines,including includingthe theones onesfor forHIV-1, HIV-1, ATRIPLA local poison control center or emergency room right away. and may may cause cause serious serious side side effects. effects. Your Your healthcare healthcare provider provider may may change change your your and other medicines medicines or or change change their their doses. doses. Other Other medicines, medicines, including including herbal herbal products, products, ■ Tell your healthcare provider if you start any new medicine or change how you take other old ones. Your doses may need adjustment. may affect affectATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. For For this this reason, reason, itit isis very very important important to to let let all all your your healthcare healthcare may providers and and pharmacists pharmacists know know what what medications, medications, herbal herbal supplements, supplements, or or vitamins vitamins ■ When your ATRIPLA supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider providers youare aretaking. taking. you 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 MEDICINESYOU YOUSHOULD SHOULDNOT NOTTAKE TAKEWITH WITHATRIPLA ATRIPLA MEDICINES resistance to ATRIPLA and become harder to treat. ATRIPLA also also should should not not be be used used with with Combivir Combivir (lamivudine/zidovudine), (lamivudine/zidovudine), ■■ ATRIPLA EMTRIVA, Epivir, Epivir, Epivir-HBV Epivir-HBV (lamivudine), (lamivudine), Epzicom Epzicom (abacavir (abacavir ■ Your healthcare provider may want to do blood tests to check for certain side effects COMPLERA®®,, EMTRIVA, COMPLERA while you take ATRIPLA. ® ® Trizivir (abacavir (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine), sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine), sulfate/lamivudine), sulfate/lamivudine), STRIBILD STRIBILD ,, Trizivir TRUVADA, TRUVADA, or or VIREAD. VIREAD. ATRIPLA ATRIPLA also also should should not not be be used used with with SUSTIVA SUSTIVA unless unless What should I avoid while taking ATRIPLA? recommended recommendedby byyour yourhealthcare healthcareprovider. provider. ■ Women should not become pregnant while taking ATRIPLA and for 12 weeks after stopping it. Serious birth defects have been seen in the babies of animals Vfend(voriconazole) (voriconazole)should shouldnot notbe betaken takenwith withATRIPLA ATRIPLAsince sinceititmay maylose loseits itseffect effector or ■■ Vfend and women treated with efavirenz (a component of ATRIPLA) during pregnancy. It is may mayincrease increasethe thechance chanceofofhaving havingside sideeffects effectsfrom fromATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. not known whether efavirenz caused these defects. Tell your healthcare provider (adefovirdipivoxil). dipivoxil). ATRIPLAshould shouldnot notbe beused usedwith withHEPSERA HEPSERA®®(adefovir ■■ ATRIPLA right away if you are pregnant. Also talk with your healthcare provider if you want to become pregnant. ItItisisalso alsoimportant importanttototell tellyour yourhealthcare healthcareprovider providerififyou youare aretaking takingany anyofofthe thefollowing: following: Fortovase, Invirase Invirase (saquinavir), (saquinavir), Biaxin Biaxin (clarithromycin), (clarithromycin), Noxafil Noxafil (posaconazole), (posaconazole), ■ Women should not rely only on hormone-based birth control, such as pills, injections, ■■ Fortovase, or implants, because ATRIPLA may make these contraceptives ineffective. Women Sporanox Sporanox (itraconazole), (itraconazole), Victrelis Victrelis (boceprevir), (boceprevir), or or Olysio Olysio (simeprevir); (simeprevir); these these must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, such as a condom or diaphragm, medicines medicines may may need need to to be be replaced replaced with with another another medicine medicine when when taken taken even if they also use other methods of birth control. Efavirenz, a component of with withATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. ATRIPLA, may remain in your blood for a time after therapy is stopped. Therefore, Calcium channel channel blockers blockers such such as as Cardizem Cardizem or or Tiazac Tiazac (diltiazem), (diltiazem), Covera Covera HS HS or or ■■ Calcium you should continue to use contraceptive measures for 12 weeks after you stop Isoptin Isoptin (verapamil) (verapamil) and and others; others; Crixivan Crixivan (indinavir), (indinavir), Selzentry Selzentry (maraviroc); (maraviroc); the the taking ATRIPLA. immunosuppressant immunosuppressant medicines medicines cyclosporine cyclosporine (Gengraf, (Gengraf, Neoral, Neoral, Sandimmune, Sandimmune, and and others), others), Prograf Prograf (tacrolimus), (tacrolimus), or or Rapamune Rapamune (sirolimus); (sirolimus); Methadone; Methadone; ■ Do not breastfeed if you are taking ATRIPLA. Some of the medicines in ATRIPLA can be passed to your baby in your breast milk. We do not know whether Mycobutin Mycobutin (rifabutin); (rifabutin); Rifampin; Rifampin; cholesterol-lowering cholesterol-lowering medicines medicines such such as as it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because Lipitor Lipitor (atorvastatin), (atorvastatin), Pravachol Pravachol (pravastatin (pravastatin sodium), sodium), and and Zocor Zocor (simvastatin); (simvastatin); HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Talk with your healthcare or or the the anti-depressant anti-depressant medications medications bupropion bupropion (Wellbutrin, (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin Wellbutrin SR, SR, provider if you are breastfeeding. You should stop breastfeeding or may need to use Wellbutrin Wellbutrin XL, XL, and and Zyban) Zyban) or or Zoloft Zoloft (sertraline); (sertraline); dose dose changes changes may may be be needed needed a different medicine. when whenthese thesedrugs drugsare aretaken takenwith withATRIPLA. ATRIPLA. ■ Taking ATRIPLA with alcohol or other medicines causing similar side effects as Videx,Videx VidexEC EC(didanosine); (didanosine);tenofovir tenofovirDF DF(a (acomponent componentofofATRIPLA) ATRIPLA)may mayincrease increase ■■ Videx, ATRIPLA, such as drowsiness, may increase those side effects. the the amount amount ofof didanosine didanosine inin your your blood, blood, which which could could result result inin more more side side effects. effects. You You may may need need to to be be monitored monitored more more carefully carefully ifif you you are are taking taking ATRIPLA ATRIPLA and and ■ Do not take any other medicines, including prescription and nonprescription medicines and herbal products, without checking with your healthcare provider. didanosine didanosinetogether. together.Also, Also,the thedose doseofofdidanosine didanosinemay mayneed needtotobe bechanged. changed. GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
ATRIPLA® (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
■ Avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 to others.
Other common side effects include tiredness, upset stomach, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea.
■ Do not share needles or other injection equipment. ■ Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades. ■ Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. What are the possible side effects of ATRIPLA? ATRIPLA may cause the following serious side effects: ■ Lactic acidosis (buildup of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis can be a medical emergency and may need to be treated in the hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get signs of lactic acidosis. (See “What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA?”) ■ Serious liver problems (hepatotoxicity), with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any signs of liver problems. (See “What is the most important information I should know about ATRIPLA?”) ■ “Flare-ups” of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, in which the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before, can occur if you have HBV and you stop taking ATRIPLA. Your healthcare provider will monitor your condition for several months after stopping ATRIPLA if you have both HIV-1 and HBV infection and may recommend treatment for your HBV. ATRIPLA is not approved for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection. If you have advanced liver disease and stop treatment with ATRIPLA, the “flare-up” of hepatitis B may cause your liver function to decline. ■ Serious psychiatric problems. A small number of patients may experience severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior while taking ATRIPLA. Some patients have thoughts of suicide and a few have actually committed suicide. These problems may occur more often in patients who have had mental illness. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you think you are having these psychiatric symptoms, so your healthcare provider can decide if you should continue to take ATRIPLA. ■ Kidney problems (including decline or failure of kidney function). If you have had kidney problems in the past or take other medicines that can cause kidney problems, your healthcare provider should do regular blood tests to check your kidneys. Symptoms that may be related to kidney problems include a high volume of urine, thirst, muscle pain, and muscle weakness. ■ Other serious liver problems. Some patients have experienced serious liver problems including liver failure resulting in transplantation or death. Most of these serious side effects occurred in patients with a chronic liver disease such as hepatitis infection, but there have also been a few reports in patients without any existing liver disease. ■ Changes in bone mineral density (thinning bones). Laboratory tests show changes in the bones of patients treated with tenofovir DF, a component of ATRIPLA. Some HIV patients treated with tenofovir DF developed thinning of the bones (osteopenia) which could lead to fractures. If you have had bone problems in the past, your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bone mineral density or may prescribe medicines to help your bone mineral density. Additionally, bone pain and softening of the bone (which may contribute to fractures) may occur as a consequence of kidney problems.
Other possible side effects with ATRIPLA: ■ Changes in body fat. Changes in body fat develop in some patients taking anti HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), in the breasts, and around the trunk. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also happen. The cause and long-term health effects of these fat changes are not known. ■ Skin discoloration (small spots or freckles) may also happen with ATRIPLA. ■ In some patients with advanced HIV infection (AIDS), signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections may occur soon after anti-HIV treatment is started. It is believed that these symptoms are due to an improvement in the body’s immune response, enabling the body to fight infections that may have been present with no obvious symptoms. If you notice any symptoms of infection, please inform your doctor immediately. ■ Additional side effects are inflammation of the pancreas, allergic reaction (including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat), shortness of breath, pain, stomach pain, weakness and indigestion. Tell your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you notice any side effects while taking ATRIPLA. Contact your healthcare provider before stopping ATRIPLA because of side effects or for any other reason. This is not a complete list of side effects possible with ATRIPLA. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a more complete list of side effects of ATRIPLA and all the medicines you will take. How do I store ATRIPLA? ■ Keep ATRIPLA and all other medicines out of reach of children. ■ Store ATRIPLA at room temperature 77°F (25°C). ■ Keep ATRIPLA in its original container and keep the container tightly closed. ■ Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. If you throw any medicines away make sure that children will not find them. General information about ATRIPLA: Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use ATRIPLA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give ATRIPLA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. This leaflet summarizes the most important information about ATRIPLA. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about ATRIPLA that is written for health professionals. Do not use ATRIPLA if the seal over bottle opening is broken or missing. What are the ingredients of ATRIPLA? Active Ingredients: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate Inactive Ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate. The film coating contains black iron oxide, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, red iron oxide, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Common side effects: Patients may have dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and/or unusual dreams during treatment with ATRIPLA. These side effects may be reduced if you take ATRIPLA at bedtime on an empty stomach. They also tend to go away after you have taken the medicine for a few weeks. If you have these common side effects, such as dizziness, it does not mean that you will also have serious psychiatric problems, such as severe depression, strange thoughts, or angry behavior. Tell your healthcare provider right away if any of these side effects continue or if they bother you. It is possible that these symptoms may be more severe if ATRIPLA is used with alcohol or mood altering (street) drugs.
Revised: February 2016
If you are dizzy, have trouble concentrating, or are drowsy, avoid activities that may be dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery.
ATRIPLA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, HARVONI, HEPSERA, SOVALDI, STRIBILD, TRUVADA, and VIREAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. SUSTIVA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company. Reyataz and Videx are trademarks of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Pravachol is a trademark of ER Squibb & Sons, LLC. Other brands listed are the trademarks of their respective owners. 21-937-GS-016 697US1601052-08-01
Rash may be common. Rashes usually go away without any change in treatment. In a small number of patients, rash may be serious. If you develop a rash, call your healthcare provider right away. Rash may be a serious problem in some children. Tell your child’s healthcare provider right away if you notice rash or any other side effects while your child is taking ATRIPLA.
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
AIDS Hospice Flip to Market-Rate Housing Stirs Outrage
City Councilmember Margaret Chin at an April 6 press conference decrying the planned transition of Rivington House into a planned marketrate housing development.
Sold by VillageCare, new owner got deed restriction lifted, then re-sold BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
ncensed local politicians and the chairperson of Community Board 3 gathered across the street from the former Rivington House on Forsyth Street on the morning of April 6 to decry a stealth deal that saw a longtime nonprofit AIDS hospice on the Lower East Side sold to a private developer for market-rate housing conversion. The story has exploded in the past sever al weeks, with coverage in all the major print media, so it wasn’t surprising that the politicians were encircled by a large scrum of reporters. To allow the deal to move forward, a deed restriction on the Rivington House property — requiring it to be used as a nonprofit nursing home — first had to be lifted by the DepartGayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
ment of Citywide Administrative Services. That restriction had been in place since 1992, when the former public school was taken over by VillageCare, which turned the five-story building into the country’s first residential AIDS treatment facility. However, the deed restriction was quietly lifted this past November. The only notice was a small listing for an opportunity for public comment in the City Record. The city received a $16 million payment from Allure Group in exchange for lifting the deed restriction, after which Allure then went on to flip the property mere months later, selling it to a luxury developer for $116 million. At last week’s press conference, Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilmember Margaret Chin, and Gigi Li, the CB3 chairperson, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adminis-
tration to “compensate” the Lower East Side community for the loss of Rivington House. They were joined by State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and local low-income seniors who are struggling to find adequate housing in their golden years. In light of the shocking sale, Brewer and Chin are calling for reforms to prevent similar losses of community assets by creating transparency requirements when the city is considering lifting any deed restriction. They said advance public notice must be given to local community boards, borough presidents, and city councilmembers in these cases. In addition, they said, a searchable online database of all properties subject to city-imposed deed restrictions must be made available. “Mayor de Blasio has said he’d have blocked the city actions that led to the loss of Rivington House if he’d known about them, and I take him at his word,” Brewer said. “But admitting to a mistake is only the first half of owning up to it. If this deal is not reversed, we want the money in the community, to create a new community facility and replace the beds lost in the sale of Rivington House. And we must all work together to reform how the city handles deed restrictions, so this never happens again.” The community had been aware that VillageCare was trying to lift the deed restriction when it sold the building to Allure Group. However, many were under the impression that it would become a for-profit nursing home — not a luxury condo project. A for-profit nursing home was something the community, in fact, supported. Before Allure Group’s sale of the building to Slate Property Group was announced, Brewer, Chin, and CB3 all expressed concerns to de Blasio administration officials regarding the lifting of the deed restriction — wanting assurances that it would not allow market-rate residential development. The former AIDS facility is in Chin’s Council district and she spoke passionately about her disappointment about the secret real estate deal. “At the beginning of last year, we were celebrating,” Chin said. “We thought we had kept Rivington House… The community has the right to know why and how this happened.” Chin and Brewer have called for the city to give them all documents relating to the lifting of Rivington House’s deed restriction and the circumstances surrounding the sale. City Comptroller Scott Stringer previously subpoenaed all of these documents, and is now doing an investigation. In addition, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the city’s Department of Investigation have opened their own inquiries.
RIVINGTON, continued on p.18
James Dixon Pleads Guilty Plea on Top Count in Islan Nettles Slaying Defendant cops to first-degree manslaughter in 2013 Harlem killing of transgender woman
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
In Dixon’s 2013 videotaped statement, which was played in court on April 1, police and prosecutors were clearly skeptical that he had attacked Nettles and repeatedly challenged his story.
twice. She died on August 22 as a result of the injuries she sustained during the attack. Police initially arrested Paris Wilson, who was 20 in 2013. Wilson, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment in the attack, was present either before or during the assault. In 2013, police had one witness who said she saw Wilson hit Nettles. Dixon surrendered to police with
RIVINGTON, from p.17
Brewer and Chin say they just want the same documents that have been provided to Stringer. So far, however, they have been stonewalled. “I will continue to fight for the answer,” Chin vowed of her efforts to find out how the shady deal went down. “But I am also focused on getting back what we lost. We don’t need an apology! We need action! That’s why I am introducing legislation to make sure this never happens again.” CB3 chairperson Li noted that the community has been suffering a drain of nursing homes, including Cabrini and Bialystoker before this one. “This community has lost 355 beds that could be serving seniors,” she said. Li added that the
Delores Nettles in front of 1 Police Plaza in January 2014 demanding action on the killing of her daughter, Islan.
Simone Gordon, Wilson’s mother, on August 21. In Dixon’s 2013 videotaped statement, which was played in court on April 1, police and prosecutors were clearly skeptical that he had attacked Nettles and repeatedly challenged his story. Their questioning was so intense that at one point, Dixon said, “I’m not making this up.”
GAY CITY NEWS
n a surprise move, James Dixon pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree in the 2013 killing of Islan Nettles, a homicide that prompted protests over the police and district attorney’s handling of the investigation. “With this conviction, James Dixon has finally been brought to justice for this brutal and lethal assault,” Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, said in an April 4 statement. “Members of the transgender community are far too often the targets of violent crime. I hope that this conviction provides some comfort to Ms. Nettles’ family and friends, and affirms my office’s commitment to protecting members of the LGBTQ community.” Dixon had twice before rejected offers of a 12-year sentence in exchange for pleading guilty in the killing. He is expected to receive that sentence on April 19 when he appears before Daniel Conviser, the judge who was to hear his case. Dixon will have to serve six-sevenths of that time before being eligible for release. The plea comes after two days of pre-trial hearings at which Conviser ruled that the oral, written, and videotaped statements he made to police and prosecutors could be used at trial. While those statements certainly implicated Dixon
in the death, they also gave some fuel to any defense he might have mounted at trial. The 21-year-old Nettles, a transgender woman, encountered Dixon and some of his friends on a Harlem street early in the morning on August 17, 2013. Dixon gave varying explanations for what transpired during the encounter, but admitted that he hit Nettles at least
At a November 2013 hearing in Wilson’s case, Nicholas Viorst, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against Wilson and later against Dixon, said he was not prepared to move forward, adding that the district attorney’s office was “aggressively investigating” the crime and could bring homicide charges against “Mr. Wilson or someone else” in the future. The charges against Wilson were eventually dropped.
mayor must either “reverse this deal or make sure this is a community facility.” “We have to make sure that what happened here never happens again,” declared Councilmember Mendez. Brewer and Senator Squadron both stressed that the disposition of Rivington House didn’t have to involve and “either or” choice between a nursing home and high-end housing. “You can sell it to another nonprofit or a for-profit that could have beds for others’ uses,” Brewer explained. “It could be for assisted living, not just people with AIDS.” “The idea that it’s that or this — it just doesn’t pass the laugh test,” Squadron said, referring to the AIDS hospice and the expected market-rate development. Squadron acknowledged that he and CB3 had
Dixon was not arrested and indicted until March 2015. Delores Nettles, Islan’s mother, complained in 2014 when she learned that the district attorney had lost track of Wilson. Activists joined her in mounting repeated protests and applied political pressure to police and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The Nettles family and friends as well as activists regularly attended the pre-trial hearings.
supported lifting the deed restriction — but with modifications, so that the property would not become market-rate housing. “VillageCare was working with us,” Squadron noted. Press reports indicate that both de Blasio officials and state officials believe they were misled by Allure Group, which apparently made representations that it planned to run a for-profit healthcare facility at the Rivington House site — before it flipped the property. The mayor, however, has been criticized in the press for not voicing sufficient outrage about what transpired. Asked about that, Brewer said, “I hope he’s outraged — particularly in this neighborhood,
RIVINGTON, continued on p.19
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
RIVINGTON, from p.18
where gentrification is so rampant.” She added that a public-private partnership also could have been an option to preserve a community use at the property. K Webster, president of the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition, said her group — which includes local nonprofits, residents, and businesses — had worked diligently on the Rivington House issue to try to help keep it as a nursing home. “The building was given to VillageCare with the understanding it would continue this mission,” she said. “That’s why you have a deed restriction.” She said it was her understanding that VillageCare wanted to sell to the highest bidder. Webster said that during April 16 press conference an elderly local man who has dementia walked up and listened in. “He’s getting kicked out of his apartment. We thought he was going to live here,” she said of Rivington House. “He helped build up the community in the 1980s, when the Parks Department didn’t even want to come here.” Webster said it was tough seeing the AIDS patients moved out of the facility toward the end of Rivington’s operation. She’s often in the park, where she is an active member of the M’Finda Kalunga Garden.
“The AIDS guys used to come to the turtle pond,” she said of the garden. “They have a plot in there.” Also in the crosshairs of the viral news story has been Jim Capalino, a leading lobbyist at City Hall and a friend of de Blasio’s. He was hired by VillageCare to get the city to lift the building’s deed restriction. In an interview, Capalino noted that the building had been underused. Due to advances in AIDS treatment, the place was only filling about one-eighth of its 219 beds. VillageCare also wanted him to get the city to waive a payment in return for lifting the deed, he noted. The normal procedure is for the city to require a payment, since the property’s value soars after the restrictions are lifted. This money, in turn, goes toward the city’s general finances. Meanwhile, 100 percent of the money VillageCare reaped from the property’s sale would be used to deliver health services throughout the Lower East Side community, Capalino explained. However, he was unable to get the city to lift the restriction before the end of the Bloomberg administration, leading VillageCare to become frustrated with him and end its contract with him on October 31, 2014, he said. Capalino said that after that date, he had no involvement whatsoever with the Rivington House property, its sale, or the lifting of the
A longtime Lower East Side resident speaks up about the dangers of gentrification in the neighborhood.
deed restriction. Capalino said he was as much in the dark about the building’s sale as anyone. “I read about the sale in the newspaper,” he said. The property’s new owner, Slate, has been a Capalino client, though, involving Brooklyn properties. “We have had three separate engagements with them,” he said. “None of them involved properties in Manhattan. We were never involved with Slate with this building.”
Bridge Defender. Mother. “I work to keep NYC’s bridges safe.”
Look out for her in work zones.
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
District Court Finally Resolves Puerto Rico Marriage Equality Challenge
First Circuit slaps down first judge, reassigns suit, ending protracted litigation
BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
cuits. Those circuit courts had all ruled that Baker was no longer a controlling precedent. Lambda filed an appeal to the First Circuit, which then put the case on hold when the Supreme Court announced early in 2015 that it would review the Sixth Circuit’s anti-marriage equality decision. After the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling last June striking down state bans on same-sex marriage on 14th Amendment grounds, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Padilla, the lead defendant in Lambda’s case, issued an order that the commonwealth would comply. He also agreed to file a joint motion with Lambda in the First Circuit, informing that court that all parties to the case agreed that the Puerto Rico ban was unconstitutional. The First Circuit agreed as well, vacated Pérez-Giménez’s decision last July, and sent the case
n something of a judicial anti-climax, US District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi, on April 7, declared the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Puerto Rico’s government has been complying with the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling since last summer while awaiting action in the local lawsuit pending in federal court. That’s not to say that the pathway to Gelpi’s April 7 order was without impediments. Fo llow in g the U S S upr e m e Court’s 2013 decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Lambda Legal filed suit on behalf of a group of Puerto Rico residents challenging the constitutionality of the commonwealth’s statutory same-sex marriage ban. At a time when federal trial judg-
es nationwide seemed to be competing to see how fast they could strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, District Judge Juan M. Pérez-Giménez was determined to be an outlier. On October 21, 2014, he granted the commonwealth’s motion to dismiss the case, relying on a decade’s old Supreme Court ruling in Baker v. Nelson that dismissed a gay marriage suit out of Minnesota, finding no “substantial federal question” at stake. There was also no contrary ruling out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals — under whose jurisdiction Puerto Rico falls — given the success that the New England states also in the First Circuit had on winning victories at the state level. Pérez-Giménez dismissed the Puerto Rico case just weeks after the Supreme Court refused to review the pro-marriage equality rulings by federal appeals courts in the Fourth, Seventh, and 10th Cir-
US District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi has, at long last, declared Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
back to him “for further consideration in light of Obergefell.” The First Circuit wrote, “We agree with the parties’ joint position that the ban is unconstitutional. Mandate to issue forthwith.” Pérez-Giménez, however, did not take action “forthwith.” Instead,
PUERTO RICO, continued on p.21
Brooklyn Appeals Court Affirms Lesbian Co-Parent’s Claim Upholding family court, panel recognizes ex-partner’s rights under California domestic partnership law BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
he Brooklyn-based Second Department of the New York Appellate Division has affirmed a family court ruling recognizing the parental status of a lesbian co-parent seeking visitation with two children conceived through donor insemination while she was legally partnered with their birth mother, first as a California domestic partner and then as a California spouse. The birth mother, identified in press reports as Farah Martin, and the two children now live in Suffolk County, Long Island, while Martin’s ex-spouse, Kelly Steagall, lives in Arizona. The Second Department panel unanimously upheld a March 2015 decision by Suffolk County Family Court Judge Deborah Poulos. Writing for the panel, Justice Sheri S. Roman works methodically through several complex issues to arrive at complete agreement with Poulos’ ruling, which not only upheld Steagall’s standing to seek visitation but also rejected Martin’s attempt to institute a paternity action against the sperm donor for both children.
According to Roman’s opinion, the couple began their relationship in 2000 and became registered domestic partners in California four years later. Shortly afterwards they asked a close friend, identified as Andrew S., to donate sperm so they could have a child together. Steagall carried the child, whom Martin legally adopted. That child is not a subject of this lawsuit. When the couple decided to have a second child, Andrew again donated sperm, with Martin, this time, carrying the child, born in March 2007 and identified in Roman’s opinion as Z.S. Steagall was listed as a parent on the birth certificate and the child has her last name. During the brief period of time in 2008 when marriage was legal in California, before Proposition 8 took effect, the couple married, and the following year, Martin gave birth to another child, again with the assistance of Andrew. That child, identified as E.S., also was given Steagall’s last name and again she was listed on the birth certificate. Shortly after the family moved to New York State in 2012, Steagall and Martin split up and Steagall moved to Arizona the following year.
The children remained in New York with Martin, but with relations between the women strained, Steagall filed a visitation petition in Suffolk County Family Court regarding both Z.S. and E.S. She argued that the women were legally married in California and she was a legal parent of both children, whom she had helped raise until the couple split up. Martin moved to dismiss the case, arguing that Steagall lacked standing under New York law to seek visitation, invoking the old 1991 New York precedent of Alison D. v. Virginia M., under which same-sex co-parents were deemed to be “legal strangers” to their children unless they had formally adopted them. She also sought to drag Andrew into the case as the children’s biological father by filing a paternity petition. Andrew was a close friend of the two women and formed a loving relationship with the children, but he never sought to establish his paternity. Evidently, Martin hoped that if the court declared Andrew their legal father, that would cut off Steagall’s claim, because under New York
CO-PARENT, continued on p.21
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
PUERTO RICO, from p.20
he pondered for eight months and then, on March 8, issued a peculiar decision stating that the Supreme Court’s decision did not necessarily apply to Puerto Rico because of its commonwealth status. This was nonsense, given a 1976 US Supreme Court decision that the residents of Puerto Rico are entitled to the rights protected under the 14th Amendment. Once again Lambda Legal petitioned the First Circuit, which on April 7 responded, “The district court’s ruling errs in so many respects that it is hard to know where to begin.” After pointing out the 1976 Supreme Court ruling, the court observed that its own
CO-PARENT, from p.20
law, a child cannot have more than two legal parents at the same time. Martin argued that Z.S. was born before the women were married, and neither child was conceived in accordance with California or New York donor insemination statutes, which require the involvement of a doctor and written consent from the birth mother’s spouse in order to establish the presumption of their parental status. Both children were conceived through insemination at home. Despite the fact that Alison D. remains a precedent in New York, LGBT family law has advanced here in recent years, as it has in California. Martin’s arguments, the appeals panel concluded, clearly lack merit. Under New York’s 2011 Mar riage Equality Act, the spouse of a biological mother is presumptively the child’s parent, as it would be in the case of an opposite-sex marriage. New York courts have also applied the doctrine of “comity” to find that a parent of a child under the law of another state is their parent in New York, despite the Alison D. precedent. Under California’s domestic partnership law, the parental presumption applied to the registered partner of a child’s biological parent. The Suffolk County Family found that these presumptions applied to Steagall’s parental status regarding the two children, and the Appellate Division agreed. The court rejected Martin’s arguGayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
mandate from last July was clear and the federal district court was obligated to follow it. The appeals court ordered that the clerk of the district court randomly assign the case to a different judge “to enter judgment in favor of the Petitioners promptly, and to conduct any further proceedings necessary in this action.” Acting with alacrity, the clerk immediately reassigned the case to Judge Gelpi, who quickly issued his order the same after noon and scheduled a confer ence of the lawyers in the case in his chambers on April 11, to give them time to draft a joint stipulation for him to endorse as the final judgment in the case.
ment that the failure to follow legal donor insemination procedures barred Steagall from claiming parental status, noting that court decisions in both California and New York establish that the donor insemination statutes are not the exclusive way to create parental rights. Steagall’s status as a parent was established under California’s domestic partnership law and under the marriage equality regimes in both states, and she was also listed on the birth certificates as a parent to both children, who were given her surname. Clearly the women intended her to be the children’s parent when they were born, the court concluded. The Appellate Division also upheld Judge Poulos’ decision to dismiss Martin’s paternity petition. Poulos determined it was filed “in an attempt to terminate Kelly S.’s parental rights,” which would be inconsistent with the case’s factual findings. “The record reflects that the parties made an informed, mutual decision to conceive the subject children via artificial insemination and to raise them together, first while in a registered domestic partnership in California, and, later, while legally married in that state,” Roman wrote. “Additionally, the children were given Kelly S.’s surname, Kelly S. was named as a parent on each birth certificate, and the parties raised the children from the time of their births, in March 2007 and April 2009, respectively, until the parties sepa-
CO-PARENT, continued on p.51
I was only 16 years old when I discovered that I was born with HIV. My mother passed away from the disease, but until getting tested at a community health fair, I had no idea, that I too, was living with HIV. Within a few months of my diagnosis, I got on treatment to control my viral load. Since then, Iâ€™ve stayed on treatment and in good health. Getting tested saved my life and Iâ€™ve used my experience to help youth learn about HIV prevention, testing and fighting stigma. Today, I enjoy friends, family and living life to the fullest. Christopher 1, HIV 0.
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
“HIV, life’s a game, and with treatment, I’m winning it day by day.” Christopher - Washington, DC Living with HIV since 1987.
Get in care. Stay in care. Live well.
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
CRITICS, from p.9
sissippi law and not commented on the North Carolina law, its PAC gave $2,000 to McCrory in 2012, and Cynthia Marshall, now the head of human resources at AT&T and the company’s chief diversity officer, gave McCrory $1,000 that year. Marshall was the president of AT&T North Carolina at that time. In Mississippi, the picture is similar. AT&T, GE, Nissan Group of North America, and Tyson Foods are among the companies that either opposed legislation, which is now law, that effectively legalizes discrimination against LGBT people there or have called for its repeal. The effort was organized by HRC. But Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who signed the legislation into law, won his office with their support. According to campaign
finance documents filed by Bryant’s campaign, AT&T’s Mississippi political action committee gave his campaign $15,000 on October 23 of last year, $5,000 on October 31 of 2014, and $5,000 in 2009. Gay City News did not review all years for the Bryant campaign so this may not represent all of AT&T’s contributions. Bryant was first elected governor in November 2011 and was reelected in 2015, and before that served as lieutenant governor for four years. A review of AT&T’s filings shows the company has donated extensively to candidates for state office and officeholders in Mississippi. Tyson Foods gave Bryant’s campaign $1,000 last year and in 2009. GE and the Nissan Group of North America both gave Bryant $1,000 this year, and GE also gave him $1,000 in 2014 and $1,000 in 2009. A cursory review of the campaign
GUNN, from p.9
Those three companies spent from $32,500 to $90,000 lobbying in Mississippi in 2014, but records do not indicate if they lobbied on the 2014 religious freedom law. HRC spent $28,750 on lobbying in Mississippi in 2014. The Nissan Group of North America gave Forward Mississippi PAC, Gunn’s political action committee, $1,000 in 2013. GE gave the PAC $2,000 in 2014, and the Coca Cola Company and a group of Coke bottlers gave the PAC $1,500 that year. Gunn, an attorney at Wells, Marble & Hurst PLLC, was first elected to the Mississippi House in 2004 and won the speaker’s office in 2012. He was the first Republican elected speaker since the Civil War. He is the prototype of a religious conservative. Gunn chairs
POPE, from p.10
ity and defending legal discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.” Indeed, there is not a single instance of the pope or the Vatican intervening when gay people are fired from their jobs in Catholic institutions in the West or subjected to viciously anti-LGBT laws in the developing world — often with the support of local bishops. In fact, the Vatican continues to use its status at the United Nations
filings by candidates and PACs in both states shows that a number of companies that HRC partners with, honors at its fundraisers, or rewards with high marks in its Corporate Equality Index — which ranks corporations by their pro-LGBT policies — are supporting some of the most anti-LGBT officeholders and candidates in those states. The Coca Cola Company and some of its bottlers, Comcast, Eli Lilly & Company, Nationwide, and Monsanto have all donated to Bryant and McCrory since 2009, with some contributing as recently as 2015. Some of these companies have opposed onerous anti-LGBT laws and may have helped in winning vetoes or defeats for such legislation elsewhere. If these companies stop contributing, or say they might do that, it could have an impact. “People who are donors, people
the board of trustees at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and he professes his faith in his campaign literature, saying that it influences his life and politics. And he also has links to Tea Party groups and Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group that promotes spending cuts and reduced government. In 2014, Gunn joined an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit brought by the Campaign for Southern Equality that sought the right to marry for same-sex couples. He was among 58 members of the Mississippi House on the brief who opposed the couples, and it was written by Russell Latino, then an attorney at Gunn’s law firm and now the Mississippi state director of Americans for Prosperity. Latino has been the treasurer and director of the Forward Mississippi PAC. In a 2011 federal lawsuit brought by the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP that chal-
to try to block any and all progress on issues related to women’s reproductive rights and LGBT rights. In response to a new report from the Index of Censorship on the pandemic of murders of LGBT people in Honduras, Honduran gay activist Donny Reyes, who has himself been tortured, sexually assaulted, and dodged murder attempts, said that the state, Church, and mainstream media there have driven the “impunity, fundamentalism, machismo, and misogyny across the country, with disastrous con-
sequences for the LGBT community.” “By thinking that everything is black and white,” the pope wrote, “we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God.” But by not reconsidering his Church’s certainty that homosexuality is evil and women are constitutionally incapable of sharing power in Church governance, Pope Francis remains stuck in black-or-white thinking that continues to do grave damage to society.
who are substantial donors, have a foot in the door,” said Ken Sherrill, a professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College. “If several large donors say, ‘We’re upset with this’…it makes some people worry… The threat to cut out or cut back on contributions, if it’s a credible threat, makes some people worry.” Josh Clifton, who is senior manager for corporate communications at Nissan North America, in an email message, said, “Nissan works with government leaders and organizations to positively impact local communities and create economic opportunities. Our financial, political or charitable contributions to organizations or individuals are not indicative of our direct support of any specific policy or legislation.” The other companies did not r esp ond t o r e que s t s s e e king comment.
lenged a legislative redistricting plan, Latino authored an amicus brief opposing the NAACP for the Mississippi Tea Party, a confederation of Tea Party groups. In youtube.com videos, Gunn can be found addressing a Tea Party group and noting the earlier meetings he had with them. But he also appears to be a smart politician. Last year, Gunn angered some conservatives when he championed removing a symbol of the Confederacy from the Mississippi state flag following Dylann Roof’s killing of nine African-American parishioners in a South Carolina church. Roof had posed with the Confederate battle flag. Gunn’s career demonstrates that LGBT groups must be prepared to contend with conservative officeholders who are ardent foes of the LGBT community even as the community’s allies in the corporate world are willing to oppose only some of what those conservatives enact while helping to ensure their survival in office. HRC has done a great deal of organizing among Fortune 500 companies, and it points to corporate opposition to proposed religious freedom laws in Tennessee and Missouri and recent vetoes of such legislation by the Republican governors in Georgia and South Dakota as proving the effectiveness of that effort. “Many of these companies are speaking out publicly and privately in advance of action on anti-LGBT legislation,” Deena Fidas, head of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program, said in a written statement. “In fact, major companies and CEOs were integral to the opposition to discriminatory legislation in states including Georgia and South Dakota, where they helped persuade both Governor Nathan Deal Governor and Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto anti-LGBT measures in those states.” April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
MISSISSIPPI, from p.8
beliefs. People who spout anti-LGBT rhetoric will be protected from adverse consequences as well, even if they articulate those views while working in a government job. Government employees responsible for authorizing or licensing marriages can seek “recusal” from doing so in the case of same-sex marriages “based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” They must, however, send a written notice of such recusal to the State Registrar of Vital Records and “take all necessary steps to ensure that the authorization and licensing of any legally valid marriage is not impeded or delayed as a result of any recusal.” This provision is undoubtedly intended to shield the state from liability for refusing to provide a service that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to receive. Wedding officiants are given an out based on their religious and moral views, but this provision is completely superfluous, since nobody would seriously contend that the government can compel clergy to perform services. The state of Mississippi is now barred from taking any “discriminatory action” against individuals acting on these beliefs in terms of tax exemption, licensing, certification, accreditation, custody award, or agreement, to name just some of the categories. The list seems based on the variety of cases that have arisen around the
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
country over the past few years in which people have suffered adverse consequences because of their religious objections to homosexuality or same-sex marriage. Some people, for example, have been expelled from graduate counseling programs for refusing to provide non-judgmental counseling to gay clients, and such expulsions would clearly be prohibited by this law. The law would also forbid denying government employment to any candidate based on their holding these religious or moral beliefs. The practical effect of the new law is to say that married same-sex couples can be denied a host of benefits and entitlements under a variety of programs, in blatant violation of last year’s Supreme Court’s Obergefell marriage equality ruling. In effect, it erects a structure somewhat akin to apartheid around same-sex marriages. Ironically, the measure was enacted just days after a federal district judge in Mississippi ruled that the state’s ban on adoption of children by same-sex married couples violates the 14th Amendment in light of Obergefell. The measure seems clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause since it exalts and privileges particular religious beliefs and those who hold them for “special rights.” On the other hand, some of the law is merely symbolic for several reasons. Since neither Mississippi nor any of locality there expressly outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, denial of goods,
services, and accommodations to LGBT people and same-sex couples already carries no penalties under state and local law. At the same time, the US Constitution’s Supremacy Clause means that federal constitutional and statutory rights take priority over state law. So, for example, under Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act as interpreted by the Department of Education, educational institutions in Mississippi receiving federal money — which would be just about all of them — may not discriminate against transgender individuals because of their gender identity. And both the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department have interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bar employers in Mississippi from discriminating because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Unfortunately, no federal law codifies this interpretation, which has not been fully embraced by the courts. And, as a federal court ruled days earlier in the adoption case, state policies denying equal rights and benefits to married same-sex couples can be challenged under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The main question now is who will file the first lawsuit to challenge this travesty. Robbie Kaplan, the fearless slayer of the Defense of Marriage Act, the victorious advocate in the Mississippi marriage equality lawsuit, and the plaintiff’s representative in the same-sex parents adoption case there, would be my candidate.
Dirt Candy’s False Choice
BY DONNA MINKOWITZ
fter eating at Amanda Cohen’s expensive restaurant, Dirt Candy, I felt light, as though I had just done colonoscopy prep. If you’ve never done this, you feel like an anorexic who not only starves herself of food, but also uses laxatives for that ultimate feeling of thelight-going-through-you perfect emptiness. The feeling was not entirely unpleasant, but it was not what the cooks had intended me to feel. Cohen describes her own cooking at Dirt Candy as “decadent” and “luxurious” and “luscious,” and ever since she opened the place in 2008, she’s portrayed the restaurant as a uniquely voluptuous and pleasure-hellbent palace, as over against all other vegetarian restaurants, which she says are “horrible… I just don’t enjoy them.” And the food media have fully bought her contention that other meatless cooking is pallid and joyless, a cuisine to which Cohen has, as the New York Times put it, arrived as a “thrilling” and “daring” antidote. So there I was, at Cohen’s big, white-leathered restaurant on Allen Street on the Lower East Side, eating some of my spouse’s entrée called “Cauliflower” ($18), which the menu said was “cauliflower and curry with gr een pea saag, papaya chutney and papadum.” It was very small, and the taste was pleasant. Yet it consisted of dollhouse-sized bits of cauliflower and a few other vegetables, on a wee, dollhouse-sized papadum, like a tiny disk of vaguely sweet and appealing cardboard for little pixies to munch on. The vegetables were in a mildly tasty, utterly unspicy curry, but so itty-bitty and denuded of their particular vegetable flavors that I felt like a baby eating baby food. “Decadent?” I have had so many more heart-racing vegetarian cur ries at, yes, Indian restaurants, Sri Lankan boîtes, and Malaysian roadhouses, not to mention other hearty vegetarian dishes
Sometimes it’s especially hard to believe in unicorns.
With thumb pressed into other vegetarian chefs’ eyes, Amanda Cohen forgets her “luscious” pledge at Uzbek, Egyptian, Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese places. There was one very good thing on the plate — thin slices of fresh paneer (an Indian cottage-like cheese, but so much richer and more delicious than that sounds). Then came my own entrée, “Radish”($18). It consisted, the menu said, of “black radish spaghetti with radish ravioli, radish greens pesto, and horseradish,” which I have to say sounded pretty good to me. I love radishes. It was interesting — which is the very best I can say about it. The spaghetti tasted like slightly less sharp radishes, and the whole dish was sitting on a thin white sauce that I could not properly identify as either the “pesto” or the “horseradish,” because it mainly tasted sweet and a little vegetal. The sauce was also interesting. It activated my brain (“hmmm… I’m really curious what that flavor is”) but not its pleasure centers. I didn’t mind the dish, but I didn’t exactly enjoy it, either. I’ve gotten a far bigger vegetarian bite for my buck at Veselka on Second Avenue, where the pierogies satisfy the soul in a way that, frankly, none of the food does here. One highlight, though, was
what the menu called a “snack” of “Korean fried broccoli” ($8), which was a tiny clump of delicious, spicy, deep-fried breaded broccoli balls threaded with a sauce made from gochujang, the excellent Korean condiment of red chili with pungent, fer mented soybeans. The gochujang was mixed with lots of garlic and soy sauce — too much soy sauce, for the balls turned out overly salty. Still, they had a nice bite, and an appealing creamy white sauce on top that reminded me of tahini on falafel balls. I liked them very much. The major problem of the evening came when after our appetizer and entrées, we were still h u g e l y h u n g r y . We o r d e r e d , therefore, an emergency plate of “curried fries” ($8). I don’t often eat fries, because I usually want to spend the calories on something else. But I was ravenous and so joined Karen in scarfing them. The dish tur ned out to be something you should only eat to fill an empty stomach, not for pleasure. The best part was, again, the few bits of fresh paneer that came with the plate. The fries themselves were soggy from sitting in a vaguely brown sauce, supposedly curry but more like a sweet gravy.
Dessert, however, from pastry chef Alycia Harrington, was extraordinary: a slice of “carrot meringue pie” with sour cream ice cream ($13). The filling was like a cross between carrot jam and an elegant jello, a voluptuous — finally! — gelatinous, sweet mass that somehow incarnated the carrot as a fruit. The meringue was silky. The sour cream ice cream was possibly even better — truly exciting. All right, I spoke too harshly. That pie satisfied my soul, no question. At brunch another day I had the “zucchini pancakes with squash blossom butter” ($11), which frankly sounds like one of the things in the world I would most want to eat for brunch. When it came, though, my pancakes were, once more, itsy-bitsy and precious. I should have taken photos of them and not tasted them, for when I did they were like mild zucchini cardboard with powdered sugar on top. They only tasted good with lots of maple syrup and “squash blossom butter” daubed on (that butter, for what it’s worth, tasted like regular old butter). I like a pancake that tastes good by itself so you can have some contrast when you eat, a naked bit next to a syrupy bit. But naked, these pancakes just tasted like nothing. “Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth/ my beloved walks on,” the sacred cowgirl Radha tells her beloved, t he god Krishna, in a traditional Hindu erotic-religious poem. But if there is sexy dirt at Dirt Candy, it’s not going into the food. Strangely, in her hugely successful courting of the press, Cohen has put out the message that there is an inherent opposition between healthy eating and good food politics on the one hand, and wild insatiable pleasure on the other. She’s wrong. It is abundantly possible to have all three. If you want them all together, go to the madly delicious, organic vegan r estau-
DIRTY, continued on p.51
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
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federal appeals court h a s r e v i v e d Wi l l X . Walters’ constitutional claims against the San Diego Police Department in connection with his arrest on “public nudity” charges while wearing what the trial court described as a “gladiator-type black leather loincloth” at the 2011 Pride events in that city. In an unsigned opinion, a threejudge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo erred in dismissing Walters’ equal protection claim on summary judgment. Walters’ appeal took two years before oral argument was held at the Ninth Circuit, but the panel then took less than a month to find in his favor. According to the district court’s opinion, police officers met with San Diego Pride organizers about two months ahead of the 2011 celebration, and a staffer told the lead officer that the group was “having issues with the public nudity and they were asking the police department to help get compliance.” The group was appar ently concerned that the “family” nature of the Pride events was endangered, and police resolved to be stricter than they had been in the past in enforcing the city’s public nudity ordinance. The San Diego law forbids men and women from exposing their genitals or anus and women from exposing their breasts in public. When Walters bought his ticket and entered the Pride festival, nobody questioned his outfit. According to Judge Bencivengo, however, “He was inside the beer garden in the festival having his photograph taken by a photographer when Lieutenant [David] Nisleit told him that his outfit was borderline breaking the nudity
law,” and Nisleit told him to “cover up.” Nisleit’s account is that Walters responded belligerently, saying, “So either cite me, arrest me, or leave me alone because I’m not interested in your opinion.” Nisleit told Walters that he was the person in charge and his opinion mattered, to which Walters replied, “You’re not a judge, you’re a police officer.” After Nisleit walked away and conferred with other officers on duty, Officer Debbie Becker went over to check out Walters, and testified that she “saw his butt. The wind blew, and I saw his one buttock… the behind portion of his butt where his buttocks intersected with his leg… I could not see the crack.” Becker tapped Walters on the shoulder and he was placed under arrest. However, according to news reports, he was not prosecuted, though he was briefly held in the city jail and not provided with anything to wear other than his gladiator outfit. Walters sued the City of San Diego, the police officers involved in his arrest, and San Diego Pride, Inc. and one of its members, claiming discriminatory enforcement against him of the nudity ordinance, invasion of privacy, and false arrest. He also filed a battery claim against a Pride official he alleged hit him during the arrest process. Walters argued that the police routinely ignored people wearing a lot less at other public venues, contending that the crackdown at the Pride festival was based on anti-gay animus. In granting summary judgment to the defendants, Bencivengo dismissed the significance of Walters’ allegations. “There is anecdotal evidence before the Court that individuals wearing less than what Wal-
GLADIATOR, continued on p.29
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
GLADIATOR, from p.28
special events in San Diego were in violation of the new nudity enforcement policy, but that SDPD did not increase enforcement anywhere except the Pride Event.” The Ninth Circuit opinion mentions some of the evidence that Bencivengo omitted from her opinion, such as that “at least 12 to 15 other attendees were warned to ‘cover up,’” and that a police officer referred to Walters as a “drama queen” during his arrest, which the Ninth Circuit found to be “additional evidence of discriminatory purpose.” The court also disputed Bencivengo’s assertion that because the Pride festival was open to everybody, not just gay people, a stricter enforcement policy at that event could not be construed as anti-gay. “As for discriminatory purpose,” Ninth Circuit panel wrote, “Walters is entitled at the summary judgment stage to an inference that targeting Pride Event attendees is tantamount to targeting gay individuals and individuals who support gay rights.” Though the city could, at
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
ters wore at the 2011 Pride Event may not have been cited for public nudity at different times and in different settings,” she wrote. “The Court concludes that this anecdotal evidence is irrelevant, confusing, lacking in foundation, and therefore, inadmissible.” She contended that “unequal treatment that results from laxity of enforcement does not deny equal protection and is not constitutionally prohibited discriminatory enforcement.” Further, Bencivengo wrote, “Plaintiff proffers no competent evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could conclude that Walters’ arrest was based on his sexual orientation, or that it resulted from an unequal enforcement policy or practice concerning public nudity.” She also rejected any asser tion of a “conspiracy” between the police and the San Diego Pride organizers to “implement an unlawful policy of discriminatory and selective enforcement of San Diego’s public nudity laws.”
The Ninth Circuit’s panel, consisting of Judges Harry Pregerson, Richard Paez, and Jacqueline Nguyen, however, disagreed and reversed Bencivengo, finding she “erred in granting summary judgment” to the city and Lieutenant Nisleit. “Viewing all the evidence in the light most favorable to Walters, there are material triable issues of fact as to whether the San Diego Police Department (‘SDPD’) adopted a discriminatory policy of selectively enforcing the City’s nudity ordinance at San Diego Gay Pride (the ‘Pride Event’) in 2011,” wrote the court, recounting the testimony about the planning meeting at which Nisleit “announced a new, more restrictive nudity policy for the Pride Event, which required that attendees fully cover their buttocks. Previously, by contrast, SDPD had enforced a ‘one-inch rule’ at the Pride Event, which only required a one-inch strip of fabric covering the center of an attendee’s buttocks. Walters also presented evidence that beachgoers and attendees of other
Will Walters now has a shot at making his constitutional claims against the San Diego Police in connection with his 2011 public nudity arrest at that city’s Pride festival.
trial, establish that “another purpose motivated their nudity policy at the Pride Event, that question is seriously disputed,” the panel wrote. So Walters, who is represented by San Diego attorney Christopher Morris, will get a chance at a trial, unless the city offers a settlement offer he can’t resist. This would undoubtedly have to include a commitment from police to refrain from discriminatory enforcement of the nudity ordinance at future Pride events.
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NYPA Honors Gay City News in 13 Categories
ay City News came out of this year’s New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest with recognition in 13 categories. Sev eral hundr ed c ommunity newspapers statewide participated in the annual competition, and at the Awards Ceremony in Saratoga Springs April 8-9, Gay City News, the only LGBT publication in the field, won First Place for Editorial Writing, and Second Place for Coverage of Elections and Politics, for Best Editorial Pages, and for Coverage of Religion. The publications within the NYC Community Media-Community News Group family of newspapers, which is the parent company of Gay City News, won a total of 32 awards during the weekend. The Editorials for which Gay City News was recognized included a critique of the federal government’s failure to rescind in full the ban on gay men giving blood, a take-down of the New York State Senate for its refusal to allow a vote on transgender rights, and a tribute to longtime marriage equality advocate Evan Wolfson on the occasion of last June’s epic Supreme Court ruling. The judges wrote, “Paul Schindler's columns were, by far, the best entry in this contest. Each installment took a clear and unwavering stance. The writing was exceptional and often biting. Excellent work.” The Elections and Politics Second Place Award recognized contributions by Duncan Osborne and Paul Schindler, with the judges writing, “Nicely done.” The judges who awarded the newspaper Second Place for Religion Reporting, noting the work of Andy Humm, Kather ine Stewart, Duncan Osborne, and Paul Schindler — in large measure on questions of dubious “religious freedom” justifications for antiLGBT discrimination — lauded the “exceptional coverage of issues that should have more broad media attention.” Gay City News’ Editorial Pages team of Kelly Cogswell, Susie Day, Nathan Riley, Ed Sikov, and Paul Schindler, in its Second Place
finish, won praise for work that was “well-researched and strongly focused on the concerns of the target audience.” Kelly Cogswell also ear ned a Third Place Award for Best Column, winning the judges’ praise for pieces that “are unique and bring an interesting perspective to readers that’s not written much about in the US.” Photographers Donna Aceto and Michael Luongo snagged a Third Place Award for Photographic Excellence for their coverage of LGBT Pride Weekend. The judges lauded them for being “true to your readership.” A Third Place Award to Andy Humm, Duncan Osborne, and Paul Schindler for Coverage of Crime and Police had the judges’ praising “great reporting and writing. The reporters did a good job of not taking no for an answer with their sources.” Regarding Michael Shirey’s Third Place Award for Best Multi-Advertiser Pages — for Building Families ads sold by Allison Greaker — the judges praised the “nice soft colors, for the most part, a nice variety of color and photos.” G ay Ci ty New s al so r ecei ved Honorary Mention for Best News Web Site, Special Holiday Edition (the LGBT Pride Issue), Best Front Page, Overall Design Excellence, and Writer of the Year. The Best Front Page entries, which included the Pride cover, the Twitter treatment of Indiana’s anti-LGBT law debacle, and a provocative skin treatment of the Rentboy.com controversy, all designed by Michael Shirey, were praised as being “clean without too much information distracting the reader.” The judges recognizing the newspaper’s design strengths were full of detailed praise for Michael Shirey’s work in several issues submitted. In giving Paul Schindler Honor able Mention for Writer of the Year, the judges wrote, “Smooth writing, like smooth jazz, is easy to take in. Paul is a fine story-teller.” Gay City News’ sister publication, the Villager, was also a big winner in Saratoga. Lincoln Anderson, the newspaper’s editor -in-chief, won
First Place for News Story of the Year, with his moving account of child sexual abuse charges lodged against the late David Lloyd Wilkie, better known as Adam Purple, the godfather of the urban community gardening movement, by his daughter. The judges wrote, “Wow! Such a heartbreaking story about the level of abuse. Like pulling off a Band-Aid, it had to be done and his story was done as well as it could have been.” The Villager also scored top honors in Editorial Pages and Picture Story, by photographer Q. Sakamaki. Lincoln Anderson also won a Second Place Award for In-Depth Reporting and for Best News or Feature Story, and placed Third as Writer of the Year. The newspaper’s Arts Pages, helmed by Scott Stiffler, who is the editor -in-chief of Chelsea Now as well, won Second Place, and were lauded as “lively pages with bright writing that I’m sure your readers look forward to each issue.” The Villager earned a total of 10 awards. Chelsea Now garnered Honor able Mentions for Best Column (by Rick Carrier) and Best Obituaries (by Albert Amateau), and Michael Shirey won First Place for Best Small Space Ad (for Kingsway Boxing), about which the judges wrote, “The ad pops off the page with red gloves. The perfect amount of copy.” Gay City News’ sister publications in Queens gar nered four awards, including Second Place in the Past Presidents’ Award for Overall Excellence to the TimesLedger, about which the judges wrote, “Congratulations and keep up the community connections.” In a Third Place Award to the Bayside Times for Best Editorial Pages, the judges wrote, “Hard-hitting editorials; no punches pulled here.” Community News Group’s publications in Brooklyn won Honorable Mentions for Best Front Page, by designer Leah Mitch, and for Best Graphic, by Sylvan Migdal. April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus
Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nowhere Left to Pee BY ED SIKOV
eligious freedom” is the putative goal of Mississippi’s vicious new anti-LGBT law, which passed on the heels of North Carolina’s blatantly discriminatory new hate-LGBT legislation. As Ian Milhiser of Think Progress writes, “The Mississippi law… explicitly singles out LGBT people ‘for disfavored legal status’” — the term used by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in his 1996 opinion in Romer v. Evans, which struck down a similar law in Colorado. Milhiser continues, “The law begins with a declaration that ‘the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that… marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman’ and that ‘male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth’ Additionally, the law also purports to give special rights to people who object to extramarital sex of all kinds. Though dressed up somewhat in the rhetoric of religious liberty, this declaration is about as explicit a statement as Mississippi could have mustered expressing animus towards LGBT individuals. It specifically identifies same-sex couples and trans people as the ‘solitary class’ disabled by the law.” As such, it’s plainly unconstitutional. Milhiser goes on to write, “The bulk of the rest of the law is a laundry list of the specific disabilities LGBT people will face if HB 1523 remains in effect… Thus, employers gain a special right to force trans women to wear traditionally male clothing, or vice-versa. Photographers, wedding planners, cake bakers, venues and other, similar services gain a special right to deny services to same-sex couples. Foster parents gain a special right to raise children to support marriage discrimination and to be anti-trans. Employers deemed ‘religious organizations’ gain the special right to fire any employee — from the chief executive to the janitor — for supporting marriage equality or for being trans.” Here’s a bit of context: Mississippi refused to officially outlaw slavery until February 7, 2013. The state also ranks as the second least educated in the nation. (Only West Virginia is lower.) On Twitter, Mike Signorile picked up on the hilarious fact that because the Mississippi law also covers those who have religious objections to heterosexual fornicators, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the Republican diaper fetishist known to have paid prostitutes for Pampered sex, cannot travel across his state’s eastern borGayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
der for fear of being denied service at any business he may want to patronize in Mississippi, while Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert Bentley, currently facing impeachment threats after ludicrously denying an affair with his Republican senior political advisor, can’t cross the border traveling west. On the other hand, NBC Nightly News managed to defang Mississippi’s vicious anti-LGBT law and turn it into a simple matter of debate. Anchor Lester Holt described it as a law that “some say is discriminatory.” Earth to Lester! Do other examples of things that “some say” are discriminatory include lunch counters at which blacks weren’t permitted to sit, Christians-only country clubs, and Native Americans being forced by the federal government onto worthless dustbowl reservations?
“There’s a new kink in North Carolina’s LGBT controversy: A popular porn website is banning all computers from ‘The Tar Heel State.’ XHamster.com has been refusing to serve anyone from North Carolina.”
NBC’s Janet Shamlian offered an even more pointless description of the Mississippi law. In her utterly vapid, content-free report on the subject, she didn’t bother to devote even a few seconds to the reasons why “some say” the law is discriminatory, thereby making sweeping antiLGBT discrimination seem like a matter for reasonable debate. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s recent anti-LGBT law is wreaking havoc on that state’s economy. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band canceled a concert; the entertainment company Lionsgate has pulled out of filming the pilot for a new TV series; PayPal is rethinking its plans to build a tech center; Biogen and Dow Chemical have both expressed their displeasure; and according to Forbes.com’s Dave Kroll, citing the Triangle Business Journal, “Braeburn Pharmaceuticals announced last week that they were reconsidering a $20 million expansion in Durham County that would bring 52 jobs at an average salary of over $75,000.” Ah, but it’s all worth it. Anything to keep trans folks from peeing.
Quote without Comment From the Federalist.com, my favorite go-to source for crazed wingnut paranoia: The headline: “Trans Mafia Put North Carolina In A Chokehold.” The capsule overview: “The LGBT mob threatens states with economic and social violence because they know it works. Its latest target is North Carolina, but it won’t be the last.” The wingnut’s message: “…We are living in an age of growing intolerance and prejudice: not from the scary white male conservative boogeymen who normally fill that role in the public’s perception, but from the ministers of liberal dogma themselves. Are you a clergy member who wants to uphold the ancient conjugal man-woman view of marriage? Tough luck. Do you want to protect your daughter from the predatory men who might take advantage of a well-meaning transgender bathroom access law? Sorry, you’re a bigot. Do you want to run your business in accordance with your sincere and reasonable beliefs? You’ll be run out of town. “This is the LGBT mafia. This is what it does. It is what we have to live with now. If your legislature or governor wants to pass some modest piece of legislation that protects your right to live as you please, then they’ll make your state an offer it can’t refuse.”
And Really… Absolutely No Words for This The “I’m speechless” portion of the column this week comes courtesy of David Moye of the Huffington Post: “There’s a new kink in North Carolina’s LGBT controversy: A popular porn website is banning all computers from ‘The Tar Heel State.’ XHamster.com has been refusing to serve anyone from North Carolina since12:30 p.m. EDT, Monday [April 11]. Instead, users with a North Carolina IP address are just seeing a black screen on their computer — no porn. The extreme measures will stay in place until North Carolina repeals House Bill 2, a law passed on March 23 that effectively prevents cities and counties in the state from passing rules that protect LGBT rights... XHamster may have good intentions by wanting to repeal HB2, but the company is contradicting itself by publicly supporting Donald Trump on its search page for ‘big cock,’ which features a ‘Make America Great Again’ ad that links to Trump’s website.”
An Open Letter to Joyce Wadler Dear Ms. Wadler: It’s very odd to pick up the Times and read a comedy column about the idiots who live in your building. Why? Because it also happens to be my building. You’re a very funny writer, Ms. Wadler. Your column — “I Was Misinformed” — runs every other Thursday, and for the second time in a row, you have used our building as the ridiculous jumping off point for observations about bickering neighbors, sticky-fingered children
MEDIA CIRCUS, continued on p.33
PERSPECTIVE: Justice Denied
When a Panic Puts Four Lesbians in Jail for 15 Years BY LENORE SKENAZY
his will sound strange but it only gets stranger: A man in the Yukon who lives in a hut and has a team of 30 mush dogs got interested in the topic of female sex offenders. Go figure. The man, Darrell Otto, may trod the frozen tundra, but like everyone else, he has Internet access, and somehow he stumbled upon an odd case: Four Texas lesbians convicted in 1998, when they were in their very early 20s, of raping two young girls in a tequila-soaked orgy four years before. By the time Otto was reading about them, the women had been in prison four or five years, but they had at least another decade to go — and one had 30 years to go. That’s a long sentence. The more he read about the case, the more Otto wanted someone to dig deeper. At last he got the National Center for Reason and Justice, which identifies false allegations of harming children, to agree to investigate. Here’s what it found:
The girls, seven and nine, had been staying with their aunt, 20-year -old Elizabeth Ramirez, for a week. Two months later, they told their grandmother they’d been raped by Ramirez and her friends, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez. The facts of the story were confounding, at best. First of all, the girls said all four of the women raped them, even though two of the women’s work schedules made that almost impossible. Then, their details differed widely on retellings: Sometimes the girls said they were together during the attacks, other times apart. Sometimes they said they were threatened with a knife; other times, a gun. But most damning of all: the same girls had told a strikingly similar story two years earlier. That time, it was about their mom. This was when their dad, Javier Limon, was engaged in a bitter custody battle with her. Javier Limon figured large in this case, too. He had been in love with Ramirez and outraged when she turned him down. He vowed vengeance on her and her family. Slate reports that Ramirez had love letters from Limon.
She was not allowed to enter them in her defense. Instead, the trial was about four lesbians in a conservative Texas town, right on the heels of the “Satanic Panic.” That’s when Americans across the country became convinced that day care workers were dismembering babies, drinking blood, and ritually raping preschoolers. It sounds outrageous now, but people went to prison, sometimes for decades, for ostensibly making toddlers dig up bodies in the graveyard or flying them down to Mexico to be raped by the army — and back by circle time. (See the case of Frances and Dan Keller). In the end, the fate of the San Antonio Four was sealed when a doctor testified that the lines she saw on one of the girl’s hymens were irrefutable proof of rape. The women entered prison reviled as child molesters — and lesbians. “Many of these cases were fueled by homophobia,” said Debbie Nathan, the Brooklyn-based author of “Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt.” Nathan is on the board of the Center for Reason and Justice. Back then, she explained, many people assumed that every gay person was also a child predator. Nathan urged one of her protégés, Deborah Esquenazi, to keep digging, even as she convinced the Texas Innocence Project to do the same.
DENIED, continued on p.33
PERSPECTIVE: A Dyke Abroad
State of the Queer World BY KELLY COGSWELL
his week, anyway, it seems that the world is lurching closer to acknowledging that we LGBT people deserve basic human rights and maybe even, the full rights of adult citizens. On April 7, the high court of Colombia ruled that same-sex couples could marry. About the same time, the United Nations released the report “Ending Violence and Other Human Rights Violations based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” The 91-page effort was result of a dialogue among the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the UN. It describes the horrible problems that we face worldwide, acknowledges them as human rights abuses, and calls for governments to work to end them.
Both achievements seem almost inevitable now, but I remember when queer activists in Colombia were still afraid for their lives and even the goal of halfassed civil unions seemed ridiculous because everybody’s energy was consumed by the ongoing civil war. Queers, and women for that matter, never do well in a militarized environment. And Colombia had guerrillas, paramilitaries, the military, and government all at each others’ throats. I also remember when we were pariahs on the international scene. In the bad old pre-Internet days, queers were isolated and alone in their countries, and the US State Department would pair up with Tehran and the Vatican to thwart any language in any international agreement that even acknowledged we existed, much less deserved human rights. It was explosive when we began to gather at events like World Pride
2000, where activists from El Salvador, Romania, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Brazil could suddenly all bear witness on the same stage about how queers in their home countries were murdered, imprisoned, threatened. This was about the time that global organizations like Amnesty International finally acknowledged that LGBT rights were human rights, a hugely important boost. If queers in Colombia can now get married and if the UN is now advocating for our rights, it is because a lot of people worked really hard, year after year, coming at problems every way they could think of. Militant queers took to the streets demanding change and demanding it now and other LGBT activists and their allies pressured elected officials and policy-makers more politely, all of them sharing information and skills. More and more, this exchange is happening on regional and international levels. Guatemalans are
talking to Nicaraguans talking to Nigerians talking to Chinese. The rainbow of US activists is also playing a role. Not just the usual alumni of ACT UP involved in the global fight against AIDS, but, for example, Latinos in the US supporting the rights of queers to organize in Cuba. Americans have a lot of power, and money. Sometimes we even use it for good. After Colombian queers won marriage equality last week, I noticed activist Elizabeth Castillo tweeted “Big hug @evanwolfson thanks by your support and passion!” After our own successes at home, it’s only right that an architect of the victorious Freedom to Marry campaign should help other queers fighting for the same rights. He even traveled there to speak out. W h e n Wa l l y B r e w s t e r w a s appointed ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 2013, all he had to do to support queer visibility in the DR was to go to official functions with his husband Bob Satawake. Besides that, the two have hosted a small group of local
DYKE ABROAD, continued on p.33
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
MEDIA CIRCUS, from p.31
clamoring to push all the elevator buttons, our compactor chute, and the current state of your garters, a subject about which, frankly, I would rather not even be misinformed. I live two floors down from you, Ms. Wadler. I, too, have suffered the indignity of sharing the elevator with wrangling couples and hyperactive children. (Nota bene: I have not had any contact, visual or physical, with your garters. To
my knowledge.) And since the compactor chute runs next to my bedroom wall, I am well aware that you throw your old high heels down the chute from time to time. (Is 2 a.m. really the best time to detox your shoe closet? I think not.) As amusing as your column is, however, I must inform you that you are missing many, many tragicomic events, people, and pets in our building. I am on the co-op board, Ms. Wadler. And let me tell you — you have no idea.
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DENIED, from p.32
A lesbian herself, Esquenazi met the women in prison and was shocked to find they were no longer angry. They just wanted to tell their story. So she brought along a video camera and bore witness over the next few years to an extraordinary turn of events. First, the doctor who had insisted the physical evidence “proved” rape admitted she’d been wrong. It turns out that hymen lines are a normal variation. Second, a new Texas law that allows people to appeal if their convictions were based on “junk science” brought the case back to court. Finally: one of the victims, now in her 20s, recanted her testimony. Then, in 2012 and 2013, after roughly a decade and a half in pris-
DYKE ABROAD, from p.32
LGBT activists at their official residence, and offered both funding and encouragement to local queer groups, ignoring the gay-baiting and insults from the likes of the repulsive Nicolás de Jesús Cardinal López, the archbishop of Santo Domingo. It’s not that hard for Americans to support LGBT groups abroad. We’ve been there, we’ve done that, and in most places in the US, we still are. All of us, everywhere in the world, need organizations to track human rights abuses, lawyers to get us out of jail, advice on lobbying tactics, plane fares to conferences. Money for computers and offices. We also need funding for cultural programs like film festivals so we can create images of ourselves, GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
on, the women were released — but not exonerated. They’re in legal limbo, working factory jobs as they await what happens next. Which is the red carpet. This week, Esquenazi’s documentary, “Southwest of Salem,” premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival. The San Antonio Four will be there, their first time in New York. It should be sweet, but not as sweet as justice.
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shape our own identities. In fact, successful US organizations should make more of an effort to share skills and resources here at home, where one state can feel like 1952 and the next 2010. But while many LGBT Americans are at least familiar with LGBT struggles in Nigeria and China, we often manage to ignore vast swaths of our own country until a ridiculous figure like Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis emerges. Or until we get a “bathroom bill.” Race and class are clearly part of why we ignore them. A white person from California may have less baggage working with a black person from Ghana than with a person of color from Louisiana. But we Americans have all that wealth at our fingertips, and we owe it to each other to try harder.
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“Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” has its world premiere as part of the Tribeca Film Festival on April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Regal Cinema Battery Park, 102 North End Ave. at Vesey St., where it also screens on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. On April 18 at 3:30 p.m. and April 20 at 8:30 p.m., it screens at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema, 260 W. 23rd St.. For tickets, visit tribecafilm.com/filmguide.
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FILM FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Clara Bow and Shirley O’Hara in Dorothy Arzner’s 1929 “The Wild Party.”
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber’s 1933 “Lot in Sodom.”
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Katherine Hepburn and Brian Aherne in George Cukor’s 1935 “Sylvia Scarlett.”
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrates cinema’s queer aesthetic pre-Stonewall BY GARY M. KRAMER
Enrique Riveros in Jean Cocteau’s 1930 “Blood of a Poet.”
Kenneth Anger’s 1947 “Fireworks.”
Thinly Veiled, Then Overt
new retrospective series of old films made by queer filmmakers or about queer characters unspools at the Film Society of Lincoln Center April 22 through May 1. The 23 features and 24 shorts range from early silents and talkies to more experimental and avant-garde films. While certainly not comprehensive — “Zero for Conduct” and “The Children’s Hour are noticeably absent — “Queer Cinema Before Stonewall,” programmed by Thomas Beard, a programmer at large at Lincoln Center, offers viewers a chance to see LGBT representations on screen ranging from those thinly veiled to films overt and explicit. One of the opening night presentations (Apr. 22, 8:30 p.m.) showcases three classic gay films. “Blood of a Poet” is Jean Cocteau’s 1930 masterpiece in which an artist’s (Enrique Riveros) painting and statue become animated. The artist soon ventures into a mirror, which leads to a hotel where he peeps through keyholes, witnessing a series of strange vignettes. Cocteau’s stylish film features acrobatics, snowball fights, and a strange suicide, but it is all beautifully rendered. Some of Cocteau’s indelible imagery is echoed in “Un Chant d’Amour,” Jean Genet’s spellbinding 1950 silent film about two prisoners who are spied on by a guard (not unlike the artist peeping through keyholes). The eroticism on display here ranges from tender caresses to a more violent encounter, along with some pornographic ones. The third short work on the program is Kenneth Anger’s landmark 1947 avant-garde film, “Fireworks,” about a young man (Anger) who seeks out rough trade. It offers suggestive and disturbing imagery in equal measure, including a shirtless, flexing sailor, a phallic Roman candle, and a scene of both milky and bloody sensuality. “Fireworks” was deemed both obscenity and art upon release.
One film worth seeking out is lesbian director Dorothy Arzner’s “The Wild Party” (Apr. 24, 1 p.m.), a fun, pre-code film from 1929 that stars “It Girl” Clara Bow as Stella Ames, an insouciant student at Winston College. Stella is a popular girl whose reputation is threatened when she accidently gets into a man’s bed on a train one night. The man turns out to be the new anthropology professor, James Gilmore (Frederic March), who reprimands Stella about decency. Gilmore and Stella eventually develop a relationship, but it is Stella’s love for her classmate Helen (Shirley O’Hara) that, while subtly presented, is perhaps more heartfelt.
Gay director George Cukor’s 1935 comedy “Sylvia Scarlett” (Apr. 24, 2:45 p.m.; Apr. 25, 4 p.m.) features Katherine Hepburn in a cross-dressing performance as the title character, a young woman who masquerades as a boy, Sylvester. “He” works with his father (Edmund Gwenn) and a stranger, Jimmy Monkley (Cary Grant), to swindle others. They have mixed success, but then “she” falls for a painter, Michael Fane (Brian Aherne), and reveals her ruse. Cukor’s film is a mixed bag. He coaxes fine performances from the leads and displays a flair for some of the film’s madcap comedic moments, but “Sylvia Scarlett” doesn’t quite work. Its portrayal of gender roles was ahead of its time but the film never quite engages the emotions at play.
Two other gender-bending films in the series that were also ahead of their time are Edward D. Wood Jr.’s notorious 1953 drama “Glen or Glenda” (Apr. 24, 9 p.m.) and the 1914 silent film, “A Florida Enchantment.” A title card in Wood’s film urges audiences, “Judge ye not,” as it examines two cases of sexual difference: one involving transvestism, the other, transgender identity. Although
QUEER CINEMA BEFORE STONEWALL Film Society of Lincoln Center 144-165 W. 65th St. Apr. 22-May 1 $14, $11 for students & seniors filmlinc.org
the narration by a psychiatrist (Timothy Farrell) is didactic and there is a clunky framing device featuring a scientist (Bela Lugosi), who spouts strange things, the film articulates the “idiosyncratic” behavior of Glen (director Wood, billed as Daniel Davis) who finds comfort in wearing women’s clothing. He is not a homosexual, it is explained, and is engaged to Barbara (Dolores Fuller). Glen debates telling her his “secret” prior to their marriage. The other storyline concerns Alan (“Tommy” Haynes), a pseudo-hermaphrodite who undergoes gender reassignment. As Anne, Alan is transformed from “acting” as a woman to being one. “Glen Or Glenda” may be known for its Z-grade production values and an intentionally funny, over-the-top style, but it’s an oddly compassionate film with two “happy” endings.
In “A Florida Enchantment” (Apr. 26, 6:45 p.m.), Lillian Travers (Edith Storey) ingests a magic seed that transform her into Lawrence Talbot. She grows (and shaves) a mustache, dresses in men’s clothing, and kisses all the women she can. Her fiancé, Fred Cassadene (director Sidney Drew), also swallows the seed and cross-dresses. The film’s farcical elements involve sexual confusion and mistaken identity — a murder is suspected after Lillian transforms into Lawrence on a boat and her clothes are found — and several comic scenes
PRE-STONEWALL, continued on p.44
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
David Hockney’s Art of Deep Feeling Randall Wright, who’s long known the painter, presents an intimate portrait BY GARY M. KRAMER
GARY M. KRAMER: What image comes first to mind when you think of David Hockney? RANDALL WRIGHT: “A Bigger Splash.” It’s a powerful image. It took a while for me to register the source of his power. It’s warm, it’s a swimming pool, yet at the same time, there’s a detachment, a suspension of time. The diver isn’t going to come up — he’s beneath the water. There’s something complex and paradoxical about his playfulness.
GMK: “Hockney” presents an intimate portrait of the artist — and less about his importance or success. Can you discuss why you took this approach? RW: I find those condensed biographies very unsatisfying. There’s a kind of paradoxical intimacy in “Hockney.” It’s a diary of his life, and it’s intimate and revealing, but it’s what David’s chosen to show us. There is a great deal more we don’t see. The montage in this film was very carefully considered. We go from emotion to emotion; each one is associated with particular phase of his work. The “Blue Guitar” stage is interesting. It’s incredibly creative, and occurs after Peter GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
GMK: Home is a key element in Hockney’s life and work. Your film traces him as a child in Bradford, Yorkshire, then briefly in New York, before moving to Los Angeles. Where do you think he was most comfortable and creative? RW: His great achievement was to be in LA. When he painted his early gray east Yorkshire landscapes, he was doing it from memory in LA. He left Bradford, a cold place where he was inhibited, where his sexuality would cast a shadow, to LA, where his life had a liberal dimension, a bohemia. It was a warm place for him to reinvent himself. The journey of his life is to come back home, but David isn’t like that — he is always searching.
Artist David Hockney.
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DAVID HOCKNEY/ COURTESY: FILM MOVEMENT
GMK: Yes, there is a real melancholy in his work, even though it’s bright and colorful. Why do you think that is? RW: He’s criticized for dwelling on the optimistic. However, in his work, there’s more anguish — not anger, not depression. That’s what makes his painting extraordinary. And he’s a great draftsman. He has an emotional response. The painting of his mother with amazing blue eyes — he sees a beautiful human being. He represents people without judgment. He was able to reproduce images without embarrassment that represent his sexuality. That’s what I wanted to do in the film.
GMK: His emotions are very much on display in the film. Where do you think that sensitivity comes from? RW: One of David’s gifts is to give us the deepest, deepest feeling of something. David has a very strong connection with humanist cinema. David was attached to cinema because artists were making emotional connection through bodies. It’s why he went to Hollywood. In contrast, conceptual artists are talking about art, but not saying what they feel... David’s enjoyment of life is contrasted with the difficulty of finding love or friendship or artistic direction. I wanted to tease out how much of his personality and art is from the upbringing in the north of England, the idealism of the post-World War II era, the age of AIDS, or not finding a simple love or home.
andall Wright’s marvelous documentary “Hockney” is a profound appreciation of the celebrated gay artist. The film captures its subject through a mélange of quotes from Hockney, anecdotes by friends, and outstanding archival footage and photographs. Then there is the artwork itself. Wright emphasizes the painter’s unique way of seeing in his work, which is tied to his emotions. Hockney represents his sexuality in his erotic paintings of surfers; he uses color in his art, home, and flamboyant fashion; and he widens viewers’ perspective in his use of borders and collage. The director, who has known Hockney for a decades — he filmed “David Hockney: Secret Knowledge” in 2002 — spoke with Gay City News.
[Schlesinger, Hockney’s lover] leaves him. But it’s also intellectual. I wanted to compartmentalize his work, from his analytical asking of what a picture is, to what he feels, to his making a picture that’s transparent to his emotions. I think his most creative art — “Mulholland Drive,” “A Bigger Splash” — is what happens when all that comes together.
“A Bigger Splash” is the first image that comes to mind when filmmaker Randall Wright thinks of David Hockney.
GMK: Given your knowledge of Hockney, what surprised you in the process of making the film? RW: In a way you discover something new when you look carefully at the pictures. It’s a film that steps through his emotions. What surprised me was the degree to which David is lonely, and his art is a gift to us. Whatever happens, he keeps making the pictures and is hopeful. That sounds sentimental, and he is sentimental, but it is surprising that someone so successful and who has lots of friends is a bit isolated. It has something of him being a romantic artist who is caught in a postmodern, cynical world. He has an innocence about him. My film is an attempt to make a picture of him. It’s not definitive, but you fall in love with his way of seeing.
Sublime Shakespeare History Plays from the RSC British ensemble conquers Brooklyn after two years touring
Alex Hassell as Prince Hal in “Henry IV.”
BY ANDY HUMM
et’s get this out of the way first: if you have tickets for any of the four Shakespeare history plays at BAM’s Harvey Theater through May 1, count yourselves among the happy few. At 62, I’ve seen most of these plays multiple times but never so deep, rich, and arresting as here from the Royal Shakespeare Company under the direction of artistic director Gregory Doran.
We in New York are reaping the benefit of this particular ensemble doing these plays around the world for more than two years now. They live the texts, internalize the lines, and make these poetic slices of medieval life come alive as never before. And while most every member of the extremely fine ensemble richly embodies multiple significant characters both high and low, the stars shine brightly: David Tennant as an effete yet compelling Richard II, Jasper Britton as a fearsome yet nuanced Bolingbroke (later Henry IV), Antony Sher as a hilarious and poignant Falstaff, and Alex Hassell as a sexy Prince Hal — who goes on to provide a unique take on Henry V not years but moments after his rebellious youth. Add to that Matthew Needham as the most ferocious Harry Percy aka Hotspur ever and you have dramas that you can’t take your eyes off of. Good Shakespeare is all about conveying the poetry not just clearly, but so effortlessly and dramatically that we forget not only that we are listening to Elizabethan-era verse but that we are watching a play at all. Five stars to this company for breaking time, a rare achievement in any kind of theatrical experience. Whereas most Shakespeare demands concentration, these performances — whether in scenes magisterial, violent, or comic — commanded it, wringing us out with the complexity of the ideas and stories on parade. Given the modern concern with not upsetting audiences or students too much, I’m surprised these plays don’t come with multiple “trigger
Frothy, flawed comedy examines the lighter side of being a gay dad, sort of BY DAVID KENNERLEY
his is the season of the gay dad play in New York. First was “Dada Woof Papa Hot” and “Steve,” savvy, insightful comic dramas that considered, among other things, what it’s like to be openly gay and a father in America, post-marriage equality. Now comes “Daddy Issues,” Marshall Goldberg’s play about a gay man who acquires a son, set in 1982. But this silly, uneven endeavor, now playing at the tiny Black Box space at the Daven-
warnings.” We are confronted not just with the explicit violence of murder, executions, and war as the way to settle things, but multitudinous expressions of sexism, ethnocentrism, and homophobia. Stereotypes abound, saved by the skill of these players in conveying the humanity of their characters. Tennant’s ethereal and obnoxious Richard is a bit of a “fag” joke, but also a bold portrayal of a homosexual man with a penchant for kissing males he loves and loathes full on the mouth. You can’t take your eyes off him and never quite know what he is going to do next. Sher’s brilliant Falstaff in the Henry IV plays is one long fat joke — but so much more as when he delivers his thoughtful and moving soliloquy on the emptiness of “honor.” And he is just one of many of the comic characters who show us more about human nature than any royal can. Britton’s bold Henry IV, opening Part I beneath a massive crucifix on Stephen Brimson Lewis’ brooding set, commands the stage and grabs onto his “divine” right — shaking off his doubts about coming to the throne through usurpation only to return to them at the end of Part II. Needham’s Hostspur seems like an unhinged gaybasher when he is railing against Henry IV and his court, yet tenderly recalls the deposed and dead Richard as “that sweet, lovely rose.” Whereas “Henry V” was used by Shakespeare to shore up support for an Elizabethan military
port Theatre, has only one thing on its mind: to tickle the funny bone. Think “My Big Fat Gay Fatherhood.” There are multiple daddy issues on display. The play revolves around openly gay Donald Moscowitz (Yuval David), a struggling actor in his mid-20s who endures a rocky relationship with his disapproving, kvetching father. When his parents pressure him to marry a nice girl and give them the grandson they always wanted, Donald does what any self-respecting, red-blooded homosexual would do — he rents one. He hires
The Black Box at Davenport Theatre 354 W. 45th St. Through Apr. 24 Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $35; daddyissuestheplay.com One hr., 50 mins., with intermission
a cute, clever 10-year old neighbor to pretend he’s his illicit son from a long-ago girlfriend. The boy’s real father, it seems, is out of the picture. When Donald invites his par ents (Tony Rossi and Katcher) and grandma (Deb Armelino) over to his New York City apartment to meet his son, chaos ensues. Not that it’s the kind of chaos that will surprise anyone, because “Daddy Issues” traffics in stereo-
KINGS, continued on p.37
types, contrivances, and formulaic plot turns. Donald’s two closest friends are Levi (Sam Given), a sassy, swishy, self-professed female impersonator, and Henrietta (Elizabeth Klein), the stocky, possibly lesbian sidekick. I figured out the key plot resolutions well before the characters did. Which might have been fine had the comic timing not been out of whack. Granted, I saw an early preview. I suspect the production, directed by David Goldyn, will find its rhythm later in the run. The piece is billed as a “gay 1980s comedy” yet fails to fully capture the flavor of the era, beyond a few period pop tunes played before curtain, a wall phone with a corded handset, and some cursory cultural references like “Donahue” and the Village People.
RENT BOY, continued on p.37
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
KINGS, from p.36
incursion into Ireland and Larry Olivier made it into a movie during World War II to rally troops, this version is heavy on the vagaries, dark humor, and injustices of war. Hassell is a delightfully dissolute Prince Hal and a fine Henry V, but do not expect to be stirred by his famous speeches during his warof-choice with France. The martial obsessions of the king are balanced with the weariness and sheer desire to survive of the conscripts. So much to ponder in these magnificent productions on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. His intelligence and craft speak across the centuries not just to our modern political messes, but to the conflicts within our very souls.
KING AND COUNTRY: SHAKESPEARE’S GREAT CYCLE OF KINGS “RICHARD II,” “HENRY IV PART I,” “HENRY IV PART II,” “HENRY V”
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Royal Shakespeare Company BAM’s Harvey Theater 651 Fulton St. Btwn. Rockwell & Ashland Pl. Through May 1 $30-$200; bam.org For many shows, you must call 718-636-4100 Four plays: 12 hrs. total
Gala Come Celebrate ROBERT LEVIN
(Front) Alex Ammerman, Yuval David, and Kate Katcher, and (back) Sam Given and Tony Rossi in Marshall Goldberg’s “Daddy Issues.”
RENT BOY, from p.36
Donald’s crisp, tasteful clothes look circa 2012, not 1982. The dedicated ensemble works hard to tackle the tricky comic material. Yuval David is highly appealing as the beleaguered Donald, who goes to incredible lengths to live up to familial expectations. To his credit, Donald never considers renouncing his homosexuality, although it’s a shame there is no mention of a boyfriend or any sort of healthy dating activity. Sam Given delivers a welcome jolt of comic energy when he bursts on the scene as Levi’s bizarro alter ego, Ophelia Crotch. GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Perhaps the most impressive turn is by Alex Ammerman as the rented son, named Johnny Walker (owing to his mom’s fondness for blended scotch, neat). Precocious without being annoying, charming without being unctuous, his Johnny registers as the smartest, most grounded character of the bunch. Some might say that “Daddy Issues” recalls classic farces like “La Cage Aux Folles” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” My theater companion hit the nail on the head, suggesting the piece has all the comic sophistication of “Three’s Company,” the ditzy TV sitcom that indeed was on the air in 1982.
April 25th The TimesCenter New York City LIVE OUT LOUD GUIDES AND EMPOWERS LGBTQ TEENS TO LIVE AUTHENTIC LIVES. EVERY WEEK, WE'RE OUT IN HIGH SCHOOLS AND THE COMMUNITY BRINGING TOGETHER STUDENTS AND ROLE MODELS. TOGETHER, WE CREATE VALUED CONNECTIONS.
For more information please visit our website at www.liveoutloud.info 37
Katie Weir in Ben Munisteri’s “Petrichor,” set to electronic music by Pogo.
No Fouettés Left To Give Ben Munisteri bounces back, up, and out BY BRIAN MCCORMICK
en Munisteri is outta here, bitches. He’s headed to Alma College in central Michigan, where he’s accepted a full-time teaching position. But before he leaves, he’s taking some time to remind everyone
he’s still an esteemed and talented New York choreographer — a master of formalist remix — with four performances at BAM Fisher. His latest choreographic creation “Antimony (51)” will be paired with last year’s premiere “Petrichor,” a dance presented at the Actor’s Fund Arts Center in downtown Brook-
lyn, which represented the artist’s re-emergence following a downturn. “In 2011 I hit bottom,” Munisteri told Gay City News. “My job, my art, my relationship. I needed to get off the radar without thinking about the gatekeepers and arbiters of taste. I was questioning the idea of prestige.” He enrolled in graduate school, which he completed in 2014, an important step on the post-company career path — as any mid-career dance maker knows, it’s nearly impossible to get a full-time teaching job these days without an MFA. Fate also intervened, and in 2013 Ben was selected as the Mellon Foundation Choreographer-in-Residence for Lafayette College’s Choreographers on Campus initiative, a three-year program that brought established and emerging choreographers to the classrooms, studios, and stages of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area colleges. “The three-year grant at Lafayette College is now over,” Munisteri said. The experience was rewarding and re-invigorating at a time when he needed a boost, but after traveling back and forth between his home in
Brooklyn and the job in Pennsylvania, he’s ready to settle down. “And I don’t feel connected like I used to,” he added, referring to the New York City dance market. Plus, with a new boyfriend living in the Midwest, the move will cut down on the time they spend apart. “Antimony (51)” was developed in collaboration with Roxy Swails, who teaches chemistry at Lafayette, and is set to songs by cellist and vocalist Jody Redhage; it’s just one of the many fruits of the Mellon initiative. The title comes from the periodic table for an element defined as a lustrous gray metalloid. Notable among its properties: it and its compounds are toxic and it exists only in combination with other elements. “There’s something special about it,” the choreographer elaborated. “It’s antithetical to life, but it combines with other elements to create color, like with lead it creates a unique yellow color called antimony yellow, and when it combines with sulfur, the molecules chime as they cool — and it’s also poisonous.”
DANCE, continued on p.39
Southern Exposures Two shows with regional flavor come to very different ends BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
or all its frolicsome charm and antic staging, Roundabout’s exuberant and endearing, production of “The Robber Bridegroom” now at the Laura Pels has a darker and more serious side. Like the story’s two-faced hero — who is both the dark “Bandit of the Woods” and the gentlemanly Jamie Lockhart — the story revolves around the conflict between social norms and darker passions. Based on Eudora Welty’s 1942 novella, the show is billed as a “Southern Fairy Tale,” and indeed it bears all the Jungian trappings of its Grimms’ sources. Rosamund, daughter of a wealthy planter, is to be married off to Lockhart, but she has fallen for the romantic Bandit. The Bandit/ Lockhart is torn between the financially advantageous marriage and his darker sexual longings. This is an archetypal conundrum, with practicality and passion competing for the souls of characters struggling to integrate the realistic and the romantic in their lives. Welty took this universal theme and classic set-up and melded them
with her penchant for outrageous characters — a wicked stepmother, a dim lackey, a doting father, and a robber who is nothing more than a head on a box. Alfred Uhry’s book and lyrics preserve the fantastical nature of the characters and the story, and Robert Waldman’s upbeat music is consistently bright and charming. The show was originally staged in 1975, and it owes its theatricality in large measure to “Paul Sills’ Story Theater,” which had made Broadway fare out of “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” a few years earlier. The current production, directed by Alex Timbers, sparkles with affectionate wit and warm absurdity. No one would ever mistake this for realism. As he did in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” Timbers makes the most of the manic nature of the piece, with a clear eye for comedy and a rich understanding of the humanity at the center of the stylized and self-aware storytelling. Steven Pasquale leads the cast in the title role. He sings the part beautifully and demonstrates a flair for comedy not seen in his most recent stage work in “The Bridges of Madison County.” Ahna
O’Reilly does a fine job as Rosamund in what might have been a one-dimensional role, finding some irony in the heroine/ princess archetype even as her character resists it. Leslie Kritzer is fantastic, as always, as Salome, the evil stepmother, giving a Southern gothic take on a classic type. The rest of the company, notably Greg Hildreth, Andrew Durand, and Evan Harrington, fill out the off-center characters who populate the piece. One can’t help being pulled into the fun, and why resist? This delightful show has been deservedly rescued from obscurity — a happy ending indeed.
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell appear to have lifted one of Oscar Wilde’s most famous and deliciously ludicrous plot devices from “The Importance of Being Earnest” for a central point in their new musical “Bright Star.” All you have to do is trade the cloakroom at London’s Victoria Station for a “holler” in North Carolina. For
SOUTHERN, continued on p.39
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
DANCE, from p.38
The chemical gets its name from the Greek words anti and monos, which together mean not alone. “It’s a metaphor for relationships,” the choreographer said. Like the element, the dance is all about coupling — the designs, patterns, and structures, Munisteri explained, are all just a frame for that. Even though he’s leaving, this Brooklyn-born native son vows to be back. His new employer still wants him to continue presenting work in New York, so he will not be cutting the cord entirely. The season features dancers
BEN MUNISTERI “ANTIMONY (51)” BAM Fisher 321 Ashland Pl. Btwn. Lafayette Ave. & Hanson Pl. Apr. 21-22 at 7:30 p.m. Apr. 23 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. $22; $15 for students & seniors antimony.brownpapertickets.com
Eric Sean Fogel, Katie Weir, Angela Maffia, Shane Rutkowski, Shomeiko Ingham, and Kenneth Stephen Neil, with costumes by Harry Nadal and lighting design by Kathryn Kaufmann.
Harry Nadal’s final sketch of his costumes for Ben Munisteri’s new dance “Antimony (51),” premiering April 21-23 at BAM Fisher.
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Steven Pasquale in the revival of Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman’s “The Robber Bridegroom,” directed by Alex Timbers.
SOUTHERN, from p.38
both, the baby-in-a-handbag trope is essential to getting to the story’s secret. Though Martin and Brickell’s story is said to be based on an actual tale, it rings more tall than true in this rambling and clumsy musical now at the Cort. The plot tells intersecting stories from 1946 and 1924 involving a young man home from the war who wants to write, a hard-boiled editor, a thwarted love, an illicit GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
pregnancy, and an ending that’s obvious from the first few scenes of the show. In its prologue, the character Alice frames the proceedings by singing, “If you knew my story, you’d have a good story to tell,” which likely has many in the audience thinking, “I’ll be the judge of that.” Martin’s book dishes out the story in sketchy fragments, so it’s both confusing and off-putting. When the story finally does get
SOUTHERN, continued on p.41
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All Donizetti, All the Time Sondra Radvanovsky earns her triple crown with “Roberto Devereux”
KEN HOWARD/ METROPOLITAN OPERA
Sondra Radvanovsky and Matthew Polenzani in the Sir David McVicar’s production of Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux” at the Metropolitan Opera.
BY ELI JACOBSON
he Metropolitan Opera has scheduled five Donizetti operas this season — two comic gems, “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “Don Pasquale,” and the Tudor Queen Trilogy as a vehicle for Sondra Radvanovsky. The Metropolitan completed the trilogy with the company premiere of Donizetti’s 1837 opera “Roberto Devereux” directed by Sir David McVicar (who also helmed “Anna Bolena” and “Maria Stuar da”), and Radvanovsky as Queen Elizabeth I seized another crown as her third monarch this season. The aging Elisabetta in “Roberto Devereux” is in many ways the most demanding of the three queens — possibly more difficult than the title role of Bellini’s “Norma.” (Beverly Sills said the part took 10 years off her career.) It requires command over a wide vocal range from growling chest tones to brilliant coloratura, jagged multi-octave runs to seamless legato, and angry mid-range declamation contrasted with ethereal pianos. Like Norma, it demands an encyclopedic emotional range from raging jealous tigress to pathetic old woman.
Radvanovsky’s voice is an aural mixture of the ugly and the beautiful that can alternately or simultaneously thrill, repel, and captivate the listener. Pitch control and vibrato can be variable. The brilliant metallic edge on the tone (“squillo”) either sends tingles up your spine or hurts your ears. You love her sound or hate it — but you are not indifferent. The nature of Radvanovsky’s voice is that it thrives on extremes: the very loud, the very high, or the very soft. Anything in between is less interesting. When the music is hard, she takes flight but the easy lyrical stuff can be earthbound — tonally plain and lacking elegance. Opening night reportedly found the prima donna soprano, tenor, and baritone in subpar vocal form. By the second performance on March 28, everyone had settled in and there was a lot of exciting high-powered vocal synergy going on. Radvanovsky’s performance level can vary over the course of a run or even in one evening. After an unsettled opening cavatina studded with either vague trills or out of control vibrato, she slowly took command in the cabaletta. From there, she built a thrilling arc to the furious second act trio finale where the queen’s jealousy provokes her to condemn the much younger man she loves. The thrill-
ing out-of-nowhere forte high notes and disembodied floating pianos are familiar from her earlier queens but the fierce low chest notes are new. Elisabetta’s final aria “Vivi ingrato” lacked the vocal beauty of a Caballé but the slightly hollow, veiled dark timbre suggested the emotional desolation of the elderly monarch. I liked the majestic moderato tempo for the “Quel Sangue Versato” finale, though once again Radvanovsky lunged at a climactic E flat which she could not sustain. If you can’t hold it, why go for it? McVicar and Radvanovsky follow history more faithfully than the librettist by portraying Elizabeth as a grotesquely painted and physically debilitated old woman, though the music suggests a vigorous, powerful middle-aged queen. Radvanovsky wielded her walking stick with a vengeance, limped when she remembered to, and executed the now de rigeur business of doffing her curly red wig in the final scene to reveal short white hair. I frankly wish she had focused less on surface grotesqueries and more on exploring the conflicted emotional life of the character. With a hard-to-control vocal instrument, Radvanovsky concentrates more on controlled vocalism than textual nuances and on acting often generalized or stilted. In the title role of the Earl of Essex, an uncharacteristically fiery and engaged Matthew Polenzani put aside his usual self-effacing manner, exuding virile passion in his confrontations with the other three protagonists. Polenzani’s lyric tenor took on a sunny vibrant color while his phrasing displayed his trademark refinement and elegant style. However, a lingering indisposition (one that affected him on opening night and has taken him out of subsequent performances) caused him to tire by the end of the Act III prison scene. Mariusz Kwiecien as his friend-turned-enemy Nottingham concentrated more on smooth legato phrasing, which suits his warm lyric baritone better than brute force. A few pushed climaxes turned hollow and sagged flat but there were no cracks as was reported on opening night. The friendship between Nottingham and Devereux is presented as being unusually affectionate and physical — one wondered whether it was his wife’s or his best buddy’s betrayal that provoked Nottingham’s deadly jealousy. As his love-torn wife Sara, Elīna Garanča returned to the Met after a long absence. Garanča’s voice is now one size larger — Dalila, Eboli, and possibly Amneris seem plausible future assignments. The Latvian mezzo possesses impressive ease at both range extremes,
OPERA, continued on p.41
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
going, it’s predictable, formulaic musical fodder from the 1950s — dated and not particularly engaging. The score by Martin and Brickell is largely an off-the-shelf hodgepodge of country styles with a little Gospel and big band thrown in for location and period. The lyrics are obvious and forgettable, and the clunk of forced rhymes underscores too many of the songs. The second act production number, “Another Round,” set in a bar, has been pummeled into the score like a specialty number from vaudeville. Most of the songs serve no integral purpose, which leaves the whole undertaking feeling more like a TV variety show from the 1970s than a fresh, new musical. The bright spot in this twangy
tedium is Carmen Cusack as Alice. Playing the characters as a young woman and sadder-but-wiser older self, she is a force to be reckoned with. She has presence, charisma, and thrilling voice that will make her a star. The rest of the company is strong, and it’s thanks to them and the energetic direction of Walter Bobbie that the show delivers what entertainment it does. As the plot rockets toward resolution in the last 10 or 15 minutes, one can’t help thinking of the Victoria Station cloakroom again. The speed and implausibility with which plot points are brought together underscores what’s wrong with an unfocused show that doesn’t know what it wants to be. You really can’t blame the audience for feeling like Wilde’s handbag — left behind and largely forgotten.
OPERA, from p.40
GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Splitting the M5 route into two shorter routes will help to mitigate the effects of delays along the route while allowing for better recovery from delays and providing more even and reliable service for customers.
Date and Place of Hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Hearing begins at 5 p.m. Registration is from 4–7 p.m. 2 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10004 The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. All registered speakers will be heard. Each speaker is permitted up to three minutes to testify. Comments will be accepted until the close of the hearing.
Directions By Subway: 4 5 to Bowling Green; R to Whitehall St or Rector St; or 1 to South Ferry or Rector St By Bus: M5, M15 (local or SBS), M20, X1, or X10 By Ferry: Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal Use TripPlanner+ at www.mta.info for specific directions, including express bus routes. Those wishing to be heard must register in advance either by telephone, by calling 646-252-6777, or in person at the hearing. Verbal presentations will be limited to three (3) minutes. You may present verbal testimony or submit written statements in lieu of, or to supplement, oral testimony concerning the proposed service plan. Email comments will be accepted and you may visit www.mta.info to submit comments online. All written statements must be submitted by April 27, 2016. Comments received after that date and time will not be considered.
Accessibility and Interpreter Services The hearing has been scheduled at a location that is accessible to people with mobility impairment. Sign language and/or foreign language interpreters will be available upon request by calling 646-252-6777 no later than April 13, 2016. Hearing- and/or speech-impaired customers should call 711 for relay services and then ask to be connected to 646-252-6777 to communicate with an agent to arrange sign language interpretation.
www.mta.info KEN HOWARD/ METROPOLITAN OPERA
venturing up to soprano high C. Her tone is seamless and under total control, and her manner was also coolly commanding — too much so for this vulnerable, melancholy character. With all this vocal quality onstage, it was dispiriting to encounter a dull routinier in the pit. Maurizio Benini’s four-square tempos were motoric when they weren’t plodding — no spring in his rhythmic attacks and minimal shaping to the accompaniments. McVicar’s production is probably his best effort in the Donizetti trilogy. The director designed the unit set consisting of a movable paneled rear wall with arched portals surrounded on three sides by tiered galleries. On either side of the central door are inlaid figures of the Grim Reaper and Father Time. These serve as a memento mori for the old monarch — along with the marble tomb of Queen Elizabeth that is wheeled out at the beginning of the evening during the overture and for the final tableau. A huge Renaissance clock takes up most of the back wall, also suggesting the inexorable hand of time and fate. The set also evokes an Elizabethan playhouse, which McVicar exploits by having the chorus onstage throughout the action. They observe the soloists and
The M5 is a 12-mile, north-south route that provides local and limited-stop bus service in Manhattan between the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (at West 178th Street) and the South Ferry Terminal. The M5 serves approximately 11,700 daily riders. The M5 is consistently one of the worst performing bus routes in Manhattan and is plagued by operational issues that result in uneven and unreliable service.
Mariusz Kwiecien and Matthew Polenzani in “Roberto Devereux.”
even applaud their entrances as if they are actors in a play. Though any royal court was essentially a gilded fish bowl with the monarch as big fish/ star performer, the tired play within a play conceit comes off as contrived and distancing rather than illuminating. “Roberto Devereux” is a singer’s opera. If Radvanovsky continues to command her voice and the stage, if Polenzani recovers his vocal health, if Kwiecien doesn’t force his velvet baritone and Garanča occasionally thaws her ice-queen manner, then expect wonderful evenings in the house and a glorious afternoon at the Met in HD transmission on April 16. Eli Jacobson’s web-exclusive review of “L'elisir d'amore” appears online at gaycitynews. nyc/donizetti-time.
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SOUTHERN, from p.39
Proposed revisions to M5 bus route The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) proposes to revise the M5 bus route in Manhattan. These changes are proposed in order to improve reliability on the M5. The M5 would be split into two separate routes: the northern route would run between the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal at West 178th Street and West 37th Street in Midtown and the southern route (M55) would run between West 37th Street and the South Ferry Terminal.
Tel:____________________Email____________________________ Acting as a for profit organization. Crematory fee is not included, death certificates and disposition permits not included in service fee.
IN THE Beckett’s Champions
Lisa Dwan makes the infamous “Not I” her own
BY DAVID NOH
n one of the season’s unquestioned cultural highlights, a true Samuel Beckett master is coming to town. Through April 17, actress Lisa Dwan will be performing a trio of the Irish playwright’s works — “Rockaby,” “Footfalls” and, especially, “Not I,” that punishing monologue wherein the performer’s lips are visible, while her body is strapped to a device which resembles nothing so much as a instrument of torture. It’s a testament to her now almost-legendary performance, as well as to Beckett himself, that Dwan has been enthralling audiences around the world for the last three years with this. I met the blazingly intelligent — and blazingly beautiful — Dwan at NYU, where I asked if this was actually her ‘Not I’ swan song. “Yes! I’m hanging up the lips,” she exclaimed. “I first performed this play in 2005 at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Walter Asmus, Beckett’s favorite director, came backstage and offered to direct me in two other plays. So, we’ve been a real team together presenting them as a trilogy. When we opened at the Royal Court again, I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did. It sold out, and transferred to the West End, and I toured all over the world with it. “‘Not I’ is the most totally expansive, humbling role. It’s hard to put it down, but it’s good to leave it and preserve it as a really high memory. But it has taken a huge toll on me in a lot of ways.” When I remarked on how Dwan’s youth and beauty distinguished her from Billie Whitelaw, who formerly owned the role in ‘Not I, ‘ she demurred, “But Billie was so beautiful when she was working with Beckett. I think he was a great admirer of women’s beauty, and what’s gorgeous about him is that when you’re in that sort of pretty girl camp, you can transcend all
of that in his work. I’ve expanded myself in so many ways and been so lucky. I worry for my young nieces and the next generation of girls: all of these anorexic role models who take such a frightened little bite out of life. Beckett blows all of that out of the water and offers the most gargantuan landscape for us to stretch our identities in which he presses our noses against the membrane between life and death.” I observed that beauty can be a prison for an actress, and Dwan agreed: “I started out on TV as the Warrior Princess, but I managed to bound away from the three roles that are offered if you are pretty: blonde, bitch, and bimbo. There’s no more nuance than that, and it’s shocking to go the theater in 2016 where there’s always almost a parody of those characters. And not just in America, but everywhere. It’s still happening, and I feel that there should be a fine for it. It’s a way to control, suppress, and define what kind of identities we’re allowed, because I think the expansive-
ness of our own natures frightens us. So, we need this. It’s ridiculous, and we have some cheek wagging our finger at the burka when we’re botoxed and starving here. It’s a way of demonstrating our fear.” I asked her if she was familiar with the Kardashians. “I hear the word a lot, but I don’t want to engage with it. Most of the things in my life are on a need-toknow basis, and that’s not up there in the pecking order. I find that kind of stuff sickening and not healthy. I’m really trying to detoxify my life because I take big brave decisions and I like things that really challenge me. That just makes me ill.” I asked Dwan about new roles in her future. “Oh, there’s loads. And I’m very excited. I’ll share this with you: I’ve just moved to New York permanently and this is day three. Fresh off the boat, but I can’t say I was as stoic as Saoirse Ronan in ‘Brooklyn.’ The guy at immigration said, ‘Welcome to your new home,” and I hadn’t prepared myself for
this. My lower lip started trembling and there were tears. It dawned on me that I had just moved home. It’s a frightening city — when I first moved here, I couldn’t look at the panoramic view because it was too intimidating. But it’s very exciting and, because of this Beckett work, I was offered a visa as an alien of extraordinary ability, as well as artist in residence at NYU and Princeton. Your government and institutions have really welcomed me here.” So have her audiences. “This is a country that celebrates effort. I did this show at BAM in 2014 for a very limited run, so I was desperate to bring it back and hang up the lips in this town and look for the next opportunity. At BAM, to hear 900 people on their feet was the most shocking thing I ever heard. I remember seeing Fiona Shaw do [Beckett’s] ‘Happy Days’ at BAM. I remember thinking, ‘Wow! Fiona has made it!’ Little did I think that I’d be doing a show on that stage. I didn’t know how to dream that big. “I, myself, am in no rush to do ‘Happy Days.’ I will. But, right now, I’m more interested in Beckett’s prose pieces and dusting off works of his that have become museum pieces. I will be doing a one-woman show at the Old Vic in September, and bringing it back here. Beckett has changed me profoundly, and I’m really excited to see what happens to me with other writers as a result of the discipline and scrupulous pursuit of the truth which you need for him.” I really wanted to know about the great Billie Whitelaw, Beckett’s major muse with whom Dwan was friends. “She didn’t suffer fools and could be very frightening. She was integrity personified, so kind and normal and direct. When Billie spoke, she did it with a kind of arresting gravitas that just stopped you in your tracks. She was so present in her body, her words, and her meaning. Apparently, Beckett was much the same. “She was also very vulnerable. She could cut you to pieces with a look, but vulnerable at the same time. I had the privilege to meet her in a very intimate way, and we shared what it was like to be
IN THE NOH, continued on p.46
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Farley Granger, James Stewart, and John Dall in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 “Rope.”
John Kerr and Deborah Kerr in Vincente Minnelli’s 1956 “Tea and Sympathy.”
The compelling 1968 drama “The Killing of Sister George”
PRE-STONEWALL, from p.34
more or less work. The appearance of several characters in blackface, though, is hard to swallow.
in Sodom” (Apr. 23, 3 p.m.) from 1933, a homoerotic short featuring a bevy of bare-chested males in expressionistic poses. Directors James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber use inventive visuals — repetitive imagery, superimpositions, double exposures, time-lapse photography — to tell this biblical story with panache. The film is paired with “Salomé,” a dazzling 1923 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “historical fantasy” that features Alla Nazimova in the title role. Salomé dances provocatively and wants the head of Jokanaan the Prophet (Nigel De Brulier). The film is stylish beyond belief, with fabulous costumes — including some truly spectacular headdresses — and gorgeous set design and lighting that make it worth seeing.
Moving into the postwar years, two Hollywood films, both based on plays, portray gay students. In both cases, because of the Motion Picture Production Code, the word “homosexual” was taboo and the three young men were all tragic figures. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 Technicolor feature “Rope” (Apr. 24, 4:45 p.m.; Apr. 25, 2 p.m.) — a variation on the Leopold and Loeb “thrill kill” story — is based on Patrick Hamilton’s play. Gay screenwriter Arthur Laurents acknowledged that the killers, played by then-closeted actors John Dall and Farley
COURTESY: ITV GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT LTD
Other silent films featured in the “Queer Cinema Before Stonewall” series include “Lot
Dirk Bogarde and Donald Churchill in Basil Dearden’s 1961 “Victim.”
Granger, were lovers, but the film only implies that. “Rope” was most noted at the time for Hitchcock’s experiment in filming the taut drama in one continuous take.
Bisexual director Vincente Minnelli’s “Tea and Sympathy” (Apr. 27, 6:30 p.m.; Apr. 28, 4:30 p.m.) from 1956, was adapted from Robert Anderson’s play. In this sensitive drama, prep schooler Tom Lee (John Kerr) is consistently mocked for not being a “regular fellow.” He is feminized and bullied by his classmates and housemaster, Bill (Leif Erickson), who are guardians of a hyper-masculine culture. Tom’s situation prompts Laura Reynolds (Deborah Kerr), Bill’s lonely wife, to reach out to the young man emotionally to help him become stronger. It is indicative of the times when they were made “Rope” featured a monstrously murderous gay couple, while the resolution in “Tea and Sympathy” has the gay teen ultimately “cured,” but the latter film, dated as it is, manages still to be affecting.
Two powerful 1960s-era British dramas were a bit more daring in depicting queer characters before Stonewall. Basil Dearden’s “Victim” (Apr. 28, 7 p.m.; Apr. 29, 3 p.m.) from 1961, is an engrossing, incendiary film about a rising lawyer, Melville Farr (Dirk Bogarde, in an outstanding turn), who gets caught up in a blackmail ring that preys on gay men. Barrett (Peter McEnery), a young man Farr once loved, is caught by the police. Risking his career, Farr injects himself into the case to see that justice is done. “Victim” is a shrewd drama that shows the ripple effect of Barrett’s situation on the men he loved as well as others, from Farr’s understanding wife (Sylvia Syms) to her less-than-sympathetic brother. This frank film does not show any actual queer content — it is all discussed or implied, though the word “homosexual” does make its first appearance in English-language cinema — but that is what makes its impact so forceful.
(May 1, 8 p.m.), directed by Robert Aldrich and based on Frank Marcus’ play, depicts the love triangle and power struggle that develops among June Buckridge (Beryl Reid, magnificent), her lover Alice (Susannah York), and Mercy Croft (Coral Browne), an executive at the BBC where June works. As the alcoholic June behaves badly at work and is abusive toward Alice, her self-destructiveness costs her her job on a hit TV series and forces Mercy and Alice together. “The Killing of Sister George” was a box office flop on release, but it is riveting, particularly memorable for its authentic portrayal of its lesbian characters as well as a notable scene set in a women’s bar.
Several other short films (both shown Apr. 30, 5:30 p.m.) in “Queer Cinema Before Stonewall” are worthy of note. “Boys Beware” is Sid Davis’ 1961 “educational” film about the dangers of strangers — i.e., homosexual men who have a “sickness of the mind.” As a stiff voice-over narration warns about getting in cars with men who provide easy companionship and about public restrooms as places where homosexuals congregate, jaunty music plays, lending the film an unintended camp irony. George Kuchar’s kitschy 1966 melodrama “Hold Me While I’m Naked” recounts a filmmaker’s frustrated efforts to get his movie made after his lead actress quits. The film is a pastiche of scenes featuring showers, a dead bird, and other symbols, shot in lurid color and edited in an almost haphazard yet undeniably winning style. April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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Lisa Dwan’s lips in Samuel Beckett’s “Not I.”
IN THE NOH, from p.42
in that space only Beckett could take you to. ‘Not I’ had a profound effect on her. She had several nervous breakdowns performing it and it stayed with her for the rest of her life. “As she was getting more and more isolated and reclusive, out of the woodwork bounds this young, fearless girl who was able to share this with her. We just crossed the divide and greeted each other like long-lost war veterans. I miss her terribly. There were times, in Berlin, when I would be thinking, ‘I’m going to crack. This play is too much!’ I’d ring her, and already she had quite advanced dementia. But, when I rang her, she was there! She had worked with Walter [Asmus]. But I felt like I failed her as a friend because it took me so long to realize her illness. She was so lucid when we talked about the work that I didn’t realize that her grip on the rest of her life had weakened. I would just cry and she would say, ‘I know.’ I’d ring her on opening night — ‘I’m terrified, pray for me.’ And I would take her on stage with me. “One thing that she did was totally dispel the myths and bullshit about Beckett. I was a very insecure actor then, because I was constantly told, ‘No, you’re a telly actress. You’re blonde. You don’t look like you sound.’ I was washed up at 23 and had to move countries to get work, because people told me I was just a telly actress. I had to be true to myself, triumph, and believe in my own path. “Billie gave me permission to do that. I remember sitting down with the text of ‘Not I.’ There are a lot of Beckett experts and everyone has a strong opinion, like ‘Beckett doesn’t want actors acting.’ There’s this style that has emerged which is like
Noh theater that stifles the work, turning it into museum pieces, all that laying on of hands rubbish. “I find it very dangerous to do this to work as visceral, accessible, and rich as Beckett’s. Don’t worry about him, though. He’s fine, and humiliates us from the grave when we try all of these affectations. I’ve seen some awful productions and merely think he’s laughing at us, who are the idiots up there. “Billie saw me having these impulsive and guttural reactions to how the work could be performed, which I was trying to suppress for what it ‘should be.’ She said, ‘What are you doing? Bring it all in. Beckett wanted all that. He wants it to be yours.’ “She gave me permission to use my own domestic landscape, and things started humming. I went home and took out the text of ‘Not I’ and thought ‘that sounds just like my dad. My mum always said that. The nuns were always saying ‘tender mercies.’ That was all okay, creating a vibration of truism and that’s what the audience connected with, not me trying to imitate Billie Whitelaw of the 1970s. It’s about it being totally present and current and going on, so the next person who does it should approach it that way. It has to be theirs, because you can only use your own reality.”
LISA DWAN Samuel Beckett Trilogy Through Apr. 16, 8 p.m. Apr. 16 & 17, 2 p.m. NYU Skirball Center 566 LaGuardia Pl. at Washington Sq. S. $25-$65; nyuskirball.org
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
CONGREGATION BEIT SIMCHAT TORAH’S BIG DAY
Photo Essay by Donna Aceto In a show of extraordinary exuberance, celebration, and reverence, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah marched from its longtime, crowded home at Westbeth in the West Village to its stunning new sanctuary and community space in the Cass Gilbert Building on West 30th Street. The April 3 event drew CBST members, community leaders, and elected officials to a colorful display of the congregation’s traditions, including its five Torahs, which prominent participants took turns carrying. At the end of the festivities — which took the crowd from Westbeth to the congregation’s borrowed worship space at Holy Apostles Episcopal Church on Ninth Avenue, where they were greeted by that faith community’s leaders — Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum led the group into CBST’s new sanctuary, designed by architect Stephen Cassell, where a Muslim woman and a Christian man offered opening prayers. Above, top, Mayor Bill de Blasio takes his turn carrying a Torah, flanked by West Side Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, marriage equality champions Edie Windsor and Evan Wolfson, and Rabbi Kleinbaum. Senator Chuck Schumer (above) also got his turn carrying the Torah, as did Nadler (bottom). Among the community leaders on hand were (left) comedian Kate Clinton and her partner Urvashi Vaid, who for decades has held top posts in nationwide LGBT advocacy.
April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
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April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc
DIRTY, from p.26
rant Caravan of Dreams, about a 15-minute walk from Dirt Candy. Go to La Morada in the Bronx, or Tanoreen in Bay Ridge. Go to your own kitchen. In an endless stream of marketing talk, Cohen has insisted that her own cooking must be orgasmic because she “doesn’t care about your health [or] your politics.” She proudly notes that her fruits and vegetables are not local, seasonal, or organic, as though an abundance of pesticides guaranteed pleasure. It doesn’t. Worse, at Dirt Candy you will spend lots of money eating your tomatoes grown to sur -
Mississippi’s Republican governor, Phil Bryant, greeting guests at the New York Mississippi Society’s annual Central Park picnic in 2014 as protesters drew attention to an earlier, more ambiguous “religious freedom” bill aimed at the LGBT community enacted that year.
CO-PARENT, from p.21
rated in or around the summer of 2013. Under the circumstances presented, the court properly determined that Farah M. may not rebut the presumption of parentage in favor of Kelly S. arising under California law by filing paternity petitions against the sperm donor and correctly determined that Kelly S. has standing to seek visitation with the subject children at a best interests hearing.” Kelly Steagall’s appellate attorney is Christopher J. Chimeri of Hauppauge. Farah Martin is represented by Sari M. Friedman of Garden City. Regina M. Stanton was appointed by the court to represent the interest of the children. Friedman told Newsday that she doubted her client would appeal, but she criticized the decision GayCityNews.nyc | April 14 - 27, 2016
Dirt Candy (212-228-7732, dirtcandynyc.com) is at 86 Allen Street between Grand and Broome Street. Reservations are suggested, especially for dinner. Hours: Dinner, 5:30 to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible, including an accessible restroom with a beautiful flower mural covering the entire inside wall. There is a no-tipping policy, but a 20 percent administration fee is applied to the bill.
PICNIC, from p.8
The Central Park picnic has attracted a large number of Mississippi ex-pats and been attended by every governor but one over the years. The current governor, Phil Bryant, was at the 2014 picnic after a more ambiguous anti-gay law — also based in the so-called “religious freedom” of those wishing to discriminate — had been enacted and was protested by a small group led by gay activist Todd Allen, who had driven up from Mississippi to deliver a message to the governor. Gay City News reported on that confrontation exclusively (gaycitynews.nyc/?p=11540). Some vendors and chefs at the picnic and surrounding events that year made efforts to express solidarity with the LGBT community. Allen, now an equality coordinator at the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, wrote in an email, “Our response to HB1523 has been to broaden and to strengthen our coalition of community organizations who fight against the various forms of state-sanctioned discrimination that our Governor and our legislature are making into law. We have deemed this legislative session ‘the Confederate Spring’ when the latent racism and sexism and homophobia and transphobia have sprung up from the ground like bitter seeds we thought were dead and gone.” Allen is part of the We Are Mississippi coali-
vive thousands of miles of travel and broccoli picked a long time ago at the other side of the world. Dinner for two came to $130, and when we got home we had to raid the Barbara’s Puffins box.
tion fighting this law and other regressive legislation in the state and pushing for passage in 2017 of the Mississippi Civil Rights Act, a comprehensive antidiscrimination measure covering sexual orientation and gender identity as well as race, religion, and other categories typically included in such laws. The theme of this year’s picnic was “Nothing but the Blues,” a “tribute to Mississippi’s own B.B. King.” Blues indeed.
as “not good law.” Steagall told the newspaper, “As unfortunate as the situation is, I’m happy that some good came out of my rough situation and could help families in the future.” On June 2, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest bench, will hear oral argument in Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., an appeal challenging the continued validity of Alison D. v. Virginia M. The Court of Appeals reaffirmed the holding of Alison D. as recently as 2010, but since then Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed six new judges of the seven-member court, leaving only one of former Republican Governor George Pataki’s appointees on the bench, so it is highly possible that the court allowed this appeal to proceed with a view to overruling what is a very obsolete precedent.
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April 14 - 27, 2016 | GayCityNews.nyc