Almost all of my posts are in the Queer category lately. Go figure.
The inimitable Patric King has a beautiful post filled with advice for the newly out.
Almost all of my posts are in the Queer category lately. Go figure.
The inimitable Patric King has a beautiful post filled with advice for the newly out.
Go check out Sam's photos of pride weekend, including great photos of the Dyke March.
These people are heroes -- photos from the gay pride march in Calcutta. About 35 men marched yesterday. Thanks to the British Empire-era laws, homosexuality is illegal in India. I've seen some articles, such as the 365gay.com one, say it's the first one, but I have seen an older report from 1999.
(both photos: AP Photo/Bikas Das)
The 1999 article has a link to an interview with Indian gay activist Ashok Row Kavi by Perry Brass.
James and I spent Friday evening with Paul P. and Scott Treleaven in Williamsburg, showing them the scene. We went to openings at Pierogi 2000, SouthFirst, Schroeder Romero, *sixtyseven, and Roebling Hall. We also visited Foxy Productions, but we missed the performance by Paper Rad.
I think the highlight of the evening was the Pierogi show. Make sure you see the "exquisite corpse" project that Dawn Clements did with another artist, hanging in the office area. It was so hot at most of the galleries that we need to go back to make any kind of aesthetic decisions.
We had a lovely time, including a late dinner at Relish, and made it back home around 2am.
I don't know if it's because of Pride Weekend or the Supreme Court, but Chelsea certainly is a friendly neighborhood today. A muscled latin Chelsea boy just held the door for me and smacked his lips as I was leaving the gym.
Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian -- so close to Jesus, the other members of the Trinity refer to her as "Yoko Bowers" -- asks, "is Bush gay"?
She even provides a handy e-mail form for contacting the White House.
On the heels of the Supreme Court decision killing sodomy laws, the ACLU isn't going to just celebrate and party, like most homosexuals. They realize the fight isn't over and they're "getting busy". I like the play on words.
From the site:
After this decision, it is unconstitutional for states to make same-sex relationships a crime. That does not mean that governments, businesses and other institutions have to treat LGBT people and LGBT relationships equally. But it does mean that the law no longer gives them an excuse to refuse.
That means we are in a better position than we have ever been before to insist that governments, business and schools treat us with dignity and respect, and give us equal treatment in day to day life.
This website provides tools to: 1) get better treatment for same-sex relationships; 2) get safe schools; 3) get civil rights/discrimination policies that include LGBT people. The tools include simple but important steps that will take only a few minuteslike sending an electronic message to your representatives in Congress supporting a law to protect LGBT people from discrimination. The tools also include more ambitious things, like a step-by-step guide showing how to get a an anti-harassment policy from your school district or a domestic partnership policy in your town or your workplace. There are also tools to help you protect your own relationship, or to get a gay/straight alliance at your school. And more.
No one who cares about equality and dignity for LGBT people should let the opportunity this Supreme Court decision has given us pass without doing something to bring us a step closer to equality. So go to the tools. Take the easy steps, and check out the rest.
Equality is up to us.
I expect this show to be the highlight of the summer in Chelsea.
Tonight - Manhattan:
Thursday - Manhattan:
Friday - Williamsburg:
Updated: James just wrote about Paul P.
... or about helping the Iraqis in any meaningful way.
I was struck by the photo when I saw it, not knowing any background.
Mon Jun 23, 5:09 PM ET
U.S. military policeman Sgt. 1st Class Brian Pacholski, left, comforts his hometown friend, U.S. military policeman Sgt. David J. Borell, right, both from Toledo, Ohio, at the entrance of the U.S. military base in Balad, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Friday, June 13, 2003. Borell broke down after seeing three Iraqi children who were injured while playing with explosive materials. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Now the story of that photo is out. Borell broke down after an army doctor refused to treat the children.
On a scorching afternoon, while on duty at an Army airfield, Sgt. David J. Borell was approached by an Iraqi who pleaded for help for his three children, burned when they set fire to a bag containing explosive powder left over from war in Iraq.
Borell immediately called for assistance. But the two Army doctors who arrived about an hour later refused to help the children because their injuries were not life-threatening and had not been inflicted by U.S. troops.
Now the two girls and a boy are covered with scabs and the boy cannot use his right leg. And Borell is shattered.
"I have never seen in almost 14 years of Army experience anything that callous," said Borell, who recounted the June 13 incident to The Associated Press.
A U.S. military spokesman said the children's condition did not fall into a category that requires Army physicians to treat them and that there was no inappropriate response on the part of the doctors.
I wasn't aware that doctors renounced the Hippocratic Oath when they entered the military.
James and I braved rain and wind to see art and survived to share it with all of you.
On Saturday in Chelsea the highlights were:
Tim Lokiec, "Plateau Sigma II", oil on panel, 32" x 35", 2003
We also saw Clemente at Gagosian and Larry Clark at Luhring Augustine, but I wouldn't describe those as "highlights." My favorite part of seeing Larry Clark was the "guard" or whoever the young guy in the hooded sweatshirt sitting at the edge of the gallery was. I was also amused to see that some people had come from the driving range at Chelsea Piers to see the Clark show, and left their golf clubs in the area near the entrance with everyone's umbrellas.
Sunday's Williamsburg highlights were:
untitled (brown desert stampscape - self-regeneration), detail, 2002; stamp collage on paper; 14 x 17 inches
Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, held up "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the relished fifth installment. It was author J.K. Rowling's "special wish" to give the book to the library to honor New York City's tenacity since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Nadaq sign in Times Square boldly advertised the book's release. Nearby, a Toys "R" Us store urged children to show up dressed as their favorite character. The first to line up to buy a book was a young woman who parked herself in a lawn chair at 2 in the afternoon.
I note with no surprise that throughout history, religions that foolishly choose to promise excruciating pain and embarrassment to believers after they die never manage to be embraced by all but a few mordant masochists. Savvy people shopping for a new faith shrewdly demand extravagant incentives from any group that courts their patronage. Of course, when one is making cold calls to people in first century Palestine, promising something better is all but impossible not to do. Just mention antiperspirant! To jaded American Christians, however, the pot must be sweetened somewhat. Therefore, Heaven is seemingly decorated by Carmela Soprano, sporting gaudy gold paved road and has everyone wearing excessive jewelry, such as crowns, before 5pm.
Christianity has always been blessed with nimble marketing, able to shift campaigns to adapt to the vicissitudes of the both the spiritual and political marketplace. Once Adolf Hitler was able to draw upon centuries of Christian anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual inflammatory rhetoric to employ both clergy and congregation to exterminate both, it became impolitic to associate with someone who lost a war. Therefore, True Christians(tm) wisely distanced themselves from him by simply passing him off as "anti-Christian." (Yes, it was disingenuous and misleading, but so is Palmolive's claim to be anti-bacterial.)
Just when we were patting ourselves on the back over convincing unsaved Americans that Islamic Fundamentalist fanatics, who believe they act for God in killing Americans (stock brokers), are substantively different from American Fundamentalist fanatics, who believe they act for God in killing Americans (abortionists), along comes Satan with the most clever ad campaign for the nonsensical since the Catholics claimed Mary died a virgin: Harry Potter.
In the coming months a black spot will pop up everywhere... on store windows and newspaper boxes, on gas pumps and supermarket shelves. Open a magazine or newspaper - it's there. It's on TV. It stains the logos and smears the nerve centers of the world's biggest corporations. This is the mark of the people who don't approve of Bush's plan to control the world, who don't want countries "liberated" without UN backing, who can't stand anymore neo-con bravado shoved down their throats. This is the mark of the people who want the Kyoto Protocol for the environment, who want the International Criminal Court for greater justice, who want a world where all nations, including the U.S.A., are free of weapons of mass destruction, and who pledge to take their country back.
All hail the power of Google. Someone from Casey Kaplan gallery found my mention of the Jeff Burton show "Kevin" in April and sent me some images and the press release. Here is the description from the press release:
For his fifth solo exhibition in New York, Jeff Burton will present "Kevin," a new series of portrait photographs taken from a brief exchange with a young male hustler.
This is the first exhibition that the artist will devote entirely to portraiture. Burton's previous shows have explored the cultural and sexual landscape of southern California through his involvement in Hollywood's adult film industry. The photographs portray elements of both voyeurism and anonymity.
In contrast to Burton's earlier work, "Kevin" demonstrates a shift in focus by the artist where we are presented with eight photographs recording an individual's performance. Burton's own significant history within the adult film industry contributes to the powerful images of "Kevin" that unfold. The artist's approach to photographing this character communicates the tension of a highly private moment that developed publicly in a crowded New Orleans bar. "Kevin" offers himself in a spontaneous performative act. The resulting photographs demonstrate an intimate moment shared between photographer and model making this Burton's boldest work to date.
My understanding is that the whole set of images was photographed in less than half an hour.
They're not particularly work-safe, so click on "More" to see them. We saw it while my mom was here and she liked it too!
No commentary from me needed, I think:
U.S. troops psyched up on a bizarre musical reprise from Vietnam war film "Apocalypse Now" before crashing into Iraqi homes to hunt gunmen on Saturday, as Shi'ite Muslims rallied against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
With the strains of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" still ringing in their ears and the clatter of helicopters overhead, soldiers rammed vehicles into metal gates and hundreds of troops raided houses in the western city of Ramadi after sunrise as part of a drive to quell a spate of attacks on U.S. forces.
There was nothing secretive about Saturday's robust sweep through Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, by soldiers of the First Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment who psyched themselves up at a base on a musical moment redolent of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film about the Vietnam war.
The guy known as "upyernoz", who comments regularly on my blog, finally has a weblog of his own: Rubber Hose. Go check him out!
Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.
Yes, this is a country that has its priorities in order. We have tougher laws for selling drugs than for murder, and we think illegal music trading is worse than child pornography.
The Tank is a new space for visual and performing arts on 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. Go check out the web site and sign up for the mailing list.
There a a lot important things going on in the world. Karzai is known as "The Mayor of Kabul" because that's the only part of Afghanistan that he has any control over, Iraq is a quagmire, and the jobless rolls are still growing. Luckily, you can always trust our corporate media to stay on top of the really important stories. I'm sure the fact that Warner Brothers (maker of Harry Potter movies) and Time are both owned by AOL Time Warner has nothing to do with it.
Last week the cover was about Hillary's new book.
Gay.com has an interview with Lady Bunny, the drag queen/DJ/thinker. The best part is at the end when the interview says, "Tell us something nobody knows about you."
Whether it's drag shows, being a DJ, writing music or organizing outdoor festivals, everything I do is in the realm of entertainment. And it's very difficult for me to focus on the lighthearted and entertaining when the world is in such a mess. I don't know if it's that I'm more aware of the situation because of the Internet, but these are the saddest times that I've ever lived in. I've experienced a general malaise for a couple of years now due to world affairs. Part of it is guilt -- I remember being so tired of the last presidential election's outcome flip-flopping that at one point I said "Oh hell, just give it to Bush and be done with it!" -- even though I'm a staunch democrat.
Now that a moron has run the country for a few years, I realize how dangerous my apathetic attitude was. The few people in this country who have any sense must care, must get involved and must speak out, regardless of how unpopular their views may be. The truth isn't being heard. It's as if George Orwell's "newspeak" has arrived: "Reality" shows aren't real (and we don't want to see what is), bombing Iraq is called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" (how about freedom from bombs?) and idiots outside the Dixie Chicks' concerts hold signs that say "freedom" (what about the Chicks' freedom of speech?). And easing the FCC's restrictions will only intensify the trend for "news" to equal the administration's spin -- so it's going to get worse.
After 9/11, everyone asked "What should we do?" I asked "What have we done -- to inspire such hatred towards us?" Americans view Muslims as religious fanatics who condone suicide bombings. But what if the USA has made their life hell for so long that they really have no other choice? Most of the American public isn't aware (or doesn't care) that we've been screwing around in the Middle East (and other parts of the world -- like Columbia, where we bomb poor coca farmers with insecticides so poisonous that they're forced to leave their tainted, unworkable land and roam the countryside sick and dying) for way too long.
The hatred that other nations feel for us is coming home to roost. And to have someone as stupid and greedy as Bush at the helm during this tense international situation is tragic. A few months after he turned his back on the world by denouncing the Kyoto Treaty (which would have benefited the health of the Earth's atmosphere, not just one country's corporations), he has the nerve to cry "You're either for us or against us."
And the dunces who populate this country actually buy that as diplomacy and proudly order "freedom fries." As if France should still be so beholden to us for past military aid that they aren't able to, decades later, evaluate our rotten foreign policy and criticize it! And easing the FCC's restrictions will, in the name of corporate greed, ensure a whole new generation of even more ignorant dunces! CNN did a poll before we bombed Iraq, which determined something like over 70 percent of those polled wanted to go to war. The reason was Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, which, post-Operation Iraqi Freedom, they're still hunting for. Whoops!
Well, you asked to know something about me that no one knows, and you find that I'm deeply disturbed (though answer number two might have clued you in to that) by world affairs. And for those of you who are thinking "I liked her short, funny answers better!" -- I agree. And I truly wish I hadn't been jolted out of my carefree existence by a bomb in my backyard. It's a royal pain, but the world's turned upside down, and we've all got to pitch in to try to rectify it before that bomb hits our house. Or before it hits another house of someone in a country that has oil we need. This "Christian" country is killing people. Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not kill"? Where were the Christian leaders of this country during this "war"? Even the pope spoke out against it; I think that's the first time we've ever agreed on anything.
As I have said before, drag queens are higher-evolved beings, since they can't really buy into the "but if I act like a straight white middle class male I'll be OK" version of gay politics. That's the reason I went off on such a rant after SONDA passed without out transgender protection.
I am reminded of a Bastille Day celebration at Florent in the mid-90s. It was during the time when France resumed nuclear testing in the South Pacific. While Chi Chi Valenti was performing, she unrolled a sign that said, "STOP FRENCH BOMBS!" The crowd jumped to its feet, cheering. I have always been much more of a fan of this school of drag queens than of the "just give us showtunes" variety.
Yeah! Coliseum Books reopens at its new location on 42nd Street, across from Bryant Park, on Tuesday, June 17. I have to go buy some books!
Rembrandt's weird earlobe, visible in the self portraits? It might be the result of a 'botched ear piercing'.
The only time I see CNN is when I'm at the gym, and then it's on monitors with the sound off. Today I saw them transition from a story about an exhibit of new documents from Anne Frank at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. to an interview with Miss USA -- tiara, sash and all. Yes the purpose was to talk about her AIDS awareness efforts, but the whole thing was just tone deaf.
According to 365Gay.com, the gay pride celebration at the Department of Justice will be allowed to happen after all. I bet there are some angry fundies out there.
Culture reminder: The Museum Mile Festival is today from 6-9. All of the museums from 82nd Street to 104th Street along Fifth Avenue have free admission, plus the avenue itself is closed to traffic and has bands, entertainment, etc.
The NY Times has a few more interesting details:
"The president believes everybody ought to be treated with dignity and respect, but he does not believe we should be politicizing people's sexual orientation," said Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman.
Mr. Ashcroft, socially conservative and deeply religious, was known for his strong views against homosexuality during his days in the Senate. He said then that he considered homosexuality a sin, and he opposed legislation to protect gays.
But in his confirmation hearings in 2001, he pledged not to tolerate discrimination against gays in the Justice Department. Critics said today that the decision to bar the gay pride event amounted to his backpedaling.
Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, said in a statement today that he had asked Mr. Ashcroft before confirmation about DOJ Pride's use of government facilities. Mr. Ashcroft said then that he had "no intent to treat this group differently than any other."
Regarding Bush's "not politicizing sexual orientation", I refer you to my earlier post on queers and the GOP.
On a similar point, I'm always annoyed by people who think a gay man in the office who puts a photo of his lover on his desk is "flaunting his sexual orientation." I was reminded of it when I saw this photo of Blanche Lincoln, a Senator from Arkansas, in the Times:
Doug Mills/ The New York Times
Senator Blanche Lincoln has a photograph of her twin sons, Reece and Bennet, 7, on her desk, facing visitors.
The original photo in the print edition showed about 5 such photos of her husband and children in a row at the front of her desk.
Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities over the last 8 years. Rotterdam's heterogeneous, multicultural street scene remains a major source of inspiration for Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, although since 1998 they have also worked in cities abroad.
They call their series Exactitudes: a contraction of exact and attitude. By registering their subjects in an identical framework, with similar poses and a strictly observed dress code, Versluis and Uyttenbroek provide an almost scientific, anthropological record of people's attempts to distinguish themselves from others by assuming a group identity. The apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity is, however, taken to such extremes in their arresting objective-looking photographic viewpoint and stylistic analysis that the artistic aspect clearly dominates the purely documentary element.
The Justice Department has barred a group of employees from holding their annual gay pride event at the department's headquarters, the first time such an event has been blocked by any federal agency, gay rights leaders said yesterday.
Justice Department officials told the group, called DOJ Pride, that they could not hold their annual event this month at the department's Great Hall because the White House had not formally recognized Gay Pride Month with a presidential proclamation, said Marina Colby, a Justice Department policy analyst who is president of the group, which represents several hundred gay and lesbian department employees.
"This sends a real chilling message to Justice Department employees who are gay and lesbian," said David Smith, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay advocacy group.
"This says, 'You're not welcome,' " Smith said. "It says that employees can celebrate Asian American heritage month, and Hispanic heritage month and so on, but you cannot."
Barbara Comstock, spokeswoman for the Justice Department, declined to comment.
The gay pride event has been an annual tradition at the Justice Department since about 1997, organizers said, and many other federal agencies have held similar events since the mid-1990s, when President Clinton first declared a Gay Pride Month.
The Baghdad Blogger, Salam Pax, who also happens to be gay, now has a fortnightly column in the Guardian. There is an article by freelance journalist Peter Maass in Slate about him discovering his interpreter was the world-famous blogger.
Peter Maass wrote a very powerful article in April for the NY Times Magazine about being with the Third Battalion as it entered Baghdad -- killing all in its path, civilian and otherwise.
The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.
The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.
Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
UPDATED: The Guardian has issued a correction on this:
A report which was posted on our website on June 4 under the heading "Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil" misconstrued remarks made by the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, making it appear that he had said that oil was the main reason for going to war in Iraq. He did not say that. He said, according to the Department of Defence website, "The ... difference between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq." The sense was clearly that the US had no economic options by means of which to achieve its objectives, not that the economic value of the oil motivated the war. The report appeared only on the website and has now been removed.
Thanks to Matt Stoller for pointing this out.
I think Hillary Clinton is a secret double agent for the Republicans. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I've written before about how she's no friend of homos, and the NY Times has written about how much she's being attacked from the left. In that article, we learn the charming fact that she's afraid to meet with the family of Barry Winchell, a gay soldier who was beaten to death with a baseball bat as he slept in his cot. The Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Hillary is a member, has decided to hold a closed door session on the promotion of Major General Robert T. Clark to Lieutenant General. MG Clark is former Commanding General of Fort Campbell, where Winchell was murdered in 1999 by fellow soldiers. Targeted because he was believed to be gay, PFC Winchell endured constant anti-gay harassment in the months leading up to his murder.
Now, as the media could be talking about the mass deception involving weapons of mass destruction that Iraq doesn't seem to have had, instead we are treated to a repraisal of the blowjob scandal that nearly led to Bill Clinton's impeachment, thanks to the release of her new memoir. While doing very little of use to New York or anyone else, Hillary has managed to find time to write a memoir. Its release gives the press another chance to remind us that lying about sex is an impeachable offense, but the treason of lying about weapons to start a war to distract us from the corporate scandals of Enron and Worldcom is just business as usual.
Updated: I left out the fact that the GOP uses the threat of Hillary becoming President in its fundraising letters.
I haven't posted much lately, so here are a few items of note:
The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness.
A conservative Christian group is challenging a U.S. Department of Transportation policy that bans planes from Disney World's airspace because the group wants to make sure Gay Days revelers see its messages flying overhead this weekend.
Fresh Tracks is exactly the kind of thing I look for at DTW: a showcase of emerging choreagraphers and performance artists. Beyond a doubt the highlight of the show was the last work: "American Crane Standards" by Ann Liv Young. The title comes from a brand of toilets -- the company no longer exists -- which are carried out by the two dancers at the beginning of the piece. I have borrowed an image from her web site so you can see an example. It's a photo of one of the truly great moments in the work, so I hesitated to put it up.
I'm a lousy dance critic -- I just know what I like -- so I will post the New Yorker blurb that recommended seeing her:
Ann Liv Young's madcap choreography mocks strip-club routines, cheerleading, and feminine demureness with dancers who know how to flout the male gaze while flaunting their stuff. This week, only days after her college graduation, Young presents "American Crane Standards" as part of Dance Theatre Workshop's "Fresh Tracks" showcase of up-and-coming choreographers. Two women in mint-green skirts and chiffon blouses lug parti-colored toilets onto the stage and undertake a synchronized dance, responding to verbal cues barked from offstage. The toilets, pink, green, and yellow, coordinate perfectly with the deadpan dames who straddle them, performing midair splits. Endlessly inventive, tacitly confrontational, the show is as fun to discuss as it is to watch.
Update: Here is a video of an excerpt of the piece: