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The Real Tadzio of Thomas Mann

Even now, nearly a century after the event, it is not generally realized that virtually everything experienced by Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice, short of his premature death on the beach, had first happened to the author.

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Marriage Just Lets the State Back In

  WHAT DO YOU DO after you’ve won one of the most important Supreme Court cases in decades and shoved the state, kicking and screaming, out of your bedroom? Apparently, you beg the government to walk right back in. “The Marriage Revolution” has arrived, and homosexuals are the unlikely heroes of the quest to revive […]

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A Gay Purge at Harvard, 1920

  IN MAY AND JUNE 1920, Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell and Acting Dean of the College Chester N. Greenough, skirting the usual channels for investigating allegations of student wrong-doing, convened a secret five-member board—referred to in the College’s own records as The Court—to gather evidence concerning homosexual activities at Harvard. Thanks to the extraordinary reporting […]

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When the Movies Went to Sodom

IF YOUR ACQUAINTANCE with Sodom and Gomorrah were limited to what you see in movies, your impression might differ only slightly from the story in Genesis 19. That’s because the biblical version is already as farfetched as the script of a Hollywood epic.

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Two Speeches from the Democratic National Convention

Following are the transcripts of two speeches delivered at the Democratic National Convention in Boston last July. No corresponding GLBT leaders were invited to speak at the Republican Convention.   Barney Frank Congressman from Massachusetts Hello. Thank you, thank you. But if you clap later, it doesn’t come out of my time.          I want to begin, […]

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Boyd McDonald’s Eye for Innuendo

  IN CRUISING THE MOVIES: A Sexual Guide to “Oldies” on TV (1985), Boyd McDonald scrutinizes the anatomy of Ronald and Nancy Reagan with maniacal glee. The President is not only flabby and “sloppy assed,” but also has tits and wears more makeup than Lucille Ball. In an essay on John Loves Mary (1949), Boyd […]

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Millions of Queers (Our Homo America)

What follows is an excerpt from Bernstein’s manuscript, the start (pp. 1-4) of a chapter called “What” (followed by “When,” “Where,” “How,” “Why,” and “What To Do About It”). Two and a half to three million American adults are made criminals by outdated laws forbidding them from expressing their natural affection for someone of their […]

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Male Sex Work in Modern Times

  The following essay will appear in the forthcoming Male Sex Work and Society, edited by Victor Minichiello and John Scott (Harrington Park Press). Reprinted with permission. THE HISTORY of male prostitution extends deep into the past, mirroring the historical depth of what was referred to (wrongly, and with negative implication) as “the world’s oldest […]

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A Moment with May Sarton

IN APRIL 1984, when a call came asking if I would do a tribute speech to May Sarton (1912–1995) at the annual awards dinner of the Fund for Human Dignity, I hesitated. …

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The Radicalism of Harry Hay

The following is adapted from a keynote speech by the author titled “Radical Love, Visionary Politics: The Adventure of Harry Hay,” which was delivered at a conference called “Radically Gay: The Life and Visionary Legacy of Harry Hay,” held September 27–30, 2012, in New York City.

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