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In Lesbian Rule: Amy Villarejo takes the quest for lesbian visibility on a journey beyond the bounds of what we know for sure.
Alice Walker:  A Life by Evelyn C. White Norton. 496 pages. 29.95    THE LIFE of Alice Walker, born in the segregated South to sharecropper parents, is a lens through which a painful part of this country’s history can be closely observed.
In Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters, theatre historian Richard Mangan has compiled reams of Gielgud’s extant letters from 1912 to 1999 ...
BLAIR MASTBAUM’S impressive comic debut novel, set in Hawaii, presents the serious love choices of its fifteen-turning-sixteen-year-old narrator Sam ...
‘It’s really about the search for love’
  BORN AUGUST 7, 1975, Charlize Theron grew up in South Africa during the last years of apartheid. Her first love was dancing, but after a knee injury she began to pursue a modeling career in Europe and the U.S. Her acting break came in the form of two small roles in two small films before [...]
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Closet-Dwellers of the Mind
  THE MOST INSIDIOUS FORM of anti-gay representation is not in religious broadcasting—which speaks only to the converted—but in seemingly gay-positive films and videos. It’s not just that Will of Will & Grace is never allowed to have a boyfriend or that “the Fab Five” in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy have no life [...]
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The Bachelors
The following article has been adapted from a piece that first appeared in the on-line journal, Slate.com.
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Circling the Square
  IN JULY 2003, Bravo premiered Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a reality series in which five urbane gay men give lifestyle makeovers to straight men, and it became an overnight cultural phenomenon. That same summer, The New York Times made the coinage “metrosexual”—a straight guy who grooms himself like a stereotypical gay guy—a [...]
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Poets Are Out in the Presses
  KNOWING THAT WE LIVE in a time of hope as well as of threat, I am skeptical of claims that poetry is alive and well in America and that gay and lesbian poetry has been fully embraced by the “mainstream.” While some people insist that we are living during a renaissance of American poetry [...]
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Straight Pen for Gay Men
  “HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?” straight people invariably ask when they learn that I write and publish gay male erotica. I always listen for the inflection, as the question comes in two varieties. If the emphasis is on the “how,” it indicates genuine curiosity about the process and its origins; if it’s on the [...]
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Upper West Side Story
  AMONG THE MANY THINGS of which gay men have been accused is one, at least, that is true: that we often move into and invade somewhat impoverished neighborhoods of major cities, and lend our “queer eye” sensibility to improving them, while increasing the property values and drawing in a new population of upscale residents, [...]
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The New Post-Straight
  DESPITE the wedding band on her finger and all the other conventional markers of femininity—the makeup, the dress, the pretty, delicate features that would make most people read her as “straight”—Nancy Unger does not wish to identify herself, in her words, “as straight, as queer, as anything.” Unger, a professor of history at a [...]
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The Essentials of Heaven
  The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst Bloomsbury. 448 pages, $24.95   ALAN HOLLINGHURST’S new novel, The Line of Beauty, begins in 1983, just when The Swimming Pool Library left off—though its leading man is not the confident cocksman of the first book. This time it’s a shy young æsthete who’s writing a dissertation [...]
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The Lesbian between the Lines
  Lesbian Rule: Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire by Amy Villarejo Duke University Press 207 pages, $74.95 ($21.95 paper)   THE LESBIAN in literature is found in the shadows of heterosexual plots with (often ambiguously) lesbian subtexts. Lesbian criticism, in turn, is best carried out by someone who’s adept at reading between the [...]
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What really happened at the Stonewall Inn?
  Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter St. Martin’s Press. 352 pages. $24.95   THE STONEWALL RIOTS of June 28 to July 3, 1969, following a police raid on an illegal, Mafia-owned gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, marked a decisive turning point in gay American history. The unprecedented [...]
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Sharecropper’s Daughter
  Alice Walker:  A Life by Evelyn C. White Norton. 496 pages. 29.95   THE LIFE of Alice Walker, born in the segregated South to sharecropper parents, is a lens through which a painful part of this country’s history can be closely observed. Walker’s life story has in many ways been a matter of public [...]
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Can sex be (re)liberated?
  Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore Beacon Press. 232 pages, $25.   FOR THOSE OF US over forty, it’s pretty obvious by now that the gay political movement that leapt forward so astonishingly after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 is dead and buried. Current ballyhooing around the [...]
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Sex Markets and the City
  The Sexual Organization of the City Edited by Edward O. Laumann, Stephen Ellingson, Jenna Mahay, Anthony Paik, and Yoosik Yim University of Chicago Press 418 pages, $35.   HBO’s Sex and the City gave us a New York that was essentially a sexual playground for upwardly-mobile white women in their thirties—a fantasy that Chicago [...]
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A Big Life Writ Large
  Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters Edited by Richard Mangan Arcade Publishing. 572 pages. $30.   SIR JOHN GIELGUD (1904–2000) was a towering figure in 20th-century English theatre, an actor to rank alongside Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Richard Burton, and John Mills. In Sir John Gielgud: A Life in Letters, theatre [...]
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Some of the Sights
  The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts Edited by Claude J. Summers Cleis Press. 373 pages, $29.95 (paper)   THE 200 ENTRIES in The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts cover individuals, artistic movements, time periods, countries, and topics in which art history is revisited to illustrate (both literally and figuratively) the range of [...]
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Do You Surfer Boy?
  Clay’s Way by Blair Mastbaum Alyson Books. 242 pages, $12.95   BLAIR MASTBAUM’S impressive comic debut novel, set in Hawaii, presents the serious love choices of its fifteen-turning-sixteen-year-old narrator Sam, an unskilled skateboarder who has a crush on the slightly older Clay, an accomplished surfer. Rebel Sam listens to music “with lyrics about not [...]
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Is there a ‘gay æsthetic’?
  Hear Us Out: Conversations with Gay Novelists by Richard Canning Columbia University Press. 358 pages, $62.50 ($24.95, paper)   IN THIS, his second book in a proposed three-volume series, literary interviewer Richard Canning offers up more of the meaty, critically rich interviews of the kind that he gave readers in his first book, Gay [...]
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Life after Orgasm
  Desire, Lust, Passion, Sex by Jameson Currier Green Candy Press.  288 pages, $14.95   THE TITLE of Jameson Currier’s book of short stories, Desire, Lust, Passion, Sex, making use of four words that need to go on a ten-year hiatus, kept my initial expectations for this book low. The opening story, “Lessons,” a tale [...]
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The Low-down on the Down Low
  Last season on the hit television series Law and Order, a young, “straight-acting” African-American male from a black neighborhood stood trial for the murder of a gay white man with whom he seemed to have no connection. The twist in this story was that the white man had threatened to reveal his sexual relationship [...]
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BTW
Takes on news of the day
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Brazil: Organizing for Gay Rights in Bahia
  Salvador da Bahia is perhaps best known to tourists as the most “African” city in Brazil. The administrative center of Bahia State, the third-largest city in Brazil and the country’s first capital (until 1764), Salvador displays the profound and abiding influence of the African slaves who were brought to its shores for over 300 [...]
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The Lost Songs of Cole Porter
COLE PORTER has been considered by many to be the best writer of popular songs in show business history, but his impressive œuvre has been significantly incomplete until now, as the following stories of a number of lost songs demonstrate.
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Erotica
Reviews of Ultimate Gay Sex, The Gay Man’s Kama Sutra, and Best Gay Asian Erotica.
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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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