Current Issue

Politics: GLBT Rights

Haggard Scandal Redux  The twin scandals of ex-Congressman Mark Foley and (ex-?) Reverend Ted Haggard escaped notice in the last BTW (too obvious?); but here are two footnotes on the more entertaining of the two, Haggard, who didn’t merely fall from grace but plunged into the abyss. Former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, [...]
Letters to the Editor
The following is excerpted from a piece that became something of an instant Internet classic following its publication after the off-year election on November 7, which saw the defeat of two-term Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. The notoriously homophobic senator took the national spotlight when he denounced same-sex marriage in such a way that he [...]

Cultural History

WHEN REVIEWING a recent book for The New York Review of Books, writer Larry McMurtry opened by indulging in the old thought experiment of deciding what one author’s works he would take with him to the proverbial desert island. His choice was none other than Gore Vidal. Noting that Vidal’s oeuvre encompasses 46 books that cover [...]


WHAT BRINGS AUDIENCES to the theater is “the expectation that the miracle of communication will take place,” explains a protester to the board of a city arts complex in “Hidden Agendas,” a one-act play that Terrence McNally wrote in 1994 in response to government-inspired attempts to censor an exhibition of the late Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs. [...]
The following paper was first delivered at the New England Women’s Studies Conference in March 2005. THERE ARE many challenges in writing lesbian-feminist plays, and today I want to talk about two of them. The first is working without antecedents in the popular consciousness, without a canon of lesbian dramatic work from which to draw. [...]
STERLING HOUSTON, an experimental playwright who died last year, embodied the archetype of the American artist who moves with those dreams out into the world and comes back home with his dreams intact to carry out his major work. His life also illustrates a motif of the modern acceptance of homosexuality and the spread of [...]
WHILE THE TWO YEARS he served in prison for having engaged in homosexual acts were very hard on Oscar Wilde, the greatest sorrow he experienced as a result of England’s stepped-up persecution of gay men in the 1890’s was the loss of his two young sons. As he wrote to Alfred Douglas in the text [...]


THE IMAGE you see below was the first page of my biography at my website, for the last seven years. This short version of my life from birth to graduation from law school told what I saw as most relevant about who I am. Recently, the company that provides banking services to my site [...]
AFTER SEVENTEEN YEARS as an activist for the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco, Marcia Gallo started graduate school at the City University of New York, working with Martin Duberman and other luminaries at the center for lesbian and gay studies. Ten years later, at the age of 55, Marcia has published the results [...]


FEW QUEER WRITERS plant their flag as firmly at the intersection of poetry and politics as does black lesbian poet Cheryl Clarke. This is clearly evidenced by Clarke’s latest book, a collection of her best known and most powerful essays (including “Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance”) interspersed with equally powerful and resonant poems.


WHEN AMERICAN Film-makers include gay characters in their films, they tend to focus on them as problematic-the problems of coming out; the heady, tragic problems of finding a boyfriend; family problems; and on and on. For films that incorporate well-rounded gay characters but aren’t about the supposed problems posed by gayness, it’s usually necessary to [...]

The Arts

EVER SINCE the early days of Hollywood, actors and writers who abandoned “the Theatre” for the movies were thought to have sold their artistic souls to the celluloid devil. Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed is the latest iteration of this paradigm.


short reviews


PUBLIC OPINION on same-sex marrage and adoption show enormous variation from one European country to the next, according to a large-scale survey that covered all 25 current members of the European Union (EU), two countries in the process of joining, and two candidate countries. For all of the countries surveyed, under half of the sample [...]