Issues Archives: Let's Dance

November – December, 2006

Paris Confidential

ACCURATELY TITLED, Notes on André Gide is a fragmentary memoir about Gide by a close friend who offers new insights into the great French novelist and essayist whose nonfiction book Corydon was the first defense of homosexuality in modern times.

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Choreography and the Social Contract

Following is an excerpt from the author’s keynote address at the annual meeting of the Tides Foundation in San Francisco on April 28, 2006.

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The Toklas Factor

… The True Story, which was written in 2004 as Anna Linzie’s doctoral thesis in the Department of English at Uppsala University in Sweden, thoroughly explores Toklas’ role in Stein’s works, along with other issues related to their literary collaboration, which Linzie believes was an integral and ongoing one. …

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The Marriage Fight Is Setting Us Back

EVEN BEFORE the morning paper was delivered to my door, I had a long string of e-mails from news groups and organizations announcing the decision in the New York same-sex marriage case. Once again, a major defeat. Over the next weeks, a few more piled up. In the last dozen years, in almost every one of the fifty states, overwhelming majorities in state legislatures or lopsided votes in ballot referenda have reaffirmed that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

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One Gay Youth

PERSONAL MEMOIRS, despite recent scandals concerning their veracity, have been increasing in popularity over the past decade or more. …

And it seems everyone has a story to tell-including Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (glsen), an organization dedicated to the elimination of antigay bias in schools.

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Bruz Fletcher Livened Up the 1930’s

MOST PEOPLE today don’t know the name of Bruz Fletcher. In the 1930’s, however, all the right people knew his name. Humphrey Bogart, Louise Brooks, Howard Hughes, and Ronald Reagan are just some of the luminaries who laughed, drank, and blushed over the outrageous entertainment Fletcher delivered in his Sunset Strip nightclub. A modern saloon singer before Frank Sinatra or Bobby Short, Fletcher had as clear a voice as either of them, and a lyric wit that tossed off acrobatic rhymes and lavender-tinged triple entendres. This year marks the centenary of the birth of the gay wit known as “The Singing Satirist.”

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Hepburn Imagined

THE BARE BONES of Katharine Hepburn’s life are well known: born in Connecticut into a well-connected family, brilliant career in the movies, had a long-term affair with Spencer Tracy, reclusive dotage before dying in 2003 at the age of 96. What we don’t know much about, except as rumor and speculation, are the details of her putatively lesbian lifestyle.

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Of Freemasons, Kings, and Constitutions

ESTABLISHMENT HISTORIANS like to construct closets around certain chapters of American history, and they reserve a special closet for any “founding father” who wasn’t a Bible-quoting Protestant heterosexual. They snarl when revisionist historians point out that many of the founders were Freemasons who didn’t subscribe to their idea of traditional Christian beliefs. One can only imagine their reaction to the suggestion that some of the founders expressed same-sex affections for one another.

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Short Reviews

Short reviews of God Hates Fags, Now It’s My Turn, Kingdom Coming, Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man, and A Separate Reality.

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‘My sexuality gives me a place to stand.’

Christopher Bram’s latest book, Exiles in America, which was published by Morrow last August, is an exploration of relationships, religion, global politics, and sex. This is the ninth novel by Bram, whose Father of Frankenstein was turned into the movie Gods and Monsters and renamed accordingly. His other novels include The Notorious Dr. August: His Real Life and Crimes (2001) and Almost History (1992).

I interviewed Chris about this and his other novels, the creative process, being a “gay novelist,” and the state of gay fiction shortly before the publication of Exiles. – Michael Bronski

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