Stonewall Hub




Has The Gay Rights Movement Forgotten Its 'Gritty, Dirty' Sexual Past?

Gay-sex-in-the-70s-006Acceptance of gay people and support for their rights has reached an all-time high in this country. For the first time in history, a majority of Americans support same-sex couples' right to marry. We even have the expressed support of the first sitting president. Yet, as LGBT people delve deeper into the American mainstream, some argue that gays in America have abandoned some of the more seedy, sexual aspects of their past. 

Such is the subject of Robert A. Schanke's book Queer Theatre and the Legacy of Cal Yeomans, as well as his recent HuffPostGay piece "The Gay Sexual Explosion That Has Been Nearly Forgotten". In his piece, Schanke chronicles some of his earlier exploits in New York City during the mid-1970's, specifically touching on such old haunts as The Anvil, The Spike, The Mineshaft, and the previously-abandoned warehouse district near the Hudson River. Much to his dismay, none of the places he describes in his piece are characteristic of their former selves. He opines...

"Today, in part because of AIDS, very few of those popular gay cruising sites still exist. In our current desire to acquire civil rights equal to the straight community, we have chosen to assimilate and to clean up our act. When I recently explored some of my old haunts, I was amused. The Anvil is now a gentrified, chic restaurant, complete with white linen tablecloths and candles. The waterfront along the Hudson River has become the lovely, serene High Line public park."

Gay sex in the 70s 7According to him, "for over a decade after Stonewall, a gay man could have sex in New York almost anywhere, anytime, 24/7." As to whether or not that is still the case could certainly be the subject of debate. While gay cruising and hookup culture has almost certainly changed over the years, just because it is different doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't exist. One quick sweep of smartphone apps such as Grindr, Scruff, and GuySpy (just to name a few), or sites like Adam4Adam, Gay.net, or even Craigslist (again, just to name a few), and one could certainly find plenty of willing sexual partners at any time of day, in virtually any city in the country. Thus, perhaps the contemporary gay movement hasn't done away with its sexual nature entirely. Instead, technology has allowed for cruisers to browse potential partners in the comfort of their own home. 

Then again, minority groups have always had to endure a bit of watering down when entering into the American mainstream. Malcolm X continues to be a difficult subject to teach in schools, due to some of his more radical teachings. Very often, those teaching about Helen Keller will conveniently gloss over her Socialist past. Such "cleaning up" is, to a certain extent, necessary when grade school teachers have to start teaching their students about the LGBT rights movement (something that this native FLoridian never got the chance to learn about until college). Thus, it will be the duty of scholars like Schanke to keep the more sexual aspects of the gay rights legacy alive. 


Christine Quinn Nabs Edie Endorsement, Weiner Campaigns at Stonewall DOMA Celebration: VIDEO

Ewindsor

Christine Quinn got the support of Edie Windsor at last night's SCOTUS celebration in front of NYC's historic Stonewall Inn, Politicker reports:

Politicker“I wasn’t going to announce who I was going to endorse until a decision was made … and it’s Christine Quinn!” said Ms. Windsor of the woman who–if elected–would become the city’s first female and openly gay mayor.

Ms. Quinn was about to begin her remarks in front of the thousands of people now gathered on Christopher Street to celebrate the ruling, when Ms. Windsor jumped up–as much as an 84-year-old woman can–and grabbed the microphone to make the endorsement.

Today, Edie Windsor appears in a new ad for Quinn's mayoral campaign.

Watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Also making sure to be seen at the Stonewall rally (complete with traveling campaign sign held aloft by a devoted supporter) was Anthony Weiner, who has vaulted to the frontrunner position according to at least one recent poll.

Writes photographer Josh Koll, who snapped the photo below:

A few rally-goers were so upset by potential NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's appearance (campaign signs and all) that they were yelling "GO AWAY! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!"

Koll_weiner

Continue reading "Christine Quinn Nabs Edie Endorsement, Weiner Campaigns at Stonewall DOMA Celebration: VIDEO" »


News: Jake Gyllenhaal, Stonewall, Minnesota, Tumblr, Russia

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Game of Thrones set to end after its seventh season.

Jake6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Jake Gyllenhaal strolls around SoHo in disguise.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d A comic book about Stonewall will hits stands on the 44th anniversary of the riots. Watch a trailer here.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Singer and Daft Punk collaborator Romanthony dead at 46.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson might be done.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Neighbourhood Watch survey inquires whether responder is gay, bisexual or straight: "The questionnaire by West Midlands Police asked residents in Birmingham questions about their sexual orientation so they could help officers 'detect crime and anti-social behaviour.'"

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d 80,000 expected to attend today's Long Beach Pride parade.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Communion19n-3-webPride communion celebrates marriage equality in Minnesota: "Revolution Church in Minneapolis served congregants rainbow-colored communion bread during its inaugural service last Sunday."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d European Union asks Russia to not move forward with "gay propaganda" bill: "'The EU called on Russia to refrain from adopting federal legislation on ‘homosexual propaganda,’ which it believed could increase discrimination and violence against LGBTI individuals,' the EU said in a statement on its website. The statement referred to the results of a meeting on May 17 in Brussels between Russian and EU diplomats on human rights issues."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Yahoo will fork over $1.1 billion dollars for Tumblr.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Star Trek: Into Darkness has raked in over $84 million at the box office since it opened Wednesday.


'Independence Day' Director Roland Emmerich Planning Movie About Stonewall Riots

Director Roland Emmerich is planning a movie about Stonewall, he tells Empire online:

Emmerich“I may want to do a little movie – about $12-14 million – about the Stonewall Riots in New York,” revealed Emmerich. “It’s about these crazy kids in New York, and a country bumpkin who gets into their gang, and at the end they start this riot and change the world.”

Emmerich says John Robin Bates is working on a script that follows the story of a homeless gay teen who finds his way to the Stonewall Inn and "gets caught up in the riots."

Emmerich says Bates owes him 20 more pages on the script.

Empire adds:

“I’ve got more and more involved in the Gay & Lesbian Centre in Los Angeles,” says Emmerich, “and I learned that 40% of homeless kids are gay. So things haven’t changed very much. But I put this together and said, I should make a movie about that, so it starts with a kid who gets thrown out of his home and ends up on the streets of the village, and becomes friends with all these kids. In a weird way, it shows that it’s still something that happens today.

“I read a lot about it and was so surprised,” says Emmerich of the process of discovery he's undertaken on the currently untitled movie. “It was the first time that gay people had shown the police that they should take them serious. And when the riot police came – this has always been fascinating for me – these kids formed a chorus line and sang ‘We are the village girls, we wear our hair in curls!’ It was such a cool thing.”


‘Hit The Wall’ a New Play About the Stonewall Riots, Opens Off-Broadway: REVIEW

HIT_THE_WALL_FULL-173

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

How do you go about staging landmark riots considered the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement? Landing your play a stone’s throw from Stonewall Inn, at an Off-Broadway theatre known for its spare, intimate and emotionally raw productions seems pretty much the perfect place to start. In Hit The Wall, which opened Sunday at the Barrow Street Theatre, playwright Ike Holter also throws in a lot of heart, kinetic rage, and sass talk so fast it spins into poetry.

HIT_THE_WALL_FULL-9New York City, June 27th, 1969—it’s hot as hell, the air is thick with civil unrest, and Judy Garland’s funeral draws thousands of loyal fans to the Upper East Side. Downtown, it’s just another smack-talking morning on the neighborhood stoop, where sharp-tongued young hustlers Mika and Tano (Gregory Hanley and Arturo Soria, imposingly fierce) read every unwelcome queen who steps onto their turf.

There’s Roberta (Carolyn Michelle Smith) the righteous black lesbian, shunned equally by the women’s movement and the Black Panthers, pounding pavement trying to start her own revolution. (“Get your a** back to Sarah Lawrence, girl, MOVE.”) ‘The Newbie’—buttoned-up, naïve, and mostly in the closet. (“This is our stoop, this is our spot, you don’t like the pot then spit out the smoke and cough.”)

Mika and Tano meet their match in Carson (Nathan Lee Graham) a seasoned (and by the end of the night, legendary) cross-dressing black diva, who serves them a read so fast and furious their limp tongues snap to the back of their heads. More than just delicious high-camp, Holter makes clear that these queens' vicious attitudes are part of a carefully honed defense against a harsh world. That they reserve the worst of it for each other shows the contentiousness among a splintered group of outcasts not yet thinking of themselves as a group.

HIT_THE_WALL_FULL-180Though they are of course anything but typical, Holter’s cast of characters each stand in for a sort of type—including Cliff (Ben Diskant) a draft-evading drifter, and the unnamed ‘A-Gay’ (Sean Allan Krill), all business suits and discretion. That most of the characters introduced during the day lack fleshed-out backstories seems exactly the point. By the time they’re all dancing in the dark at Stonewall, what matters is we know why they’re there—to drink, get laid, and not worry about hiding themselves.

Under Eric Hoff’s dynamic direction, actions leading from the sweltering day to that fateful night flow one into the next with all the restless momentum and energy of a city street. The historic event is staged with some concern for accuracy, as characters shout out what official reports say happened next.

HIT_THE_WALL_FULL-235Holter’s play doesn’t shy away from showing horrifying trials faced by transgendered patrons at the hands of police who raided the bar. In a wrenching and intimate scene, Carson and Peg (Rania Salem Manganero) are both held back as the bar is evacuated and brutally harassed by the play’s lone cop (an intimidating Matthew Greer).

The riot that follows is choreographed like something of a wild dance. If it seems at moments to descend into theatrical chaos—well, it is a riot, after all. Imagination deserves some rein, as reliable accounts of the explosive events are difficult to come by—aside from those able to say, as these bold characters do: “I was there.”

Dragged out of the bar on her way to the back of a cop car, it’s Peg whose indignant cries rouse an initially complacent crowd into action: “No more watching!” It’s a welcome battle cry for any era.

Recent theatre features...
Amy Herzog’s ‘Belleville’ Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Edie Falco Opens In ‘The Madrid’ Off Broadway: REVIEW
Zosia Mamet Opens in ‘Really Really’ Off Broadway:REVIEW
Fault Line Theatre’s ‘From White Plains’ Opens Off-Broadway: REVIEW
Tectonic Theatre Project Presents 'The Laramie Project Cycle' At BAM: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: matthew murphy)


Rachel Maddow: Obama's Inaugural 'Stonewall' Shout-Out was for the Supreme Court - VIDEO

Rachel_maddow

Last night, Rachel Maddow and Frank Rich hashed out Obama's Stonewall reference:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

Maddow theorizes that it was a shout-out to the Supreme Court, preemptive of its decision on DOMA and Prop 8. And Rich believes it was specifically for Chief Justice John Roberts.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow: Obama's Inaugural 'Stonewall' Shout-Out was for the Supreme Court - VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged