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El Greco, "The Vision of Saint John," ca. 1608-1614 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

3 Important Documentaries ~ You Can’t Pray the Gay Away ~ Revisiting Yukio Mishima ~ 6 Recent Books ~ Gay Protest Music & Art ~ etc.

Pray Away debuts Tuesday on Netflix, after premiering last year at the severely curtailed Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows the lives of four victims of conversion therapy programs, including John Paulk, the former president of Exodus International, who “now lives in Portland, Oregon, with his male partner.” Reviewing the film for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney called it a “powerful doc” in which those interviewed “speak out about the damage inflicted on themselves and countless LGBTQ youth.”

The Most Beautiful Boy is now available to watch online, after premiering in January at Sundance. This film tells the sad story of Björn Andrésen, whom Luchino Visconti tapped to play Tadzio in his 1971 adaptation of Thomas Mann’s ...  >> Read more >>

American Library Association, World War I poster, 1918

Holiday Book List · 2020

Art

Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero

Everyone knows Tom of Finland’s work even if they don’t know his name. With his iconic pencil drawings of leatherbound and uniformed muscle hunks with oversized phalli, Tom both embodied and helped shape the aesthetic of a generation. This new edition of Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero makes a selection of his works from the 1940s to the 1980s available in beautiful coffee table format, including many explicit and color images that were not included in the original 1993 printing.

Photography

Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s–1950s

This beautiful volume showcases hundreds of historical photographs of male couples from the collection of Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell.

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Piero di Cosimo, "A Hunting Scene," ca. 1494-1500 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Hate Crimes, SCOTUS—and John Waters

As states conduct canvassing in preparation for certifying the results of the 2020 election, President Trump continues to insist falsely that he actually won. In more than 300 tweets since November 3, Mr. Trump has woven a web of lies about alleged Democratic voter fraud that is utterly contradicted by a raft of testimony from state and federal voting officials and independent experts. He has filed numerous lawsuits contesting results or challenging vote-counting procedures, many of which have been tossed out of court for want of evidence. While some fear that he will try to use swing-state legislatures to appoint GOP electors in defiance of the popular vote, at the moment this still appears unlikely to succeed...  >> Read more >>

Noteworthy Articles

As the 2020 campaign enters the home stretch, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is facing the Senate Judiciary Committee for the third of four days of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Asked about her attitudes toward LGBTQ rights, Barrett said that she would never discriminate “on the basis of sexual preference.” But as Mark Joseph Stern wrote in Slate, we should take no comfort from that: The phrase plays “into the anti-gay canard that sexual minorities are not a discrete and insular minority deserving of constitutional protections but rather deviants who should not be rewarded for their aberrant sexuality.” Barrett’s connections with the SPLC-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group “Alliance Defending Freedom” have already been reported...  >> Read more >>

Noteworthy Articles · Archive

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Collage of drag queens

Dragged Through the Centuries

In Drag: The Complete Story, Simon Doonan offers a summary of drag from the ancients to RuPaul. Doonan’s book is not a history in the traditional sense. Rather, it comprises nine chapters covering topics such as Glamour, Butch, Comedy, and Radical drag. The chapters variously contain historical essays, examples of cross-dressing both ancient and contemporary, profiles and anecdotes of individual drag artists, and plenty of photographs. Like its namesake, the book is nothing if not lavishly visual.

Drag was once defined, in Doonan’s words, as “women’s clothing worn by a man—or vice versa—for the purposes of entertainment.” All manner of male and female impersonators can fit this definition, even if they wouldn’t necessarily have used the term...  >> Read more >>