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August 6, 2009 Gay City News

August 6, 2009 Gay City News

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 YOUR FREELGBTNEWSPAPER
SERVING GAY, LESBIAN, BI AND TRANSGENDERED NEW YORK • WWW.GAYCITYNEWS.COM
 AMERICA’S LARGEST CIRCULATION GAY AND LESBIAN NEWSPAPER!
Gay City
NEWSNEWS
TM
AUGUST 6-19, 2009VOL. EIGHT, ISS. 16
© GAY CITY NEWS 2009 • COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
FRINGENYC
21
DWAN PRINCE, SEEN IN 2009, SAYS HIS FLIRTING LED TO BRUTAL ANTI-GAY ATTACK
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
I
n a move that may complicate theretrial of Steven Pomie in the 2005attack on Dwan Prince, Prince sent Pomie a letter in which he blamed him-self for the brutal, anti-gay assault andexpressed the hope that Pomie serve just five years in prison, with five years post-release supervision for the crime.“First please allow me to deeply apol-ogy for my hated comment,” Prince wrote in the July 20 letter, which Gay City News is quoting verbatim. “PleaseI do hope you know I am truly deeply sorry for what ever was sayed that night.I have made some big mistakes in my lifeand that was the stupidiest and biggest one of all.”Pomie, now 26, allegedly attackedPrince in Brooklyn’s Brownsville sectionafter the now 31-year-old flirted withhim. Pomie first beat and kicked Prince with two other men, and then made a second assault with another man, wit-nesses said during Pomie’s 2006 trial. When Pomie returned alone to deliver a third beating, witnesses prevented himfrom attacking Prince, who was lyingunconscious on the sidewalk.One witness testified that as Pomie
 A Victim Takesthe Blame
E. LYNN HARRIS, 1955-2009
 The visible life of aniconic black gay novelist 
3
—————————————————
SHOW US THE MONEY
Four scramble to succeed Bill Thompson as comptroller 
6
—————————————————
HURTS SO GOOD
 Tortured gay teens just the start of “Slipping”
31
In this issue:
 VICTIM P. 4
   G   A   Y   C   I   T   Y   N   E   W   S
SPORTS
Buoyancy TrumpsDisruption atCopenhagenOut Games
BY MICHAEL T. LUONGO
 T 
hey certainly are the Games that could, even if they have been a mix of trial and triumph. The worldwide recession could not stopthem from happening; the Opening Cer-emony was drenched by a thunderousdownpour and later marred by a horrificgay bashing following the event, leavingthree men in the hospital. Tuesday saw Roman candles, the kind of fireworkslong banned in the United States, firedoff in an attack on the track and fieldcompetitions. Yet none of this put a sig-nificant damper on Copenhagen’s WorldOut Games and the enthusiasm partici-pants and most locals had for them. The Games were woven into the fabricof the small Danish capital. According toUffe Elbaek, the CEO of the World Out Games, “We made a conscious decisionto hold events in the center of the town,rather than in stadiums far outside,so that locals could make a choice to
OUT GAMES P. 12TEL AVIV P. 8
CRIME
 What Do the Tel Aviv ShootingsMean?
BY YOAV SIVAN
 W 
hat do this past weekend’sshootings of lesbian and gay  youth in Tel Aviv tell us about Israeli society? It’s not an easy ques-tion. As a pluralistic, democratic nation,there are many sides to Israel. How thenation views the lesbian, gay, bisexual,and transgender community is every bit as varied. There is progressive Israel, a beaconof LGBT civil rights on par with New  York or San Francisco. This is the Israelof Tel Aviv, where same-sex couples holdhands on the street and where LGBT people have visibility and presence inevery walk of life in society. This is theIsrael where the annual LGBT paradeand the LGBT community center receivefunding from the municipality. In fact, Tel Aviv would be the last place where you might have expected last week’sshootings to occur.But Israel is not just Tel Aviv. It is alsothe Israel of Jerusalem and religious com-munities across the country; the Israelof cabinet ministers, Knesset members,and rabbis who specialize in incitement 
 
6 - 19
 AUG
2009
14 DAYS14 NIGHTS
2
 /
History
Pioneers With Pens
ONE magazine forged early homosexual visibility in post-war Los Angeles
BY DOUG IRELAND
 T 
he very first homosex-ual publication to haveappeared with any regu-larity in the US was Vice Versa, which surfaced in Los Angeles in June 1947. It was produced by a secretary at RKO Studios whocalled herself Lisa Ben, an ana-gram for “lesbian,” and it lastedfor nine issues. It “fluctuatedfrom 14 to 20 stapled pages con-sisting of play and film reviews,poetry, fiction, and pointed socialcommentary through a ‘Queer as It Seems’ department.” Only ten copies were produced anddistributed to a close circle of friends who in turn were to passit on to others. This is one of the nuggets of largely forgotten gay history to be gleaned from “Pre-Gay L.A.” by C. Todd White, a visiting pro-fessor of anthropology at JamesMadison University, who basedthe book on his doctoral thesis. The volume’s subtitle is “A SocialHistory of the Movement for Homosexual Rights,” but that issomewhat misleading, becausemost of the book is a minutely detailed organizational history of ONE, Inc. and ONE magazine.It may be difficult for youngqueers of today, who’ve grownup watching “Will and Grace”and surfing the multitude of gay offerings on the Internet, tounderstand what extraordinary courage it took for the womenand men chronicled here to begin organizing associationsof homosexuals. White is right to point out the importance togay organizing of Alfred Kinsey’sfamous, best-selling 1948 study of sexuality, which, for the first time, documented a stunningarray of same-sex attractionsand practices, breaking thesense of isolation in which thesexual dissidents of the 1940sand 1950s lived. There is no better description of the reign of terror under which homosexu-als struggled to survive in that dark time than Kinsey’s, for ashe wrote then:“Rarely has man beenmore cruel against manthan in the condemnationand punishment of thoseaccused of the so-calledsexual perversions. Thepunishment for sexual acts which are crimes against persons has never beenmore severe. The penaltieshave included imprison-ment, torture, the loss of life and limb, banishment, blackmail, social ostracism,the loss of social prestige,renunciation by friendsand families, the loss of position in school or in business, severe penaltiesmeted out for convictions of men serving in the armedforces, public condemna-tion by emotionally inse-cure and vindictive judgeson the bench, and the tor-ture endured by those wholive in perpetual fear that their non-conformist sexual behavior will be exposed topublic view. These are thepenalties which have beenimposed on and against persons who have failedto adhere to the mandat-ed customs. Such cruel-ties have not often beenmatched, except in religiousand racial persecution.”No wonder that, as White writes, “Homosexual peoplesensed they had a champion inKinsey.” And in laying the foun-dation for an organization of homosexuals that would even-tually become the MattachineSociety at the end of 1950, itslegendary founder, Harry Hay,and his lover, Rudi Gernreich, when collecting signatures onCalifornia’s beaches for theCommunist-inspired Stock-holm Peace Petition against theKorean War, would initiate dis-cussions with signers by ask-ing, “Have you read the ‘Kinsey Report’?” In this way, they built up lists of names for future usein queer organizing.One of Mattachine’s sevenfounding members was Dale Jennings, a World War II com- bat veteran who, like Hay, wasa Communist. When he wasarrested on a phony charge of having solicited sex from anundercover cop, Jennings waspersuaded by Hay to fight thecharge in court, and with theaid of left-wing civil rights law- yer George Shibley — who hadcome to prominence as thedefense lawyer for the Mexican- Americans in the famous 1940s“Zoot Suit” murder case, a fact  White doesn’t mention — Jen-nings eventually had his casedismissed. Mattachine, whichhad formed a Citizen’s Commit-tee to Outlaw Entrapment tofight the Jennings case, saw itsmembership boom as a result. The merit of White’s book is that it rescues from unjust obscurity Jennings, the first edi-tor of ONE magazine, and other founders of ONE, Inc. Another central figure in ONE was Wil-liam Lambert Dorr Legg — whofrequently used the pseudonymBill Lambert — a professor of landscape architecture and oneof ONE’s most erudite figures.Legg and his African-Americanpartner, Merton Bird, in the late1940s had founded the Knightsof the Clock, a small social andmutual aid organization for mixed-race homosexual cou-ples, and several of their fellow Knights joined them when Jen-nings and Legg led a split fromthe Mattachine Society to formONE in November 1952. The premier issue of ONEmagazine, the first pro-gay pub-lication distributed publicly inthe US, appeared in January 1953, and was peddled by itscreators “from bar stool to bar stool” in the many Los Ange-les gay bars for the price of a  beer (20 cents). If Jennings was, according to White, “theheart of ONE magazine… dur-ing its first year,” the publica-tion’s dominant figure thereaf-ter was another of its founders,Don Slater, a young University of Southern California gradu-ate, thanks to the GI Bill, witha degree in English, who would be supported during his longtenure as the magazine’s edi-tor by his Latino lover, AntonioSanchez, a musician who alsohelped start ONE.By the end of its first year,ONE magazine could boast of nearly a thousand subscribers, with another 1,500 copies dis-tributed through newsstands.Lesbian activists like Stella Rush, Corky Wolf, and JoanCorbin also played an impor-tant role in the magazine, seeingto its art work, writing articles,and performing many of thetechnical and workaday choresneeded to publish it. After three issues, ONE mag-azine gave birth to ONE, Inc.Legg, who was hired as businessmanager at the princely sum of $25 a week and thus becamethe first full-time employee of a homosexual organization in America, increasingly began toconceive of the organization asa broader-reaching institution.
 
14 DAYS
,
continued on
 
p.7
THU.AUG.6
THEATERBlack QueerProtagonists
Freedom Train Productions, foundedin 2006 under the artistic direction ofAndre Lancaster, presents “Fire! NewPlay Festival 2009,” three weeks of polit-ical theater by emerging playwrights fea-turing black queer protagonists. In DerekLee McPhatter’s “Bring the Beat Back”(
Aug. 6
), the beat is your last best hopefor salvation. In Ayanna Maia’s “Womanto Woman” (
Aug. 12 & 13
), black womenloving black women is a revolutionaryact. And in Patricia Ione Lloyd’s “DirtyLittle Black Girls” (
Aug. 19 & 20
), rebelnannies put their Park Slope employerson notice.
All staged readers are at7:30 p.m., with a StoryCorps inter-view with the playwright precedingeach reading at 7. 138 S. Oxford St.,btwn. Hanson Pl. & Atlantic Ave.,Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
For completeinformation, visit freedomtrainproduc-tions.org/fire.
✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
PERFORMANCEIt’s Hot Out There
This summer marks the 18th AnnualDixon Place HOT! Festival, a pioneeringfestival of queer performance and culture,
running through Aug. 8
, that bills itselfas the oldest continually running festivalof its kind in the world. The festival hub isthe brand new Dixon Place theater com-plex, with a 120-seat lab theater and anintimate performance café, at 161 ChrystieSt., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Inthe one-woman rock theater show star-ring Julia Steele Allen, a gay 17-year oldboy in an East Texas town is murdered,and his family struggles to deal withtheir loss and his legacy (
Aug. 6 & 7, 8-9p.m.
). In “Money Talks — Citizen Reno,”the beloved and feared downtown soloperformer returns with her take on theeconomy, in a rant that gives voice tothe qualms and queries of the Every(wo)man while removing some of the mys-tery shrouding finance, Wall Street, andmoney (
Aug. 6, 8-9:30 p.m.
). And theGender Fluids, a trio of performance art-ists — Kaj-anne, Lee Kyle, and Ferro —reunite for one night only in an evening ofmulti-media, dance, and various mishapsinvolving drag (
Aug. 8, 8-9 p.m.
). Forcomplete details, tickets prices, and reser-vations, visit hotfestival.org.
✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
PRE-GAY L.A.A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MOVE-MENT FOR HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS
By C. Todd WhiteUniversity of Illinois Press$25; 280 pages;
 
PIONEERS
,
continued on
 
p.14
ONE magazine, the first pro-gay publication distributed publicly inthe US, was peddled by its creators“from bar stool to bar stool.”
 
6 - 19
 AUG
2009
Remembrance
 /
3
 The Visible Life of E. Lynn Harris
Gay African-American novelist who explored black American closet dead at 54
BY DON WEISE
E
. Lynn Harris, amongthe most commercially successful gay novelistsof all time and one of the most  beloved African-American writ-ers, if not simply one of the most  beloved authors of the past 20 years, died of a heart attack on July 23 at the age of 54. Hisdebut book, “Invisible Life,” anexplicit and unapologetic look at the emotional struggles of closeted African-American men, broke the silence around homo-sexuality in the black Ameri-can community when it wasself-published in 1991. OnceDoubleday reissued the novel in1994, the book became a sensa-tion and his first of ten New York  Times bestsellers, including hismost recent work, “Basketball Jones.”I happened to help E. Lynn with some of the writing in“Basketball Jones” only last summer. It’s therefore poignant in the saddest way that one year later I’m writing his obituary — doubly so because up ’til now Ididn’t think I knew E. Lynn that  well. It took his death to see how truly fond of him I was. We first met about ten yearsago, when I was still new to pub-lishing and got up the courageto ask him to blurb the reissueof Melvin Dixon’s novel “Vanish-ing Rooms.” As luck would haveit, Melvin, a black gay writer  who died of AIDS in 1992, had been his literary inspiration,and E. Lynn offered to helphowever he could. Actually, that was our first professional meeting. Our first encounter took place in 1995in a clothing shop in West Hol-lywood, where a black gay friend was lamenting his situa-tion as an unpublished writer. Icouldn’t help but notice a manon the other side of the clothingrack listening intently. Finally he walked over and put out hishand to the writer: “I’m E. LynnHarris, and I want to tell you tonever give up. You can make it if you really try.” Already a star,he blew us away with his unmo-tivated kindness. When I toldhim that story ten years later,after he and I had put together the anthology “Freedom in this Village” — a collection of black gay men’s writing from 1980 for- ward — he only smiled, as if heheard this kind of feedback allthe time, which, given his repu-tation for generosity, I imaginehe did. At first I didn’t fully real-ize how widely adored he was,especially by his fans. However,I quickly saw the light; once when I sent him flowers in con-gratulation of a book or some
Gay City
NEWSNEWS
TM
now
Ch l
e sea
2009 New York City CouncilDistrict 3 DemocraticPrimary Election Debate
YettaKurlandMariaPassannante-DerrChristineQuinn
PRESENTED BY:
New York University,19 West Fourth St., Room 101between Mercer and Greene Sts.
(one and a half blocks east of Washington Square Park)
N.Y.U. asks people to bring ID to get into building.
Thursday,August 13,7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
MODERATED BY:
The Villager’s
 
Lincoln Anderson
&
Gay City News’
 
Paul Schindler
E. Lynn Harris, 1955-2009
 
HARRIS
,
continued on
 
p.19

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