How did queer writers and bookish types find queer content in the past and how they do it today, when so many of the past networks would appear to have dispersed?
Before pride parades, Stonewall, the It Gets Better Project, and “Born This Way,” a circle of friends, lovers and artists unabashedly embodied and represented their own homosexuality. This group coalesced around Paul Thek, expressing their identity during a deeply conservative era, as seen in the important and enlightening exhibition Paul Thek and His Circle in the 1950s at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
Unless, somehow, you miraculously haven’t accessed your Facebook or Twitter in the last two days, you’ve probably noticed a proliferation of crimson tiles with superimposed pink equal signs popping up in avatars and profile pics. The instantaneously ubiquitous logo, a riff by the Human Rights Campaign on its own original design, was posted in response to the two landmark Marriage Equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Indeed, a report by the Chicago Tribune estimated that, within hours of its original posting, the image had been shared over 20,000 times. By Wednesday, the original design had transitioned into a fully-fledged internet meme, altered and hastily reconfigured much like last years pervasive image of Hillary Clinton texting from the belly of military plane cargo hold.
I received an email this week about a long-forgotten artist who is not only having an art exhibition in New York next month, but he was the man responsible for the world’s first cross-dressing superhero back in 1940.
CHICAGO — Fairytales are make-believe until a country’s Catholic Church decides to protest them.
Ukranian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko’s experimental performance artwork “Sleeping Beauty,” a modern-day retelling of the titular fairytale restaged at the National Museum of Art Ukraine from August 22 to September 9, has been decreed “lesbian propaganda” by the Kiev Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate Church.
On September 5, the first Sleeping Beauty in Polataiko’s Ukrainian exhibition awoke to a kiss from another woman.
LOS ANGELES — In my inbox today, I received word of the Leslie Lohman Museum’s new website. It’s just one in a series of recent successes for the museum, one of America’s most important showcases and collectors of queer art.
LOS ANGELES — Being different is never easy, more so when you live in an infamously restrictive and conservative Communist Chinese society. Born in a farming village of the Shaanxi province, Xiyadie (a nom de plume meaning “Butterfuly in Siberia”) turns traditional paper-cut art into colorful, risqué pieces dealing with gay love and life.
I’m going to start this essay with the conclusion. Why should we be looking for different ways of thinking about and living in the world? Because many of the dominant political social, and intellectual structures that currently underpin our society have proven themselves to be colossally flawed, so we need to begin looking for different ways of doing and thinking about things.
LOS ANGELES — A book by Scott Pasfield explores the diversity of America’s gay male community.
LOS ANGELES — The It Gets Better project. The Born This Way Foundation. These high profile movements powered by celebrities like Lady Gaga aim to reduce bullying in schools. And while statistics tell compelling stories, we often need film to illustrate the challenges. And film can tell us the stories of ordinary individuals outside the limelight.
Wading my way through an opening crowd consisting of a bizarre combination of bearded and flanneled Bushwick hipsters, New York Times critic Roberta Smith and MoMA PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach at Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine’s new Bushwick location, I was shocked to discover a cold screensaver-esque video installation by filmmaker Charles Atlas, leaving me with some serious questions about the progress and demands on queer art.