Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged gay

Hiding in Hip Hop: On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry—From Music to Hollywood

Terrance Dean opens his book, Hiding in Hip Hop, with two quotes, one from Ellen Degeneres, in which she states, “If it weren’t for blacks, Jews, and gays, there would be no Oscars.” The other was from The Bhagavad Gita: “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with p

Boy Crazy: Coming Out Erotica

Boy Crazy is a series of firsts: first coming out of the closet experiences, first feelings of sexual awakening, first realizations of “otherness,” first times falling in love... the list goes on and on. In a series of otherwise unrelated stories, multiple authors tell the tales of coming out and first encounters, all from the perspective of boys, of young homosexuals' way of perceiving the world.

Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division

As I was reading Jon Ginoli's retelling of the rise of pop punk's first openly gay band, Pansy Division―from his perspective as the lead singer―I found that whenever I left the book on the table, with its bright pink cover labeled with stickers reading “promote homosexuality” and “sexual anarchist,” I could only imagine there were a few raised eyebrows in the small town Northeast Ohio coffee shop where I read. And I can imagine that these raised eyebrows and perked ears listening to the unabashedly queer lyrics―something they were most likely not accustomed to―was one goal.

Smash the Church, Smash the State!: The Early Years of Gay Liberation

Like all good memoirs of the 1960s and early ‘70s, Smash the Church, Smash the State! takes readers back to a time when revolution seemed imminent. Change was in the air and the fifty-one essays comprising Tommi Avicolli Mecca’s important anthology vividly capture the heady exhilaration of queer activists on both U.S. coasts as the possibility of being out-and-proud became increasingly tangible. The book is both a look back and a look forward.

States of Union (09/2009)

Artwork can rarely be separated from the artist. The two inform each other. At least that is the case with photographer Alix Smith, whose latest exhibition, “States of Union,” recently opened at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City. A common theme of Smith’s work is identity—the perceived notion of one’s identity and one's actual identity. The identity that was most challenging for Smith is her own as a lesbian. She always had a feeling of wanting to fit into the norm.

The Passing Game: Queering Jewish American Culture

Once homosexuality has been fully incorporated and accepted into “mainstream” society, I wonder what group will be placed at the bottom of the totem pole. I use the word incorporated because it symbolizes a capitalistic tolerance without a desire or need to understand a person's totality.

Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America

The town I grew up in—Athens, Georgia (pop. 100,266)—is generally known for two things: indie music (a la REM, Elephant 6, and Kindercore) and the University of Georgia, both of which play a major role in maintaining the town's liberal leanings. However, Athens doesn't lean too far. It's still a place where college football dominates from Labor Day to Christmas, and if you're not in church on Sunday morning, you are assumed to be riddled with sin. Coming up in an environment rife with contradiction, I learned a lot about peaceful co-existence through plausible deniability.

Life Goes On

Linq is a little bit like the love baby of Barney and Melissa Etheridge, and I really don’t mean that in a derogatory way. If Linq played an outdoor festival and if my partner and I had kids, we would be out having a picnic dancing on the grass with our cute gaybies singing along. Yes, I said gaybies. How can you not love a song called “Diversity Dance?” Hooray for gays! Hooray for bisexuals! It doubles the dating pool! After all, a little dose of cheesiness isn’t always bad, is it?

He Likes Guys

As a member of my college cinema club, I would show a film a couple of nights every month. Usually, the featured movie would be preceded by a surprise short film—nothing too long, but always something entertaining. Recently, I showed "Laundromat" by Edward Gunawan from a collection of acclaimed gay short films, He Likes Guys, to my unsuspecting audience.

Ready? Ok!

The blurb on the back of the sleeve for Ready? Ok! called it a "family comedy," so naturally I expected to watch something funny. Aside from a scene where Josh’s mother loses control over him and Alex, her brother, during a live television taping, there really wasn’t too much to laugh about. Maybe it was the array of serious issues that the movie covered that cast a blanket of sadness over it. Josh is the perky wannabe cheerleader son of jaded single parent Andrea.

Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love

Writing a biography is tricky terrain, particularly on a subject whose name is generally unknown. The author likely has reams and reams of information gathered from years of research and has the thankless task of deciding what can go into the book and what should be left out. For this reason, many biographies suffer from too much or insufficient information.

Queer Youth Cultures

Queer youth are often absent from discussions about adolescents, popular culture, and even the queer community. Susan Driver, an advocate and expert on LGBTQ youth, puts together a thoughtful and diverse collection of work that gives voice to queer youth without pathologizing them.

He’s Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You wasn’t a terrible movie. Despite its manipulative moments, this film did manage to skip many of the eye roll-inducing rom-com conventions. This movie just wasn’t that romantic or particularly funny.

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

The Revolution Starts At Home is not your usual zine. At 111 pages, it qualifies as a book, and I’m excited to say the editors are looking for a publisher. Pending publication*, it will soon be available on the INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence website. Don’t be turned off by the bulk; this is an important zine that needs to be read by all activists of any sort. Contributors include Alexis Pauline Gumbs of UBUNTU, collective members of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), Vanessa Huang, Gina de Vries, and a collection of women from the Mango Tribe.

How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism

While leftists and gay rights activists occasionally discuss the notion that left wing battles, and particularly GLBTQ struggles, are too influenced by the religious right, the complaint is always frustrated and dismissive, never a serious consideration. Tina Fetner approaches the notion differently, addressing how the influence of religious right was, in fact, invaluable in shaping, and in rendering more powerful, the lesbian and gay movement.

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour, which began in February 2008, is still scheduled to visit a number of lucky locations throughout the United States. As usual, Cho’s brand of feminist, LGBTQ, activist, and politicized humor was hilarious, raunchy, and thought-provoking. Unlike so much of the comedy gracing television screens lately, Cho continues to infuse her comedy with cutting edge analysis of race, gender, body image, and sexuality.

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation?

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? is a history of post-Stonewall GLBTQ activism as seen through three focused battles: the AIDS crisis, the ban on gays in the military, and the conflict over gay marriage. Craig Rimmerman presents a detailed breakdown of each, assembling them into a supposed study of the differences and relative importance of assimilationist and liberationist strategies.

Un Amour à Taire (A Love to Hide)

Christian Faure’s A Love to Hide is a deeply powerful film. Set in Paris during the Nazi occupation of France, the film depicts the violent effects the Nazi criminalization of gayness. The story begins with Sara’s (Louise Monot) escape from her home, after Nazi’s have murdered her entire family. Out of desperation she contacts an old friend (and potential love interest), Jean, played with startling effect by Jérémie Renier.

Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality

The style and content in a sentence: Professional enough for an academic, but thought provoking for the general public. If you’re reading this with thoughts that the “Evolution” part of this title might limit the diversity of coverage of “Human Sexuality,” read on. Most of what we might have learned about evolution and sex on public television, in high school biology, health class and even in psychology 101 leaves everything other than heterosexual, reproductive, cave-man sex in the archeological dust.

Andrea Gibson

Activist poet Andrea Gibson rations politics into five easy to swallow pills. Her self-titled five track DVD tackles the touchiest issues for queer activists today. From same sex union in “I do,” to rape in “Blue Blanket” and the hypocrisy of the yellow ribbon in her best performance of “For Eli,” Gibson is definitely on top of all the topics.

And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three is a simply but beautifully told illustrated children’s book about the real-life story of two male penguins at the New York Central Park Zoo, Roy and Silo, who form a partnership and are given a fertile egg to hatch. And Tango is born. The book doesn’t shy away from using the words “family,” “love,” “daddies” and “couple” to describe Roy and Silo’s pairing and their relationship with their baby chick.

Broken World

Don’t be fooled by the title of Joseph Lease’s collection of poems, though the world may be “broken,” the collection spends its time rebuilding, rationalizing and living despite it. Repetition fuels the elegy, “Broken World (for James Assatly),” a poem built in sections, a poem that works to remember a friend and writer who died of AIDS.

Pretty Little Mistakes

Apparently back in the day, there was such a thing as a chose your own ending book. Until I picked up Heather McElhatton’s Pretty Little Mistakes, I had never read one. After reading the book, I am glad I hadn’t. I am fairly certain there was never the option to become a drug dealer in Europe or marry the abusive crystal meth addict doctor in Berkeley.

The Films of Su Friedrich, Vol. 4: Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek is a brilliant movie that explores the real life stories of lesbians' self actualization of who they are during their childhood interwoven with the story of one little girl who - though on the outside she is just like the rest of the girls in her class - she knows that there is something fundamentally different about her. There is also some very interesting footage of very old 1950s-style biology documentaries on homosexuality. Are we a product of our genetics or are we a product of our environment?


In case you thought B.I.K.E. was just a movie about bikes… well, it is, but you might be surprised at the ground it covers. From filmmakers Anthony Howard (Tony) and Jacob Septimus, B.I.K.E. delves into the lives of the members of the Black Label Bike Club in New York City. Access to the Black Label New York subculture is mediated by Tony and his desperate attempts to gain entrance to the elite ranks of Black Label. Both filmmaker and main character, Tony becomes the epicenter of the film.

Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws

Kate Bornstein has for two decades inspired fans and readers by mixing feminist sensibility, queer theory, performance art and personal experience. That Hello, Cruel World is heart-felt and friendly reflects parentage by Lutheran minister and 1939’s Miss Betty Crocker.

Sticky Fingers: Queers Running the Stage Art Gamut (2/17/2007)

Sticky Fingers featured a medley of performances ranging from spoken word poetry to electro-rock by queer artists from across the eastern seaboard. Held at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY, the show was stimulating in its polymorphous perversity, the performances audacious in their satirical elements and guttural verve. Manhattan-based artist Chavisa Woods opened the night with her spoken word piece “No One is Ever Going to Touch You Like This.” Woods’ piece was a powerful inquiry the reality of passion and fantasy.

Baby Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing

Upon discovering Michelle Tea had edited a new anthology of queer girl fiction, I completely lost my butch identity as I jumped up and down and squealed in excitement. Before I even glanced at the first few pages of ­Baby Remember My Name, I assumed that each short story would revolve around some lesbian in San Francisco doing too many drugs, drinking too much alcohol and pining away over the wrong girl with endless packs of cigarettes. It’s the San Fran queer girl writing that I just can’t get enough of, and I was thrilled to see what new adventures I would read about this time.

The Graffiti Artist

In a nocturnal urban landscape, The Graffiti Artist takes you on an intimate journey into the world of an underground artist. Nick (Ruben Bansie-Snellman), a postmodern hero, wanders through the city’s wasteland asserting an anarchistic agenda on the endless maze of virgin city walls. Nick’s solo graffiti project is interrupted by a brief friendship with fellow "tagger," Jesse (Pepper Fajans).