What’s Left

Has The Gay Movement Failed? by Martin Duberman, University of California Press, 2018 evaluates the status of Gay Liberation Front radical politics today.

what'sleft

Duberman is an academic with a prodigious body of work but this book begins with three dubious assertions. He says that Gay Liberation Front spread to a half dozen cities and college campuses, that the Gay Revolution Party began in London, and Gay Activists Alliance broke from GLF in November 1970.

Out Of The Closets edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young, Douglas Books, 1972 lists over 75 Gay Liberation Front groups. I was one of the founding members of Gay Revolution Party in New York. And Wikipedia marks 21 December 1969 as the founding date of Gay Activists Alliance.

Fortunately none of these errors are necessary for the main thesis of Has The Gay Movement Failed? Duberman correctly cites Gay Liberation Front that began in New York following the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 as a touchstone of gay left politics.

Marriage equality is certainly the antithesis of the ideals espoused by GLF because it involves acceptance of and inclusion into a flawed institution rather than demanding its dismantling and replacement by a more just and equitable social arrangement.

The book concludes with examples of current straight left attitudes relating to LGBTQ issues that seem not to have changed much over nearly half a century. Ignored, trivialized, denigrated. And at the end the question in the title remains unanswered.

Has The Gay Movement Failed? Is an interesting read but not the definitive work about an important subject that merits more comprehensive study.

I’d like to see a closer look at Gay Liberation Front politics and strategies, including both its successes and failures. Also a more detailed analysis of other radical and progressive LGBTQ groups and individuals outsides the mainstream.

It’s obvious to me that within weeks of its founding, there were individuals in GLF eager to abandon the ideals of transformative personal and societal liberation for the comforts of mere rights and acceptance of the status quo.

Our current challenge remains how to achieve the benefits of a better world for everyone instead of continuing to privilege just a few.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

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Not Listening

The Sign For Love directed by Elad Cohen and Iris Ben Moshe Israel (2017) is a documentary about a deaf gay man.

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Elad divides his time between hearing family members and a group of deaf friends. He’s closest to Yaeli, a deaf woman who wants a child.

The two of them decide to not only have a child together but to share an apartment and raise the baby as a couple.

While Yaeli’s mother is supportive of her, Elad has many unresolved issues with members of his biological family.

The Sign For Love reveals some of the unanticipated complexities involved in relationships that will surprise viewers.

It screens a second time at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 38 on Friday 27 July 2018 at Albany Twin, Albany.

Contact Jewish Film Institute for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 61

The 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 4 – 17 April 2018.

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Venues this year include the Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, and YBCA in San Francisco; BAMPFA in Berkeley; and Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Four LGBTQI films to look out for are: Alex Strangelove, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, and My Life With James Dean.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

GAG Grows

Gays Against Guns began 2016 in New York within days of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida.

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About 750 women and men joined the GAG contingent of the New York Pride March the following week.

In early July informational tables were set up in the Pines and Cherry Grove before a solemn procession through the two predominately-queer Fire Island communities.

GAG subsequently protested several politicians its members characterized as puppets of the NRA.

Since then chapters were launched in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Orlando, and San Francisco.

For more information contact www.gaysagainstguns.net

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Tale Teller

The author of the popular series, Tales Of The City, tells his own story in Logical Family by Armistead Maupin, HarperCollins, 2017.

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Maupin has talked about his conservative family upbringing at book signings, radio and TV interviews, and also in films about him. Much of the material in his memoir is already public knowledge.

But for his many fans that have either never seen him in person nor been exposed to recorded interviews, the book offers an additional opportunity to be entertained by his writing.

What began as a conventional life rooted in Southern tradition and politics took an unexpected turn after the author’s move to the West Coast and eventual acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Maupin, a vocal promoter of his adopted city of San Francisco, has made a successful career for himself not only through his writing and speaking engagements but also with ancillary sales. These include television shows, films, theatrical productions, musical presentations, etc.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Summer Romance

Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino (USA) 2017 begins with the arrival of a summer intern in Northern Italy in 1983.

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Each year a Greco-Roman culture professor invites a grad student to help him with his research. This year it’s a tall, striking grad student named Oliver, who immediately captures the attention of the professor’s teenage son, Timothée.

Much of the film, and the novel by André Aciman it’s based on, is about the prolonged longing and unfulfilled physical contact of the two young men.

I put aside the book after reading perhaps the first third but the film held my interest from beginning to end.

Call Me By Your Name is now playing at The Landmark, Los Angeles and Paris Theatre, New York.

It opens 15 December 2017 at Century Centre Cinema, Chicago; Embarcadero Center Cinema and Kabuki 8, San Francisco; and E Street Cinema, Washington.

Also 22 December 2017 at Violet Crown Cinema, Austin; Shattuck 10, Berkeley; Houston 8, Houston; Hillcrest Cinema Five, San Diego; Monica Film Cener, Santa Monica; and Camelview At Fashion Square, Scottsdale;

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Queer Affair

There Is A Light directed by Fabio Mollo (Italy 2017 is about an unconventional relationship.

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The film touches on numerous issues relevant to gays and lesbians and also to nonconformists.

The broadest is how we connect to others in the larger society, especially if we feel alienated for whatever reason.

Family is a highly valued social network that can offer comfort as well as the most extreme anguish.

Queer people are currently less inclined to marry other gender partners in the US. This might not be the case in Italy.

There Is A Light was one of the highlights of New Italian Cinema Events 2017 in San Francisco. It was the winner of the City Of Florence Award.

NICE USA 2017 moves next to New York City and Philadelphia..

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Black Lives

This Bitter Earth by playwright Harrison David Rivers is having its world premier at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, San Francisco 22 September – 22 October 2017.

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I invited someone I didn’t know well to accompany me. I waited in the theater lobby for him while he stood outside the building waiting for me. I thought he knew the theater is located in the sub basement of an office building while he assumed I had a mobile. Our agreement to meet there meant different things to each of us.

This Bitter Earth is a two-man drama that deals with the complexities of a black-white gay relationship rooted in the painfully tragic realities of the present. One of them is a Black Lives Matter activist while the other remains politically unengaged.

The play is especially relevant to inter-racial couples. It touches on situations and feelings familiar to anyone who’s been in an intimate relationship: joy, doubt, pleasure, disappointment, irritation, satisfaction, understanding, and confusion.

There is much to praise in the play, its production, the acting, and the set design. However, the audience is key to its success. I had trouble imagining the two actors cast as a believable couple. Aside from that, I think it’s well worth seeing.

Contact New Conservatory Theatre Center for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Home Run

72 countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality and in nine it’s punishable by death. In too much of the world LGBT individuals live in fear, are subject to violence, unable to fulfill their human potential. Perhaps, the most frightening thing is the risk of being murdered by one’s own father or a male sibling.

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A few individuals are lucky enough to escape home and seek a new life in a country with more humane laws and attitudes. The goal is to reach one of the 22 nations that recognize the rights of LGBT citizens, the majority of which are in the Americas and Western Europe.

One successful strategy for young people is to learn the language in preparation of studying abroad. When an individual reaches a safe haven such as the United States, it’s possible to apply for asylum within the first year of arrival and begin the long, arduous process of providing proof of persecution.

The Center For Immigrant Protection in San Francisco helps people residing in the US with pro-bono legal representation and referrals to other available services in the area. More information is available at cipsf.com.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Backstage Boy

Opening Night directed by Isaac Rentz (USA) 2016 raises the curtain on the complex drama behind the scenes of a Broadway musical.

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The film follows the fast-paced work routine of a stage manager as he prepares performers and crew for the opening night of a show. There are both funny and poignant moments. Sex and romance are ever-present issues.

While a conventional boy-girl love affair is the prime focus, there’s a generous mix of sexual and racial variety to enjoy.

Opening Night will be available in the US as a DVD from Wolfe Video 1 August 2017.

Contact Wolfe Video for more information.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com