May 15th, 2012

andrew potter

Rodger McFarlane (February 25, 1955 – May 15, 2009)

Rodger Allen McFarlane (February 25, 1955 – May 15, 2009) was an American gay rights activist who served as the first paid executive director of the Gay Men's Health Crisis and later served in leadership positions with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Bailey House and the Gill Foundation.

McFarlane was born on February 25, 1955 in Mobile, Alabama and was raised on the family's soybean and chicken farm in Theodore, Alabama. The 6-foot, 7-inch McFarlane played football in high school, where he was "a monster, a legend", who was "big enough to get past the gay thing" playing football and could then "go jump rope with the girls." He attended the University of South Alabama. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1974, serving on a submarine as a nuclear reactor technician. Following his military service, McFarlane moved to New York City, where he worked as a respiratory therapist.

In the early 1980s, McFarlane walked into the offices of Gay Men's Health Crisis, offering to serve as a volunteer. He began a crisis counseling hotline that originated on his own home telephone, which ultimately became one of the organization's most effective tools for sharing information about AIDS. Shortly thereafter, he was named as the first paid executive director of GMHC, helping create a more formal structure for the nascent organization, which had no funding or offices when he took on the role. Larry Kramer, the playwright and gay rights activist who was one of the six founders of Gay Men's Health Crisis in 1982, became a friend of McFarlane's, describing that by the time of his death, "the G.M.H.C. is essentially what he started: crisis counseling, legal aid, volunteers, the buddy system, social workers" as part of an organization that serves more than 15,000 people affected by HIV and AIDS.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodger_McFarlane

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More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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andrew potter

Gay Metropolis: Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930)

Jasper Johns, Jr. (born May 15, 1930) is an American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns spent his early life in Allendale, South Carolina with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed. He then spent a year living with his mother in Columbia, South Carolina and thereafter he spent several years living with his aunt Gladys in Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia. He completed high school in Sumter, South Carolina, where he once again lived with his mother. Recounting this period in his life, he says, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in." He began drawing when he was three and has continued doing art ever since.

Johns studied at the University of South Carolina from 1947 to 1948, a total of three semesters. He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design in 1949. In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan during the Korean War.


Numbers in Color (1958–59)

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Johns

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andrew potter

Particular Voices: Gloria Anzaldúa (September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004)

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa (September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004) was considered a leading scholar of Chicano cultural theory and Queer theory. She loosely based her most well-known book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza on her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her works.

Anzaldúa was born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas on September 26, 1942 to Urbano Anzaldúa and Amalia Anzaldúa née García. Gloria Anzaldúa's great-grandfather, Urbano Sr., once a precinct judge in Hidalgo County, was the first owner of the Jesús María Ranch on which Anzaldúa was born. Anzaldúa's mother grew up on an adjoining ranch, Los Vergeles ("the gardens"), which was owned by her family, and met and married Urbano Anzaldúa when both were very young. Anzaldúa is a descendant of many of the prominent Basque and Spanish explorers and settlers to come to the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries. The surname Anzaldúa is of Basque origin.

Anzaldúa began menstruating when she was only three months old, a symptom of the endocrine condition that caused her to stop growing physically at the age of twelve. Anzaldúa eventually underwent a hysterectomy to deal with uterine, cervical, and ovarian abnormalities. Reflecting upon her illness, she announced "I was born a queer."

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Anzaldua
Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands. Smart and tough and beautiful. An original warrior princess. --Sarah Black
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andrew potter

In the Spotlight: Alan Cumming

The Book: Tommy is twenty-nine, lives and loves in London, and has a morbid fear of the c word (commitment), the b word (boyfriend), and the f word (forgetting to call his drug dealer before the weekend). But when he begins to feel the urge to become a father, and the pressure from his boyfriend to make a real commitment to their relationship, Tommy starts to wonder if his chosen lifestyle can ever make him happy.

Faced with the choice of maintaining his hedonistic, drugged-out, and admittedly fabulous existence or chucking it all in favor of a far more sensitive, fulfilling, and—let's face it—slightly more staid lifestyle, Tommy finds himself in a true quandary. Through a series of adventures and misadventures that lead him from London nightspots to New York bedrooms and back, our boy Tommy manages to answer some of life's most pressing questions—even those he never thought to ask.

Amazon: Tommy's Tale: A Novel
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: It Books (October 21, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060989270
ISBN-13: 978-0060989279

The Author: Alan Cumming, OBE (born 27 January 1965), is a Scottish stage, television and film actor, singer, writer, director, producer and author. His roles have included the Emcee in Cabaret, Boris Grishenko in GoldenEye, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, Mr. Elton in Emma, and Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids films. He has also appeared in independent films like The Anniversary Party, which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in; and Ali Selim's Sweet Land, for which he won an Independent Spirit award as producer.

His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the Maniac in Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, for which he received an Olivier Award, the lead in Martin Sherman's Bent, and as Dionysus in The National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae. On Broadway he has appeared as Mac the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, the Emcee in Cabaret, for which he won the Tony in 1998, and Design for Living. Cumming also introduces Masterpiece Mystery! for PBS. He currently appears as Eli Gold on The Good Wife, for which he has been nominated for two Emmys, two SAGs, a Satellite Award and Critics' Circle Award.

He has also written a novel, Tommy's Tale, had a cable talk show (Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming) and produced a line of perfumed products labelled "Cumming". He has contributed opinion pieces to many publications and performed a cabaret show I Bought A Blue Car Today. Retaining his British citizenship, Cumming became a naturalized U.S. citizen on November 7, 2008.

Cumming lives in New York City with his husband, graphic artist Grant Shaffer, and their dogs, Honey and Leon. The couple dated for two years before entering into a civil partnership at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, on January 7, 2007. Cumming and Shaffer remarried in New York on January 7, 2012, the fifth anniversary of their London wedding.

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Top Gay Novels List (*)

First Decade (2000-2009): http://www.elisarolle.com/ramblings/top_100_gay_novels_2.htm

Second Decade (2010-2019): http://www.elisarolle.com/ramblings/top_100_gay_novels_2.2.htm

*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.

Note: I remember to my friends that guest reviews of the above listed books (the top 100 Gay Novels) are welcome, just send them to me and I will post with full credits to the reviewer.

Other titles not in the top 100 list: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/top50MM