December 5th, 2013

andrew potter

Bob Kohler (May 17, 1926 – December 5, 2007)

Robert Andrew "Bob" Kohler (17 May 1926 – 5 December 2007) was a gay rights pioneer. A native of Queens, New York, Kohler was a lifetime queer activist in New York City, who also fought for the rights of many other people and animals. He was at the Stonewall riots, and considered a father figure to many of the young trans people, such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, as well as to younger generations of activists.

Kohler served in the U. S. Navy in the South Pacific Theater during World War II, was the manager of the New York gay bathhouse, Club Baths, was among the first agents to represent non-famous Black artists, owner of the popular gay store The Loft on Christopher Street, and a lifelong activist.

He died of lung cancer on December 5, 2007, at the age of 81, in the Charles Street (West Village) apartment that he had lived in for 45 years.

Though Kohler is best known for his role at the Stonewall riots and his early involvement with the Gay Liberation Front, he was active with many movements and groups, including the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Black Panther Party, Act Up, Sex Panic, the Neutral Zone, the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), Irish Queers, Fed Up Queers, animal rights groups, and FIERCE!


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Calvin Trillin (born December 5, 1935)

Calvin Marshall Trillin (born December 5, 1935) is an American journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist.

Trillin attended public schools in Kansas City and went on to Yale University, where he served as chairman of the Yale Daily News and was a member of the Pundits and Scroll and Key before graduating in 1957; he later served as a Fellow of the University. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he worked as a reporter for Time magazine before joining the staff of The New Yorker in 1963. His reporting for The New Yorker on the racial integration of the University of Georgia was published in his first book, An Education in Georgia. He wrote the magazine’s U.S. Journal series from 1967 to 1982, covering local events both serious and quirky throughout the United States.

He has also written for The Nation magazine. He began in 1978 with a column called Variations, which was eventually renamed Uncivil Liberties and ran through 1985. The same name – Uncivil Liberties – was used for the column when it was syndicated weekly in newspapers, from 1986 to 1995. Essentially the same column then ran without a name in Time magazine from 1996 to 2001. His humor columns for The Nation often made fun of the editor of the time, Victor Navasky, whom he jokingly referred to as the wily and parsimonious Navasky. (He once wrote that the magazine paid "in the high two figures.") From the July 2, 1990, issue of The Nation to today, Trillin has written his weekly "Deadline Poet" column – humorous poems about current events. Trillin has written considerably more pieces for The Nation than any other single person.

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George Selden (May 14, 1929 – December 5, 1989)

George Selden Thompson (May 14, 1929 – December 5, 1989) was an American author, who wrote under the pseudonym George Selden. He is best known for his 1961 book The Cricket in Times Square, which received a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1963 and a Newbery Honor.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Thompson was educated at the Loomis School, and graduated from there in 1947. He attended Yale University, where he joined the Elizabethan Club and the literary magazine, and graduated with a B.A. in 1951. He also attended Columbia University for three summers. After Yale, he studied for a year in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship from 1951 and 1952.

Selden is best known as the author of several books about the character Chester Cricket and his friends. The first book, The Cricket in Times Square, was a Newbery Honor Book in 1961. Selden explained the inspiration for that book as follows:

"One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in the Time Square subway station. The story formed in my mind within minutes. An author is very thankful for minutes like those, although they happen all too infrequently."

In 1974, under the pseudonym of Terry Andrews, Selden wrote the novel The Story of Harold, the story of a bisexual children's book author's various affairs, friendships, and mentoring of a lonely child. The book is very descriptive of the seventies, including the sexual revolution. Moderately graphic scenes of sado-masochism, orgies and other sexual acts, are narrated by Terry, the book's protagonist. It could be construed as somewhat autobiographical in the sense the author writes of a character who writes children's books. The relationship to the boy and also the author's own feelings regarding his own existence are the main keys in this novel.

Selden remained unmarried; a resident of Greenwich Village in New York City, he died there at age 60 from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.


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Hanif Kureishi (born December 5, 1954)

Although he does not employ the idiom of identity politics, Hanif Kureishi frequently gives gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals significant roles in his works.

Kureishi was born in 1954 to a Pakistani father and a British mother. He attended Bromley Tech and King's College, London. Kureishi wrote several moderately successful plays for the Royal Court Theater--The King and Me (1980), The Mother Country (1980), Outskirts (1981, which won the George Devine Drama Award), Borderline (1981), and Birds of Passage (1983)--but first gained international prominence with his screenplay, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985). Not only was the film a commercial success, the screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award.

Kureishi's subsequent screenplays include Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1988), London Kills Me (1991), and My Son the Fanatic (1997), which is based on a short story from his 1997 collection, Love in a Blue Time. Kureishi's novels include The Buddha of Suburbia (1991), which won the George Whitbread Prize; The Black Album (1995); and Intimacy (1998).

Gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals regularly play significant roles in Kureishi's work. For example, the relationship between Omar and Johnny is central to My Beautiful Laundrette; the lesbians in Sammy and Rosie Get Laid are crucial subsidiary characters; and in The Buddha of Suburbia, protagonist Karim's simultaneous desire for and identification with Charlie is as strong as his bonds with any of the women in the text, and his adolescent sexual experimentation with Charlie is represented both erotically and comically.

Kureishi's urbane representation of same-sex relationships has been found to be offensive by conservative members of the Pakistani-British community. Conversely, his works are not usually discussed in the context of gay literature because he does not employ the idiom of identity politics. In The Buddha of Suburbia, for instance, Karim enjoys having sex with both men and women, but he does not identify himself as a bisexual any more than he does as an Englishman or a "Paki."

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Citation Information
Author: Silva, Stephen da
Entry Title: Kureishi, Hanif
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated December 14, 2002
Web Address
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date December 5, 2012
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 2002, New England Publishing Associates

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Margaret Cho (born December 5, 1968)

Margaret Cho is Korean American, she’s queer, she’s funny, and she’s on TV—get used to it. Her birth name was Moran Cho, and all the kids at school called her “moron.” Naturally she developed a sense of humor and renamed herself Margaret as soon as possible.

Cho was a successful stand-up comic when ABC asked her to star in a series about a Korean American family, All American Girl. It was a devastating experience for her, as network executives criticized her appearance and injected gay and Asian sterotypes into the show’s content. Having become convinced that she was too fat, Cho literally starved herself, almost to death. The show didn’t make it into a second season.

Following the cancellation of All American Girl, Cho dealt with addiction to alcohol and other demons. She came back with I’m the One I Want, her one-woman show, book, and CD. In 2008 she returned to television in the reality show Cho Show on VH1.

Self-described as “queer,” Cho has dated film director Quentin Tarantino, musician Chris Isaak, and other men. In 2003 she married artist Al Ridenour. She’s more private about her girlfriends, but often uses her lesbian experiences as part of her act. She’s been a very active supporter of gay rights, and was deputized to perform marriages in San Francisco before same-sex marriage was outlawed by Proposition 8.

Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 3495-3506). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

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Paul Walker (1952 - December 5, 1993)

Paul Walker, a director, actor and teacher of drama at New York University, died on December 5, 1993, at New York Downtown Hospital. He was 41 and lived in Manhattan.

He died of AIDS, said Eve Ensler, a friend.

Mr. Walker, an instructor in theater technique in the graduate acting program at the Tisch School of the Arts, had taught in the program since 1985 and was noted for his classes on improvisation and theater games.

He also taught acting at Dartmouth, Vassar, Princeton, the New School, Colorado College, the City University of New York, Montclair State College and Balliol College, Oxford.

With the Manhattan-based Acting Company, he toured as an actor in productions of "Twelfth Night," "Il Campiello, a Venetian Comedy," "The Country Wife" and "Waiting for Godot."

In the 1980's Mr. Walker acted in regional productions in Minnesota, Portland, Ore., and Washington. In 1990, he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the Acting Company in "Five by Tenn," a program of Tennessee Williams's one-act plays.

Mr. Walker directed "Ladies," "Legacy" and "Short Takes" for the Music-Theater Group in Manhattan. He wrote several plays, including "A Passenger Train of 61 Coaches" at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky., "The Rivers and Ravines" at Arena Stage in Washington and "Under Control" at the 29th Street Repertory Theater.

AIDS Quilt

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Robert Chesley (March 22, 1943 – December 5, 1990)

Robert Chesley (March 22, 1943, Jersey City, New Jersey – December 5, 1990, San Francisco, California) was a playwright, theater critic and musical composer.

Between 1965-75 Chesley composed the music to over five dozen songs and choral works, chiefly to texts by poets such as Emily Dickinson, Willa Cather, James Agee, Walter de la Mare, Gertrude Stein and Walt Whitman. His instrumental works include the score to a 1972 film by Erich Kollmar.

In 1976 he moved to San Francisco and became theater critic at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, during its golden period when composer-actor Robert DiMatteo was also on the staff as film critic. In 1980 Theatre Rhinoceros produced Chesley's first one-act, Hell, I Love You; in 1984 his Night Sweat became one of the first produced full-length plays to deal with AIDS.

On August 31, 1986, his two-character play, Jerker, aired on the Pacifica Radio station KPFK's IMRU Program. Its frank sexual language immediately stirred controversy; later that year the FCC rewrote its rules governing the broadcast of "questionable" works, citing Jerker as the test case.

He was also co-founder of the Three-Dollar Bill Theater in New York City.

In total, Chesley wrote 10 full-length and 21 one-act plays. Several works were premiered posthumously and all of his major plays have been published.

Chesley died of AIDS in San Francisco at the age of 47. The Robert Chesley Award for Lesbian and Gay Playwriting, given annually by Publishing Triangle, is named in his honor.

At the beginning of the epidemic (AIDS), because no one knew for sure whether AIDS really was a sexually transmitted disease, anyone recommending reduced sexual activity as a sensible precaution ran the risk of being attacked for "internalized homophobia" or "sexual fascism". And because Kramer (Larry) had already attacked promiscuity for other reasons, he was particularly vulnerable to this criticism.

He went to his doctor three weeks after the Times article to ask him what he could do to avoid the new disease. "I'd stop having sex", his physician told him. One month after the appointment, his first warning about the epidemic appeared in the New York Native, a gay newspaper that pioneered coverage of the disease:
"The men who have been stricken don't appear to have done anything that many New York gay men haven't done at one time or another. We're appalled that this is happening to them and terrified that it could happen to us. It's easy to become frightened that one of the many things we've done or taken over the past years may be all that it takes for a cancer to grow from a tiny something-or-other that got in there who knows when from doing who knows what... Money is desperately needed... This is our disease and we must take care of each other and ourselves. In the past we have often been a divided community; I hope we can all get together on this emergency, undivided, cohesively, and with all the numbers we in so many ways possess."
The attacks he received for this sensible appeal set the tone for the debate within the gay community during the first years of the epidemic. On one side were those like Kramer who believed "something we are doing is ticking off the time bomb that is causing the breakdown of immunity in certain bodies", and therefore "wouldn't it be better to be cautious, rather than reckless?" On the other side were writers like Robert Chesley, who immediately skewered Kramer in the letters column of the Native:
"I think the concealed meaning in Kramer's emotionalism is the triumph of guilt: the gay men deserve to die for their promiscuity. In his novel, Faggots, Kramer told us that sex is dirty and that we ought not be doing what we're doing... It's easy to become frightened that Kramer's real emotion is a sense of having been vindicated, though tragically... Read anything by Kramer closely. I think you'll find that the subtext is always: the wages of gay sin are death... I am not downplaying the seriousness of Kaposi's sarcoma. But something else is happening here, which is also serious: gay homophobia and anti-eroticism."
Kramer later credited Chesley's attack with turning him into an activist. --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
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More Particular Voices at my website:, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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Garret Freymann-Weyr

"I wrote the story for a beautiful picture book called French Ducks in Venice (play the video that the brilliant Erin McGuire made and that the equally brilliant Jeff Freymann-Weyr did the music for).

Normally I write novels for both adults and young adults (a fancy phrase for people who are 12-18, although I have lots of readers who are younger and older than that). In addition to French Duck in Venice, I am the author of My Heartbeat, a Printz Honor book, which is being reissued by Houghton Mifflin in June, 2012. I also wrote Stay with Me, The Kings Are all Here, and When I Was Older. For a long time, I lived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and then in a small town in North Carolina.

Now I am living in a lot of different places at once, which can be confusing. Fortunately, my dog, Henry, comes everywhere with me.

I grew up in New York City and miss it everyday. I have an MFA from NYU and I teach writing when I am not writing."

My Heartbeat is a 2002 novel by Garret Freymann-Weyr, about a fourteen-year-old girl who discovers that her brother and his best friend, James, who she has been in love with for years, could be a couple. It was named a Printz Honor book in 2003.

Ellen is a fourteen-year-old girl going into her freshman year of high school in New York City. She has been in love with her brother Link's best friend James for as long as he can remember. She is often invited to come along with Link and James to hang out and James says that when Ellen grows out of her crush on him, it will "break his heart." Ellen soon finds out that Link and James are a couple and is very surprised. Her mother is okay with her son being gay, but her father is not. Link denies being gay, but James tells Ellen that both of them are. James also reveals that he has slept with other men to make Link jealous. Link ignores Ellen and James for a while because he is embarrassed and in denial of his orientation and does not want to be confronted. In the meantime, James and Ellen begin dating, but then agree to break up before James goes off to college.

Further Readings:

My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Speak; English Language edition (December 29, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142400661
ISBN-13: 978-0142400661
Amazon: My Heartbeat
Amazon Kindle: My Heartbeat

Ellen loves Link and James. Her older brother and his best friend are the only company she ever wants. She knows they fight, but she makes it a policy never to take sides. She loves her brother, the math genius and track star. And she is totally, madly in love with James, with his long eyelashes and hidden smiles. "When you grow out of it," James teases her, "you will break my heart." Then someone at school asks if Link and James might be in love with each other. A simple question. But the answer is far from simple, and its repercussions affect their entire lives. This extraordinary, multiple award-winning novel is funny, heartbreaking, and messy—just like its characters, just like life.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

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The Awakening (Sisterhood of Spirits Trilogy 1) by Yvonne Heidt

I’m more a contemporary sort of reader, and while I may believe in “special” energy, I’m not really a believer in ghosts, in a way, I’m probably a little like Jordan; but maybe, if I had the chance to meet someone like Sunny, head investigator and founder of Sisters of Spirits, a paranormal society dedicated to helping others understand what they can’t see, I’d have more chance to change my attitude.

The strongest point of the story is its balance; good mix of romance, drama, horror, mystery, all of them melted together in a fluid plot, with no bump. In a way, this what I liked more, but what it makes it so different from previous horror novels I read (and I admit, I’m not really an horror story lovers): I don’t really like when there are too much ups and downs in the story, one effect here and there is good, but always being on a roller coast is not my thing. The Awakening is more psychological than horror, and that is what I liked.

From the romance point of view it’s an opposites attract theme, but with a twist, while Sunny’s job should led her to be the “darker” side of the couple, even in her name she is the more open, light and adjusted, while instead Jordan brings with her a baggage of pain and past angst. Sunny needs to help her to look inside herself, to be able to open up to other.

First in a trilogy, The Awakening is also a confirmation of Yvonne Heidt’s talent which was already highlighted with her debut novel, Sometime Yesterday.

Series: Sisterhood of Spirits Trilogy (Book 1)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602827729
ISBN-13: 978-1602827721
Amazon: The Awakening (Sisterhood of Spirits Trilogy 1)
Amazon Kindle: The Awakening (Sisterhood of Spirits Trilogy 1)


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