May 10th, 2015

andrew potter

Ralph Seligman & Wayne Courtois

"I was born in Maine and grew up there, taking its beauty completely for granted. (Every other state must be just as beautiful, right?) I left home at 18 to go to college at Michigan State, followed by graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where I earned an MFA in Writing.

After grad school I moved to New York, where I lived for seven years, mostly in the East Village. The best part about living in New York in the early 1980s was that you could make a decent living doing freelance word processing. All the writers, artists, actors, and musicians were doing it. The word processing machines of that era were very large and very scary to the executives who purchased them. Enter the freelancer who knew how to tame the machine and calm everyone's nerves.

The bad part about living in New York during the 80s was...well, there were many bad parts, not the least of which was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. By 1986 I was more than ready to leave, and when I had the opportunity to move to Kansas City (to culminate a long-distance flirtation...hands up for 'who's been there?'), I took it.

My flirtation-turned-relationship in Kansas City didn't last long, but I decided to stay because I loved the place, and still do. It may be one of the last of the truly livable big cities in the country. I met my partner, Ralph, in the fall of 1988, and we started dating in January 1989. We moved in together in the spring of that year and have been together ever since.


Wayne and his husbear since 1988, Ralph Seligman, were married in New York in October 2013, live in Kansas City, Missouri. "My flirtation-turned-relationship in Kansas City didn't last long, but I decided to stay because I loved the place, and still do. It may be one of the last of the truly livable big cities in the country. I met my partner, Ralph, in the fall of 1988, and we started dating in January 1989. We moved in together in the spring of that year and have been together ever since."

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Further Readings:

A Report from Winter by Wayne Courtois
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (July 20, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212355
ISBN-13: 978-1590212356
Amazon: A Report from Winter
Amazon Kindle: A Report from Winter

A Report from Winter is a death-in-the-family story, a love story, and a meditation on the meaning of ''winter''--as a season and as a metaphor for family relationships.

It's January 1998, and southern Maine is recovering from one of the worst ice storms in history. Into this unforgiving environment comes the author, flying home from Kansas City after a ten-year absence. His mother, Jennie, is dying of cancer. Though receiving excellent care in a nursing home, she has lost the ability to communicate. Needing support, Wayne makes an SOS call to Ralph, his longtime partner. Ralph boards a plane to Portland for his first exposure to a Maine winter, and to Wayne's family as well, including a feisty aunt and an emotionally distant brother. The contrast between a nurturing gay relationship and dysfunctional family bonds is as sharp as the wind sweeping in from the sea.

Stubbornly unsentimental, A Report from Winter weaves childhood memories of winter with the harsh realities of living in a family where there's not enough love to go around. The memoir is a tribute to hard-won relationships built on mutual trust and understanding, defying an uncaring world.

Tales My Body Told Me by Wayne Courtois
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (May 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212479
ISBN-13: 978-1590212479
Amazon: Tales My Body Told Me
Amazon Kindle: Tales My Body Told Me

Sex. Satire. Mystery. Foul Play. True Love. Not necessarily in that order.

Paul Lavarnway thought he had settled into comfortable, middle-aged domesticity in Kansas City with his husband Eric. So how is it he finds himself confined with four other gay men at East Oak House, a spooky old mansion from which they can see the rundown, off-season resort of Two Piers, Maine, with its single pier and silent Ferris Wheel? He can't remember. Is it the drugs? The group therapy meant to help Paul and his housemates learn to be happy ex-gays?

While winter deepens outside the windows, Paul and his companions and their sweetly sinister mentor Brian explore the past and the future without ever quite understanding their present in the hot-house atmosphere of East Oak House. As memory comes to the surface, Paul discovers truths about himself, his husband, the man who came between them, and the accidental lover whose death looks more and more like murder.

Shifting with surreal grace from profound emotion to shallow sex to mystery and horror to outrageous comedy to redemption (maybe), Tales My Body Told Me is a novel like no other.

More Rainbow Awards at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, Rainbow Awards/2009 & 2010


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andrew potter

Francisco Costa & John DeStefano Jr.

Francisco Costa (born 10 May 1964) is the Women's Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection. Costa won the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) award for Womenswear Designer of the Year in June 2006 as well as in June 2008. Costa also won the National Design Award in 2009 in the category of Fashion Design. Since 1990 Costa's partner is John DeStefano Jr., a horse trainer and his rock. "He keeps me 100 percent together," says Costa. "He can't take much bullshit." Costa and DeStefano met at George Smith, the furniture store where Costa worked on Saturdays to supplement the salary he earned on Seventh Avenue.

Costa is the second youngest of five children. He grew up in Guarani, Brazil, where his mother, Maria-Francisca, owned a children's wear factory. She began her business producing dresses commissioned by a traveling salesman. Costa's father, Jacy Neves da Costa, ran a small ranch. In his hometown of 8,000 people, Costa put on fashion shows for charities. His size is compact and he has brown eyes. Being civic minded by nature, his mother was like the mayor of the town. She presided over her family. Costa remembers there being fifteen people at his family's lunch table.

Following his mother's death in 1981, he left with a friend for New York City in 1985. He was twenty-one and spoke no English at the time. He enrolled in a language class at Hunter College and took courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology at night. He obtained employment with Herbert Rounick, whose Seventh Avenue (Manhattan) company made dresses for Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass. Costa went to work for de la Renta after Rounick's death, designing for the firm's Japanese licenses. Costa credits de la Renta with teaching him the most about both designing clothes and life. He remained with the company for five years.


Francisco Costa is the Women's Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection. Costa won the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) award for Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2006 and 2008. Since 1990 Costa's partner is John DeStefano Jr., a horse trainer and his rock. "He keeps me 100 percent together," says Costa. "He can't take much bullshit." Costa and DeStefano met at George Smith, the furniture store where Costa worked on Saturdays to supplement the salary he earned on Seventh Avenue.



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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Costa_%28designer%29

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More Fashion Designers at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance



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andrew potter

G&T: italian gay webserie

When Gay Romance wasn't so popular, I was already passionate about gay love stories, and the only source to fullfill my passion were movies. There are wonderful Gay Romance Movies, but again, I think I have seen most of them. I have also backed many kickstarter campaigns, bought DVDs and rented/streamed many of them. Lately, I was again feeling a gap... no more new movies out there for me. And then, without searching, something nice happened: I "met" G&T (Giulio&Tommy), the Italian Gay Webseries and do you want to know what is the best thing? it's free!

That is the point, the product is so good that I was all for paying to see it, and instead these two guys, Matteo and Francesco, authors, directors and main actors of the webseries, put it out there for free. The first season was low-budget, but trust me, you don't perceive that: I have bought many indie movies, with a good story but a so-and-so background work (sound, screenplay, actors...) and I have always reviewed them in a positive way since my starting point was, with such low budget that is the best they could do... and here we have a webseries that instead did well beyond that, it's almost a product I wouldn't mind to see screened on an International Festival, and do you want to know more? it has different subtitles, so that you can enjoy it even if you are not an Italian speaking follower.



G&T wants to fill a gap in the Italian market (but sincerely that is something lacking also abroad): a contemporary gay love story with an happy ending. Giulio and Tommy, childhood best friends, move to the realm of lovers, need to overcome many obstacles, but we, audience, strongly feel they will have their happy ending... and they will have IT! How many time we fell in love for "our" characters (because, yes, they are our own after a bit) and in the end, for many reasons, the author decided it was most "catching" to deprive us of the happy ending? I don't want to drop names, but I have at least three movies in mind. G&T will not disappoint you on that regard, trust me.

And now, for who is wondering, but do they dare, or the gay thing is just th flavour of the month, and the story has simply put a same-sex pair in an otherwise traditional relationship? Do not worry, they dare, and a lot too, the relationship between Giulio and Tommy develops both in an emotional than physical way, and when they got physical, it's like achieving an apex (pun intended), but it's never, ever vulgar: it was explicit, but it was like seeing a tableau from Caravaggio, passion and strength, dark colors and sudden light, it was arousing but also emotional uplifting.



I'm still wondering how those two guys managed such a good job with such a small budget. Season 2 is complete and they are trying to understand how to afford Season 3... if they will indeed crowfund this project, I will be first in line to contribute.




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