Barney Frank Please . . .
It was amazing, absolutely amazing to participate
in the National Equality March & Rally in Washington, D. C., last
Sunday. I marched and stood with some 200,000 queers and allies.
Together we expressed ourselves through signs, banners, chants, speeches and
songs all the while we were demanding our equality and empowering our cause.
Personally, I say we need to March on Washington
every year until we achieve that which is ours--full equality, full citizenship.
As I wrote last week, I had all the necessary excuses to not attend this event
but my convictions prevailed and, on Sunday morning, I took the drive to D. C.
and for that I am a different man.
It happened the moment I surfaced from the McPherson St. Metro Station. I was
immediately overwhelmed with emotion as I walked into the throngs of people all
there because they heard and responded to the collective "call to
arms" that expressed our demand and our resolve in achieving freedom
for all queers!
Young and old; queer and heterosexual, we marched shoulder to shoulder and
hand in hand for one cause--full equality and release from our second
Our march led us past the White House where I imagined the Obamas watching us
out their window, cheering us on, as we proceeded to the steps of the Capital. There we stood for close to four hours
cheering speaker after speaker--artists, actors, activists and politicians--who
represented us all--lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, all queer along a
new class of heterosexual allies all unabashedly demanding Equality Now.
Not just inclusive anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws or the repeals of
Defense of Marriage Act and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or even marriage equality,
but full equality as guaranteed to us under the Fourteenth Amendment of the
The message was clear. We demand equality now and that the march and
rally are just first steps in building a grassroots lobbying network in all 435
Congressional Districts to make this demand a reality.
"Equality Now" has been my mantra and motivation for some time now but to
witness so many others with the same desire deepened my resolve to seek that
which is already ours by our birth. I left D. C. with my heart glowing
and my resolve burning with the belief, the hope, the desire, that our promise
is soon at hand.
However, the establishment, both queer and
heterosexual, didn't understand this event with too many people saying that no
one would show up. But they did show up, up to 200,000 mostly young, and a few
old timers, too.
Sadly, Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) was perhaps the most disappointing of the
all the naysayers when he said: "If you do want to pressure Congress, I
don't know what standing on the mall on a weekend when no member of Congress is
in town is going to do, all that's going to pressure is the grass."
Would he have told Martin Luther King that? Clearly Mr. Frank did not
understand what the National Equality March & Rally was all about, even
with six months and a whole staff to prepare him. After his remarks
sparked an uproar he tried to explain what he meant.
Frank's position is that we would be better off just being lobbyists like the
NRA or AARP, rather then wasting our time marching or at a rally. After
all, you don't see these organizations having "shoot-ins or shuffle-ins or
anything else." No, they just lobby Congress.
When asked by Joy Behar on Wednesday night if we could do both, march and lobby,
he responded, "Most people have other things to do--they have children, they
have jobs, they have other relationships to worry about. It's just human
nature people only do a certain amount of effort, and, yeah, if people do both
that's fine but I'm afraid that some people will come to Washington and march
and think they have done it."
Somewhat insulting but the establishment line--"we know what is best for
We who marched did so with pride and with a conviction that what we were doing
was right for the advancement of our rights. Yes, lobbing is important,
it is part of the overall process, but so are our marches and rallies. They
show others that we are still here and increase our numbers as they empower
many to take up our cause.
Yes, just like the Pro-life March is held annually I believe that we too should
march and rally every year, in increasing numbers until we are truly
I hope next year Barney Frank marches with us and that our future marches are
What It Looks Like From Here
While the news of the day isn't so wonderful and
the economy sluggish at best, lovers of films and film festivals in the
tri-state area have their pick of what to see and where to go the entire month
of October and beyond.
Philadelphia Cinema Alliance (PCA), continues La Cinematheque: New French Films
with the second film in the once-a-month series in Philadelphia, with Eden is West, by director Costa-Gavras, in his only appearance in
the United States will be right here in Philadelphia, October 22, 6:45pm, at
the Prince Music Theater, the new
official home of the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, 1412 Chestnut Street, off the city's
Avenue of the Arts, in Center City Philadelphia.
Like the tradition
that has been established at both Philadelphia
CineFest and Philadelphia QFest,
Costa-Gavras will receive the PCA
Artistic Achievement Award. The special award presentation will include the
bestowing of the award, a "conversation
with" before the audience with a published film critic, a post-award reception held in his honor
at one of the city's major venues, and a tribute clip reel featuring highlights
of "his body of work".
As I told the media
recently, "Oscar-winning director and no stranger to controversy, Costa-Gavras
has brought films to audiences worldwide about topics that many, including
those who control governments, the fates of nations, the lives of populations,
would rather ignore, hide or avoid altogether."
distinguished career as an artist truly speaks for itself with some of the most
powerful cinematic statements on screen-Z
(1969), The Confession (1970), State of Siege (1972), Missing (1982), Hanna K (1983) and Betrayed
(1988), just to name a few. The Greek-born director has also worked with an
impressive roster of actors, including Yves
Montand, Simone Signoret, Irene Pappas, Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Debra Winger, Gabriel Byrne, Jill Clayburgh,
Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta and Tom Berenger, among others.
film, Eden is West, has been best
described as "a funny to heartrending
journey of a man from unknown roots to an unstable future."
"With Eden is West, we're
hoping to introduce him to a younger audience in addition to the many
cinephiles in our region who already admire and respect his films but haven't
had the opportunity to see much of his more recent work," said Raymond Murray, Artistic Director,
Philadelphia Cinema Alliance.
always felt the impact of the films of Costa-Gavras who is legendary and those
who have seen them, like me, still find them memorable, powerful and
meaningful, years later, in our contemporary world of chaos and conflict.
I'm also proud of PCA
having entered into a dynamic partnership with The Prince Music Theater,
the Embassy of France, and the French-American Cultural Foundation
will present La Cinematheque: New French Films that have yet-to-be-released in
the United States
that will premiere throughout the remainder of 2009 and into 2010.
Additional sponsors of La Cinematheque include:
tlavideo.com, TV5 Monde, Le Bec-Fin,
University of the Arts, Stella Artois, Lisa Reisman Gallery, Calderwood
Gallery, Alliance Francaise de
Philadelphia, International Women's Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia
Hospitality, Inc., The Restaurant Collection, Prive, Le Bec-Fin, The Prime Rib,
ZipCar, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, QUEERtimes,
Del Frisco's, and KB Consultants.
For more information,
ext. 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; or visit phillycinema.org
There's even new energy in the film festival world
for dwellers and visitors to the South Jersey
shore these days. This weekend the Downbeach Film Festival presents the
Atlantic City Cinefest, October
16-18, sporting both its new name and move to Slot City from its previous
locations in Margate and Ventnor.
The three-day festival will premiere, according to
executive director/board chair, William
Sokolic, "a diverse selection Independent feature films, shorts and
documentaries of varying genres, many of them from New Jersey filmmakers."
This year's lineup opens, appropriately with the
East Coast Premiere of the Atlantic City-based Ice Grill, co-directed by Greg
Santarsiero and Mark Bernardi.
Other films screened will include: Empty
Room and Life Behind Beards,
both student-submissions from Rowan
University; The Cartel, a
Michael Moore-style documentary which takes on the New Jersey public school
system; Band of Pirates, a poignant
look back at the 1989 Seton Hall
basketball team's run to the Final Four; Together,
about Angelo and Steven throwing a party
to celebrate their one-year anniversary and everything that can go wrong, will;
and Sam's Rain, a dramedy about a
soldier returning from Iraq.
Festival award recipients will include Martin Kove who will receive the Lifesaver Award for his cinematic
achievements over the span of his career in Wyatt Earp, all three Karate
Kid films and numerous television shows. Mr. Kove stars in Bare Knuckles, a tale of a single
mother who steps into the ring to feed her family, screening on October 18.
(Co-star Jeanette Roxborough will
also be in attendance.)
from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, who stars
in the new comedy, Gerald and In the Eyes of a Killer, will receive
the Chameleon Award "for his
remarkable lengthy and disparate list of characters he has played during his
Sokolic also solicited the consultation of artistic
director Ray Murray of the
Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, producers of Philadelphia
CineFest in April, Philadelphia
QFest in July and La Cinematheque:
New French Films, in the organizing of the second Downbeach Film Festival.
All festival screenings will be held in The Screening Room, 13th floor, at Resorts Atlantic City.
For more information, call 609.823.9159; or visit
to tears with the usual Philadelphia Outfest fare: endless tables, free pens,
mechanical bulls, drunken queers and tired drag queen acts, my girlfriend Jen
suggested we head to nearby Washington,
DC for the National March for
Equality. I hadn't heard of it and had
no idea what I was in for.
we took to the road, parked the car, caught a cab, and were met with the
largest mass of people I have ever seen in my twenty-three years. Folks stretched endlessly in every direction,
and we stood watching in awe for a moment.
Then, like fish in a stream, we jumped in and began marching.
took us ninety minutes to reach the Capitol
the first half hour, my emotions fluctuated from unadulterated love (enveloped
by my people and supporters), to disappointment and cynicism (at the massive
amounts of signs that cried for marriage equality), to valiant and fierce (when
I held my sign that read "End Oppression" high above my head until my arms
burned) and back again.
frequently wiped tears from my eyes because it seemed that the simple act of
marching, with each step, shook emotions in my gut, like soda in a bottle
that's been shook and is ready to explode.
glared at the DC yuppies on their fancy bikes with their fancy bike helmets and
their fancy bottled waters, who had stumbled upon the March on their usual
Sunday morning exercise routine. They
stood, slack-jawed, as the 200,000 members of this motley crew strode past
them, screaming gleefully in their face "We're here, we're queer, we're
fabulous, don't fuck with us!!!!!"
we reached the Capitol
Building, the speeches
began. There were famous speakers and
completely unknown ones, including one guy who admitted that he didn't have a
college degree and knew nothing about politics.
Despite their celebrity status or not, each one delivered their message
with such power, such raw emotion and heartfelt sincerity that it didn't
speeches again sent me on a rollercoaster of emotion; sadness, tearfulness,
pride, powerfulness and powerlessness wafted through my body at a steady,
undulating pace. My girlfriend wrapped
her arms around me from behind, and my eyes began to leak uncontrollably.
warmth of her love, of the people surrounding me, and of the sun, which shone
down on us in this important moment, filled me to the tipping point.
March? I'm ready to do whatever it
takes. I'm ready to get in the face of
my oppressor, I'm ready to fight, I'm ready to show what love and true
democracy looks like. I'm
upon the day, my favorite speaker was a very young African-American woman.
she said got me--she said, "Claim your truth."
now realized that my queer identity, my lesbian side, my flirtation with
transsexuality, my masculine appearance, everything I embody is my truth.
there that day each had their "own truth" that they've "claimed." And that day was something we all claimed,
was our day, this is our movement, and we
Raeann is a jack of many
trades, master of none - and ze prefers it that way. Ze is, however, much, much better at stuff
like camerawork and writing than say amateur astronomy or mountain climbing,
which enables hir to make a meager living.
Editors Note: Out of the Box will be a published bi-weekly on the Qt.
||Thom's Table on the Qt!
Roman is introducing "Guest Chef
Series" at Blackfish,
119 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, on the
first Monday of each month, by preparing a seven course dinner with the
reigning guest chefs, for $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Roman will host Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa from "Ideas In
Food" on November 2; and Jennifer
Carroll of "10 Arts" on December 7.
Highlights of the Talbot's menu will
include: smoked pumpkin ice cream wild char roe, cranberry, brittle walnuts;
potato chip soup black fish tempura, tartar sauce; bacon and bay scallop
risotto gala apples, cheddar, jalapeno; grouper en brodo sausage and chestnut
tortellini, buttermilk biscuit broth; veal cheek bourguignon onion soup mashed
potatoes; powdered brie de meaux white chocolate sheets, bourbon cherries,
pistachio gremolata and fluffernutter. Carroll's menu has not yet been
Roman has also developed an exciting
brunch menu for Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Examples of items on the menu will include:
fresh fruit, tellicherry pepper scented yogurt, barolo wine vinegar; warm
tomato soup, gruyere croutons, many olives' local heirloom beets, goat cheese,
Sicilian pistachios, baby greens; Caesar salad, parmesan crisp; smoked loch
duart salmon, traditional garnish; seared day boat scallops, lobster mushrooms,
balsamic; and bakery basket, muffins, croissants, biscuits, bagels, apple
butter, cream cheese for starters; and beef short ribs, stone ground grits,
fried maple acres egg; "eggs benny" loch duart salmon, Thomas' English
muffin, 63 degree egg, bearnaise; maple acre organic eggs any style, potato
hash, country sausage' buttermilk biscuits, country gravy; "chicken and
waffles"; brioche French toast, strawberry jam, Benton's bacon, Vermont
maple syrup; and classic "BLT", French fries, for main courses.
Blackfish will continue with Roman's
Chef Tastings, four courses for $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity, with
a focus upon one main ingredient throughout the evening's special meal. For
October 20, Roman will present "A
Tasting of Lobster." The menu will include: first course of
"lobster pot pie"; second course of lobster salad, grapefruit,
crystallized ginger; third course of seared lobster, hubbard squash puree,
sauce civet; and fourth course: pumpkin cake, spiced caramel. For October
27, Roman will present "A Tasting of Duck."
For more information, 610.397.0888; blackfishrestaurant.com
Chef-owner Mitch Prensky of Supper,
926 South Street, Philadelphia,
will begin serving lunch on October
21, from Wednesday through Saturday, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm "Since we opened
Supper in 2007, demand for locally sourced, sustainable food has only
increased," says Chef Prensky. "With our new lunch hours, we'll offer our
guests a wealth of new opportunities to experience how delicious farm-fresh
food can be."
Highlights of the lunch menu will
include: smoked butternut squash soup with cinnamon marshmallow, apples and
sage; Pizzocheri, house-made buckwheat pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts,
pancetta, hazelnuts and save brown butter; Butcher's salad, a selection of
charcuterie with autumn lettuces, pickled vegetables, smoky blue and mustard
dressing; crispy squid Banh Mi on baguette with Sichuan sausage, cilantro,
sweet peppers and sambal mayo, served with five spice chips; pork belly ruben,
crispy pork belly on toasted rye with kraut, gruyere and apple mustard, with
pastrami chips; and Supper Dog, bacon wrapped, deep fried housemade hot dog
with kraut, barbecued onions and beer mustard, served with buttermilk fried
information, call 215.592.8180; visit supperphilly.com
It'll be a beer lover's delight when chef Jose
Garces will team up with Victory
Brewing Company's Brewmaster/owner Bill Covaleski for a one-night-only Beer Dinner at Chifa, 707 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia,
on November 5.
The event will feature five courses
of Chifa's inspired cuisine paired with Victory beers, and will be the premiere
food event featuring its newest offering, Yakima
Twilight, a double IPA, for $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
"The distinctive, often unusual flavor pairings in our dishes at Chifa are an
ideal mate for artisanal beers," said Garces. "Victory's beers are flavorful
and diverse, much like our cuisine, so they complement each other perfectly."
Covaleski will be on hand to discuss the beers and offer helpful hints for
those who are new to pairing beer and food.
The evening's special menu will feature
Garces' signature small plates style, including Hiramasa with aji Amarillo
leche de tigre, passion fruit and roasted corn paired with Prima Pils; octopus
ceviche with purple olive and avocado paired with WildDevil;grilled Thai
sausage with tamarind Chile sauce and jasmine rice paired with Golden Monkey;
smoked rib eye with revuelto de chorizo and huacatay chimichiri paired with
Yakima Twilight; and for dessert, coconut tapioca with semisweet chocolate
cremeux and quinoa chicaronnes paired with Baltic Thunder.
information, 215.925.5555; visit chifarestaurant.com
"Shooting Men" @ AxD Gallery
I'm a huge lover of art, especially photography,
and of museums and galleries. In Philadelphia,
there are more and more galleries featuring exciting, alternative and timely
works of art and introducing many artists to the public. It may sound like a
cliché but I believe that it truly is an exciting and dynamic time to be an
artist, gallery owner, arts patron, art collector and even simply an arts
These days there are also galleries springing up all over the city, not just in
Old City Philadelphia and in Northern Liberties. Every opening of an art show
is no longer relegated to occurring on First Friday, though I still enjoy the energy
that monthly events like that engenders.
That brings me to AxD Gallery, 265 South 10th Street, located between
Locust and Spruce St.,
in Center City Philadelphia, but not surrounded by other galleries.
It's really its own arts destinations and the artists and gallery gores are
growing in their numbers in knowing to check out what's showing at AxD Gallery
as its something bound to be different, provocative, attractive to the eye and
thought-provoking to the mind.
This month's show, "Vivienne Maricevic:
Shooting Men," is now open and displays the more than 30 year photographic
journey of erotica, sexuality and gender, passionately documenting the pre-AIDS
sex industry of New York City's Times Square to the present-day nude portraiture. It
nicely but maybe unintentionally coinciding with National Coming Out Month.
The self-taught Maricevic began her lifelong fascination with nude male
photographic images in the late 1970s during the Times
Square of porn movie houses, dirty bookstores, and the blatant
advertising of sex amidst the mainstream Broadway theaters. She continued to
capture the unique world of the city's sex industry into the 1980s, a world now
replaced by a family tourism destination that Times Square
In the earliest days of her career, Maricevic was frustrated by the lack of
"serious" male nude photography in publications and the art world. She
paid for a simple ad in the Village Voice: "Male nudes by female
photographer." That action dramatically changed her life and her career.
One short year later, Maricevic opened her first exhibition, "Naked Men" in New York City in 1979.
Her documentary approach to her subjects led her to various and fascinating
worlds--male "burlesk" capturing the exotic male dancers in legendary clubs
like "The Ramrod," "Big Top," and "Eros." Her relationships with everyone from
the club owners and managers to the performers allowed her both freedom and
access from onstage to offstage, resulting in her first series portfolio, "Porn
In 1986, Maricevic met her first transsexual. She recalled at how "amazingly
naturally feminine this person was and instantly wanted to meet others [like
her] to photograph."
Her growing and expanding exploration of sexual identity and gender soon led
Maricevic to photograph transvestites, drag queens, male-to-female and
female-to-male transsexuals, male impersonators and androgynous women.
Maricevic's most recent work returns her attention to the male nude, capturing,
according to assistant gallery director Ryan
McMenamin, "moments ranging from pensive introspection to displays of
"Vivienne Maricevic: Shooting Men" continues through November 7.
It's a must-see exhibition of some extraordinary and personal photographic
For more information, call .215.627.6250; or visit a-x-d.com/gallery
What They Said:
Lady Bunny is famous as well as
infamous for many, many things. The New
York City legendary drag queen (and she genuinely
deserves that title, drag queen, anywhere in the country, bar none) became
acclaimed for being the founder and host of Wigstock (there's even a movie
about the unique event). Her multi-talents are numerous and far ranging, too,
from deejay. comedienne, emcee, singer, songwriter to actress. Even a writer,
once she got computer savvy and Internet smart, establishing her own web site
and, eventually, her blog, where she found herself talking a lot about
political things. She recently told the editors at QVegas (October, 2009) "People didn't expect drag queens to have a
political mind--[but] let's not forget that it was drag queens that started the
gay rights movement of Stonewall, and this country was founded by men wearing
wigs." By the way, if you were ever wondering about her drag name,
the first half is "Lady is kind of a
prefix that's Southern" and the second half is named after a comic book, "'Bunny: Queen of the In Crowd,' I've kept
every one of them, they're rare now."
Are you, like me, forever and for always, trying to catch up on your
reading? And remember those English and literature courses in college
that forced you to learn to admire and praise the short story? And did
you not learn to love, even if force-feed by your passionate professor of
letters, the works of John Cheever? The philosopher king of
suburbia (what we as youth were all trying to escape for the grit and the grim
and the energy of urban life), Cheever who captured the postwar era of a life
of endless cocktail parties, country clubs, commuter trains (each business man
knew how to neatly fold the New York Times or Wall Street Journal with military-like
precision), and adultery. But whoever thought about the secret Cheever
until his daughter, Susan Cheever, revealed her father's bisexuality in her
memoir, "Home Before Dark," and a new biography, "Cheever: A Life" by Blake
Bailey. Who would ever have imagined in the college dorm room that Cheever
might be gay? Queer novelist Christopher Bram (OUT, May, 2008) writes: "For Cheever, the closet--a fact of life in
this earlier age--exacted a high price. It poisoned his marriage and increased
his drinking, which ultimately hurt his fiction. We remember the world of
Cheever more clearly than we do individual stories. His voice is a broken
is a tower of queer writing, having produced such memorable and worth rereading
novels as "A Boy's Own Story," "The Farewell Symphony," "Forgetting Elena," and
nonfiction books like "The Joy of Gay Sex" and "States of Desire: Travels in
Gay America," to name just a major handful of his body of work. Now, he has
written yet more about another chapter in his big gay book of life, "City Boy:
My Life in New York,
During the 1960s and '70s," the latest installment of White's memoirs.
Journalist Stacey D'Erasmo (The New York Times Book Review, October 4, 2009)
rhapsodizes about the writer White in general and this newest gift: "The love of outrageous beauty, and the
outrageous love of beauty, that he brought to the early novels he also brought
to his take on modern gay life, especially gay male life; far from apologetic,
pathological, or half-truthful, White's joy in gayness was almost Nietzschean,
brash and even ruthless. No more weeping by your Judy Garland records; this was
rock 'n roll, leathery and muscular and raw. . .of gay men of that period, he
writes, 'Everyone had to be unambiguous, as glowing as a peacock's tail and as
towering as a stag's antlers.'"
||Photos on the Qt!|
Bruce Pinchbeck, Photographer
Matt Ray and Thom Cardwell . . . obviously Matt must said something
James Duggan and gal-pal T. Desire HinesJames Duggan, John DiPietro, Paul Scoles, Congressmen Joe Sestak, Thom Cardwell and Rich Sestak
Click HERE for more Indigo Ball 2009 photos