When I was a boy my parents made me go to Hebrew school, 3 days a week in a long, drawn-out process to prepare me for my bar mitzvah. By 10, my Israeli teacher Mrs. Yardeni (and the powers that be at the religious school) thought it was appropriate to introduce my class to the holocaust-pictures of piled up corpses at Auschwitz et al. I was haunted for years by those images. It’s just recently that I’ve been able to revisit the subject, just in time to process this disturbing, fascinating and illuminating show,“Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945” now up at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through Oct. 2. The Nazis, in their obsessive quest to eliminate biological corruption targeted homosexuals as well as millions of Jews. “Believing them to be carriers of a degeneracy that weakened society and hindered population growth, the Nazi state arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps tens of thousands of German men as a means of terrorizing them into social conformity.” This traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. takes an in depth look at the Nazi’s effort to extinguish homosexuality in Germany. Needless to say they failed miserably but not before they killed and tortured thousands of gay men. Take a deep breath and head down to Battery Park City to have a look at an unforgettable show marking an important period in gay history.
A collaboration between photographer Luke Austin and 50+ artists from all over the world.
It would have been more considerate of Abi to give me the Luke Austin assignment BEFORE I went to the west coast to visit my parents; they keep knocking on my door, wondering why I won’t come out for dessert and coffee and Netflix, and I can’t find the words to tell them that I’m very busy jerking off to Luke’s new book images.
Austin is a NYC-based photographer who focuses on taking intimate pictures of men. His pictures are sexy and funny, but best of all he’s got one hell of an eye for hot guys. Straight-up, good-old-fashioned hot-as fuck MEN in their underwear, shot by Austin then re-rendered by over 50 different artists from around the globe, each in their own equally distinctive styles: That’s what you’ll be getting at the launch of Austin’s new book, Double Vision, at The Highline Loft at 508 W26th St. on Thursday May 28 from 6:00-9:00PM. Double Vision is the fourth book in Austin’s Mini Beaubook series, created entirely with artists who Austin discovered through Instagram. How very “now.”
To add a few more meta-layers to this collaborative cock-cake, the exhibit will showcase a limited edition set of ‘Like’ T-shirts for the event created with NYC graphic artist Adam JK. NYC artist John Macconnell will be showing 12 of his “life-size charcoal drawings of naked men.” I’m really not happy that I’m missing this. Please go to this show for me, since I’m stuck at my parents house in the suburbs blowing my load all over these pictures. Copies of Double Vision will be on sale for $20 — will someone get me one please?!?
The Loisaida Festival started in the early 80s as a block party for local LES kids to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in the hood in lieu of a fancy weekend outside the city, which was beyond the reach of the mostly Puerto Rican working class families who made up the neighborhood in those days. Now that the LES has been colonized by Scenesters, Hipsters, and Bros (half of whom probably do have fucking weekend homes to spend Memorial Day at), it’s good to visit the annual Loisaida festival, which is still going strong, to celebrate the vibrant Latin culture of the historically diverse neighborhood. “Loisaida,” by the way, is a Latinization of “Lower East Side” in case you didn’t know, and Puerto Ricans throwing a party make the bros and hipsters look like such amateurs.
This year the festival is dedicating special attention to promoting “the often overlooked contribution of Queer Latin@ artists and activists to the Lower East Side’s rich cultural fabric.” Saturday, May 23, from 1:00PM to 5:30PM is Reconstructing Queer Latin@ Loisaida in Cinema, Literature, and Art, featuring The Life, Death, and Assumption of Lupe Velez from 1:00-2:00PM, and Your Kunst Is Your Waffen from 2-3:30PM. The films will be followed by a round table discussion between eminent local scholars on the state of research on Queer Loisaida (for all you critical theory hos). The screening and round table will both be at the New Loisaida Center at 710 East 9th st. and the festival continues through Sunday, May 24.
If Puerto Ricans and Latin American folks know how to throw a party, it follows that Queer Puerto Ricans and Latin@s are going to be KILLING IT reina, so we suggest you text Brody, Brady, and Brock right now to tell them lo siento but you’re skipping out on that Sag Harbor bro barbecue and heading to East 9th Street, because, as my Abuela always told me, “summer brojobs in the boathouse are a dime a dozen but a serious Latin@ party is something special, mi amor.”
I ALWAYS take the opportunity to see brilliant, provocative LGBT hall-of-famer Michelangelo Signoreli speak, especially when it’s down the block from me and free. In the wake of the momentous change in marriage equality laws governing the U.S,. Michelangelo has penned a new book, “It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality.” In it, he argues that although we have made extraordinary strides towards equality “…the excitement of such breathless change makes this moment uniquely dangerous.” Joining Michelangelo in conversation this evening will be NYU Law School professor Kenji Yoshino, who in addition to having his work included in the book is also a noted contributor to The New York Times’ Ethicists column. Now then, we have two fierce intellectual bitches with credentials ready to talk! The evening is presented by the Pat Parker/Vito Russo Center Library in the newly renovated LGBT Center. You must know Michelangelo, currently he has a daily show on Sirius XM radio as well as holding the position of editor-at-large for Gay Voices at The Huffington Post. He also co-founded Queer Nation, pioneered the concept of “outing” (though he doesn’t like that Time Magazine appointed term) wrote “Queer in America” and so much more. He’s kind of a handsome daddy, I wonder if he’s single? I better find out — this heat is making me horny.
With Cheryl Donegan, Richard Haines, and NADA x PAOM
Our friend Richard Haines is at it again tonight, hunty. The legendary fashion illustrator and one of our favorite bloggers (What I Saw Today) is serving it up with the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) to present the work of multidisciplinary conceptual artist Cheryl Donegan in collaboration with Print All Over Me. This unique and totally immersive fashion/performance event celebrates the opening of NADAs new performance space at “Basketball City” on the East River piers by the Manhattan Bridge.
PAOM is an online community where pro and aspiring designers can upload digital designs and then profit from their eventual physical production, and Donegans collab with them is all about the idea of “being on the surface,” using a unique scanning and virtual body mapping process to turn digital fabric strips into wearable garments. The conceptual piece at the center of her approach explores “the quotidian, fluid relationship between the tactile world and the virtual one.” The best part is, Richard Haines will be drawing the models live as we watch, and that’s what makes this event a dont-miss. Runway show meets performance art with our fave fashion illustrator? Get to the east river piers, queen!
May 14th at 7:00PM at NADA’s new performance spot in “Basketball City”, 299 South St. NY, NY.
Sumzine is a slow fashion magazine. What is slow fashion you ask? It’s like slow food, but you wear it...on your body. The basic principle behind the S.F. movement is that we should all buy less and buy better. I’m so on board with this. After moving to New York I lost my shit shopping at Uniqlo, Top Man and H&M (growing up in Australia we had none of those stores) I would spend way too much money, on way too many shitty pieces of clothing. I would wear them for a few weeks and then they’d either fall apart or I’d get sick of them. This is how most people in developed countries shop, and it’s stoopid, both environmentally, but also ethically (that $7.99 T-shirt from H&M was not made by someone earning a living wage). Sumzine, and its editor Jamie Ortega, hope that the magazine will get people interested in sustainable fashion. This Thursday, May 14, is the launch of their 3rd issue. It’s taking place at a very cool space, Tropical 128, on Elizabeth St., and is billed as an underground disco party. DJs Amrit, Doss, QT and Celestial Trax will provide tunes for the night. If you’re super on time you might get a free copy of issue 3 — they’re giving away 30 copies to the first 30 people to arrive. Being early has other benefits as there’s also an open vodka bar from 8-9PM. Have fun, but please drink sustainably.
Let’s not pretend that Beyoncé gave more than 30 seconds thought about the theme for this year’s Met Gala (China: Through the Looking Glass) before she said to her stylist “just put me in something that shows off my butt, I want body-ody-ody!” If she had looked into it she should would have realized that the theme, as usual every year, was inspired by the corresponding show running at the Costume Institute. This year’s exhibition explores China’s influence on Western design and fashion. The exhibition is in many ways a dialogue between the east and the west. There’s traditional Chinese costume, painting, and pottery alongside Asian inspired designs by Cavalli and Valentino. Curated by Andrew Bolton (Thom Browne’s boyfriend) with a lot of input from the dragon lady herself, Ms. American Vogue, Anna Wintour, the exhibition is up now until August 16.
I haven’t had a chance to see the new Whitney Museum unlike some of the other GAYLETTER boys (see Friday's post) — so I can’t even fucking tell you how excited I am to check it out this Saturday at their first ever Block Party. I’m even more excited because the event features some peeps from issue 2 of GAYLETTER magazine. I’m talking about DonChristian (hey sexy) and Rahel who’ll be performing alongside Le1f, Boody, and special guest, The Eichelburglers (Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, The Tracie Morris Band with special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman, Jacolby Satterwhite and La’fem Ladosha, and A Tribe Called Red. (that’s a lot of special guests!) The event is free and also features Booths and activities by “Ei Arakawa and Shimon Minamikawa, Trisha Baga, Bed-Stuy Love Affair, Friends of the High Line, K8 Hardy and Ryan McNamara, J.T. Jobbagy Inc. and many more. It should be a sunny, wonderful day. See you on the block.
I think I watched too many videos from the Baltimore riots — seeing all of that just made me angry and sad. Those of us that care about this matter are probably thinking the same thing I am, when is the police violence going to end? How can we stop this? Moving on to another important issue that relates to people of color… This Thursday the NYC-based “trans south Asian performance duo” DarkMatter (Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian) will perform at Cooper Union with a night filled with “poetry, polemic, and healing as we not only critique — but also imagine new queer futures.” I’d recommend you to arrive early since this event is “open and free for all.” Maybe invite some of your white privileged friends (I am sure you know some, don’t we all?) so they can gain some awareness about what it means to be non-white and queer. The performance will be followed by a Q&A. Here’s a quote from their FB page that will give you an idea what to expect at the event: “#TBT back to when we were told as queer youth that it was supposed to ‘get better.’ What they forgot to tell us is that gay rights are often only for gay whites!”
Please keep this under wraps, but we’re throwing a small, very private launch party for the 2nd issue of GAYLETTER at the Wythe Hotel this Thursday. Everyone who worked on the magazine, and everyone who is featured in the magazine, will be in attendance — it’s gonna be a super cunt evening. As a thank you for being such dedicated readers of the letter we’d also like to extend an invitation to you. However space is tight so here’s how we’re going to do it: the first 15 people to RSVP by April 15th to email@example.com will be put on the list, we will send you a confirmation that you are on the list, so don’t just show up. The party is upstairs at The Ides, it’s a beautiful space with a stunning view of Manhattan. Peroni was nice enough to provide us with some beers for the evening (Peroni, we love you.) Hope you can make it. xoxo