Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tell Your Story

My Hasidic Landlord by

I knew a guy in Brooklyn who had his rent paid for by his Hasidic landlord as long as he agreed to get paddled once or twice a month. His landlord was dyslexic and had 2 kids. One had cerebral palsy and his hands looked like chicken talons. His other kid wasn’t allowed to go outside. My friend said that right before he pulled him over his lap to give him his punishment, he would pray and beg for forgiveness so that he may be relieved of his surmounting urge to spank young men.

My landlord was Hasidic too. His name was sometimes Gino, but mainly Jay. When he shook my hand a small avalanche of white flakes would tumble down his shoulders from his ears and settle on his beard and the long sideburn tendrils. He came by to get the rent and always looked around the apartment as if he had crossed over to another world, maneuvering around with his hands stretched out like a blind prophet. He would pick up DVD’s from the record shelf and bring them close to his face. We always kept Natural Fucking Sluts on the top, because the color of the background perfectly matched the color of the walls. More…

Gay New York

Hawk Kinkaid and by

HawkKinkaid_by Ilenia Martini_L12

Hawk Kinkaid is speaking to me between meetings. His answers are quick and precise, and after about fifteen minutes, he tells me he has to go. It’s understandable of course. His current job is not what he’s best known for. Hawk Kinkaid is the name he used when he was working in the sex industry, and it’s the name he uses in his role as the creator of, a website devoted to harm reduction and fostering dialogue between male sex workers, and Rent U, a teaching program he created as an off-shoot of Hook. I’m speaking to Kinkaid because of an event he’s hosting tonight (2/24) –a fundraiser and book launch party for In the Company of Men: Inside the Lives of Male Prostitutes, a book by Dr. Christian Grov and Dr. Michael D. Smith. Here’s our conversation.

Adam: How did you first get the idea to do Hook Online?
Hawk: I started the project over a decade ago, and the initial reason for starting it was that there were no resources for men in the industry to assist in the learning curve, in other words, the site serves to help keep people from making some of the more common mistakes that people make in the industry. It’s also a way to foster some conversation about the business so that we are helping people to understand it better. A lot of people, especially gay men who are working in the industry will take a kind of laissez faire approach. They think having sex and having sex for money is not very complicated, but there are effects and decisions you have to make when you work in the industry. Many people have made many mistakes in doing that. So what we try and do is give people an opportunity to better understand it when making that decision. We are a harm reduction program. Our goal is not to prevent people from being in the industry, and a lot of the people who work on the project are people who do very well in the business. They pay their taxes, they pay for their healthcare, they make all sorts of practical decisions. But many people don’t. They’re in the industry very temporarily, as a result of a bad situation or emergency or they just see an opportunity for a period of time so they take it on. So what we want to do is get them to think practically and occupationally about the decision they make.

What are some of the most common complications people face in the industry?
On a professional level there are always issues surrounding physical violence, drug and alcohol usage, especially when they’re working and people end up being taken advantage of that way. There’s also implications in their personal lives, in their friends and their support system. As far as social behaviors, as I mentioned, there’s often significant drug and alcohol usage in their free time – which can become an addiction. More…

The Movie

Die Zeremonie by

In case you were not in Berlin this past week to watch Keep The Lights On win the Teddy Award for Best Narrative Film at the Berlin Film Festival, now you can watch the whole ceremony. Ira Sachs, Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth pick up their prize at the 71:50 mark, although if you watch the whole thing you can see Stereo Total, Peaches, and a cute boy who can stand on six suitcases on one hand and do the splits. Sounds like a lot more fun than Sunday’s Oscars will be!

Production Diary

Day 244: Berlinale! by


Berlin. It’s interesting to be back in the same city, same hotel, same film festival, 7 years since I was here with Forty Shades of Blue, which was a personal low point, as depicted in the film I’m showing tonight, Keep the Lights On. The darkest hours can produce light it seems. I’ve just taken a shower, picked out my shirt, and will head in 10 minutes down to the lobby to meet my sister, Dana, who has come to the screening from Budapest, where she and her family are living for the semester. We will then meet up with Thure and Zach, a team of producers, and Thimios, in from Greece, for our European premiere. Films always play differently in different contexts, so I am going to sit in on this screening and see how it varies from Sundance.

Gay New York

United in Anger: Director Jim Hubbard on Telling the Story of ACT UP by

FDA Tombstone

Tomorrow night at the MOMA, KTLO contributor Jim Hubbard will open the annual Documentary Fortnight series with his exciting new documentary United In Anger. Perfectly timed for last year’s 30th anniversary of AIDS, and this year’s 25th anniversary of ACT UP, the film tells the story of the legendary activist group who fought tirelessly to change government definitions of AIDS, force scientists and the government to excel their development of life-saving drugs, and change the public perception of AIDS from a gay-disease to one that affected us all. The film examines the nuts and bolts of what made ACT UP’s successes and failures come to pass, with a special attention paid to the culture and camaraderie behind the scenes as well as the role of women in the group. I spoke to Hubbard last night about creating the film, the connections between ACT UP and Occupy Wall Street, and whether New York would be ready for another AIDS crisis.

Adam: Hi Jim, are you excited for the premiere?
Jim: Yeah. It’s started to keep me up night.

I know you were a member of ACT UP, both a longtime activist and longtime documenter of the movement, but how did this film come together?
It either took me 25 years, 10 years, or 3 years depending on how you count. I started filming ACT UP in June of 1987 at the Gay Pride March. I continued to film ACT UP for years afterward and make films about it. Elegy in the Street would be the most prominent of the films. But I was shooting 16mm and processing the footage myself, so I stood in contrast to all the people videotaping it, many of whom made dozens of tapes about ACT UP in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Then in 1995, at the behest of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS I convinced 30 or 40 AIDS activist videomakers to donate work to the New York Public Library, for the resources there. And then ten years ago when Sarah Schulman and I started the ACT UP Oral History Project, I always had it in my mind that I would make a film based on the project, and I started seriously editing what became United In Anger, about three years ago. More…

Tell Your Story

Time Bending Love by

I work as a massage therapist, and have a Pro Ad on Adam4Adam, which only gets me clients if I happen to go a trolling online. One day a man asks if I have an opening, he lives nearby. He has longish blond hair, which I love, and blue eyes. We have a humorous chat and I send my address.

When Kevin arrives I feel a jolt of energy, he’s quite attractive and there is a sweet connection, but I feel nervous, which is unusual for me. I’ve been doing this for 20 yrs or so, have clients all the time, and feel confident with my work. He strips down, on the table and I begin working on his body. I have an instant bone! More…

Art & Autobiography

All Letters Are Queer: Jonathan Kemp on “Twentysix” by


One of the central ideas at the core of Keep The Lights On is that we must be committed to talking about the secret behaviors which we’ve learned to keep hidden from the world. UK-based author Jonathan Kemp’s new book Twentysix is one of the most dynamic illustrations of this idea I’ve read in some time. The book is a slim yet dense collection of 26 gay sexual encounters told in unsparing detail alongside philosophical observations that try to get to the core of the narrator’s pursuit of pleasure. Like Georges Bataille and Jean Genet before him, Kemp’s prose is titillating, dark, and honest to its core. I spoke with Kemp this past weekend about his influences and how he created such an involving and unusual piece of writing. More…

Gay New York

Gay New York and the Arts of the 20th Century by

Capote and Beaton contact sheet

If you’ve been keeping up with our Gay New York section, you’ll know that we get pretty excited over any event that explores the forgotten or unexplored history of life as a gay person in New York. So when we heard the news that the Museum of the City of New York were planning to hold a “Gay New York” conference this Saturday (2/11) devoted to the ways that gay New York artists influenced the cultural life of the city from the 1920′s through the 1960′s – well, I mean, can you imagine what paroxysms of delight went roaring through our thin apartment walls?

Presented in conjunction with the MCNY’s remarkable exhibition Cecil Beaton: The New York Years, the conference will cover topics such as the gay artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance, E.M. Forster and the West Village, Cecil Beaton’s relationship with actress and famed New York recluse Greta Garbo, art dealer Sam Green, and Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, and Leonard Bernstein. Speakers include George Chauncey, Wendy Moffat, Lynn Garafola, and more. Tickets start at $25 for members, and $35 for non-members, and are available at Don’t miss this rare treat. We’ll see you there!

Photo above:

Truman Capote and Cecil Beaton, ca. 1952
© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s
Courtesy Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

Gay New York

Gran Fury at 80WSE by

It’s hard to believe that the AIDS activist-artist collective Gran Fury have never been given a full retrospective in a New York art gallery or institution before, but then again, part of the group’s agenda was to display their work in public places where it would have the most impact on people. In pieces like “Read My Lips”, “Kissing Doesn’t Kill”, “Women Don’t Get AIDS”, the group worked to create angry, potent propaganda to counter the murderous effects of AIDS misinformation by politicians, the media, and hatemongers. This week, a comprehensive exhibition of the collective’s work opened at the 80WSE gallery on Washington Square, and for anyone interested in the history of AIDS, gay life in New York, Act-Up, protests and civil disobedience, its a must-see. Timed perfectly for the rise of the Occupy movement, the show –along with two excellent forthcoming documentaries on Act-Up– offers a lesson in how one group effected change and saved lives, even in the face of massive public disapproval. Don’t miss it!