United in Anger: A History of ACT UP by

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United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a unique feature-length documentary that combines startling archival footage that puts the audience on the ground with the activists and the remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective – how a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

Keep the Lights On spoke with director Jim Hubbard a few months ago, just before the premiere of United in Anger at the MOMA. Tomorrow, July 6, it will open at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village.


Good Year for Hunters by

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Oh these little earthquakes
Here we go again
These little earthquakes
Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces
-Tori Amos, ‘Little Earthquakes,’ 1992

Good Year for Hunters, a new play from Jess Barbagallo and Chris Giarmo, opened last night as the debut performance at New Ohio Theatre’s Ice Factory 2012. Inspired by Tori Amos’s seminal album, Little EarthquakesGood Year For Hunters is a queer horror play about a mysteriously orphaned brother and sister who fall in love with a closeted husband and wife. Like Amos, the characters struggle to find their own voices under oppressive religious, cultural, and sexual circumstances. Using a poor theatre aesthetic of minimalist design and physical acting, the Hunters cast creates a darkly comedic landscape of yearning turned nightmare.

Five years ago, Barbagallo approached long-time collaborator Giarmo with the idea to write a play based on Little Earthquakes. “What emerged,” Barbagallo told NYC theater blog Theater in the Now, “was this apocalyptic horror show about growing up queer and closeted.” More…

Matt Wolf’s “I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard” by


Matt Wolf is a New York filmmaker whose documentaries focus on music, teenagers, and artists who he describes as gentle gays. He made the film Wild Combination (2008) about the avant-garde cellist and disco producer, Arthur Russell (whose music is used in Keep The Lights On). Currently, Wolf is working on Teenage, a documentary about the invention of youth. While working on Teenage, Wolf created a short film, “I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard”, where he pays tribute to one of his favorite artists and writers, Joe Brainard. Like Arthur Russell, Brainard’s life ended prematurely due to AIDS.


Don’t forget your party cardigan by

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“Just because it’s over doesn’t mean you’re over it.”

So says the tagline for The Outs, a new web series launched in April from writer-director Adam Goldman. The Outs follows the story of a gay freelance writer and his ex-boyfriend as they try to move on with their lives and find love (or lust) again…with varying degrees of success. From uncomfortable run-ins with exes to unexpected hookups and the search for the perfect party cardigan, Jack (Hunter Canning) and Mitchell (Adam Goldman) and their motley crew of likable twenty-somethings paint an honest picture of single life in the city today.

In a departure from the sketch comedy style that distinguishes most popular web series, The Outs is a primarily character-driven show. Many viewers who expected short, disconnected vignettes on “gay life in New York” were surprised when the story returned to Jack and Mitchell in the second episode. Adam Goldman, however, sees The Outs  as telling a full story from beginning to end, and audiences seem to have embraced his vision.


Night of a Thousand Judys: A Benefit with Justin Sayre by

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It’s hard to believe June is nearly half over. NYC’s Pride Week is just around the corner, with the kick-off rally on June 16. Here’s another event you’ll want to include in your Pride Week festivities: on Monday, June 18, the Ali Forney Center will be hosting its second annual Night of a Thousand Judys at Playwright Horizons. The concert will raise funds for AFC’s various efforts to aid homeless LGBT youth in New York and beyond. Written and hosted by The Meeting*’s Justin Sayre, the show will honor the legendary singer and actress Judy Garland with special skits, tributes and songs from her storied career.


Arthur Russell Summer Mix Tape by


Arthur Russell, whose music was used as the score of Keep the Lights On,  was an artist who defied genre. A gifted cellist and composer, his oeuvre ranges from minimalist compositions to beat-heavy disco songs and just about everything in between. But no matter what genre-bending song of Russell’s you happen to be listening to, his talent and his penchant for exploration are made abundantly clear. These selections aim to convey the wide range of both sounds and emotions Russell was able to call upon in his own music as well as provide a context to the acts he associated and/or collaborated with. These songs (with the exception of the last one)  are more upbeat than one might expect from Arthur Russell and seem particularly appropriate as summer comes closer.

Dinosaur L – Go Bang (1982)

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A hip, infectious acid-jazz groove from one of Arthur Russell’s countless monikers with vocal contributions from minimalist composer Julius Eastman.

Loose Joints – Tell You Today (1983)

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An upbeat pop gem from the collaboration of Russell and renowned New York DJ Steve D’Aquisto.


Dirty Looks: On Location Venue Portrait #1 – Everard Baths by

Every night this July, Dirty Looks: On Location will install a film and video work in queer social settings (like gay bars or community centers) or former sites of queer sociality (shuttered baths, bars, or sex clubs). An extension of the essential queer experimental screening series curated by Bradford Nordeen, On Location looks to bring the general public in contact with historically important queer artwork, and the history of queer New York.


Dear Biddy by


Biddy B – Mr. James Bidgood’s advice columnist friend, is back, just in time for spring, with some corrections to her last column and a rollicking story about bumps and grinds that ultimately results in the discovery of a long lost piece of artwork! It’s wild and strange, but very entertaining, as usual! – ed.

First off allow me to apologize for the misspelling of Mrs. Blatourbotum’s name in my column of last month. Her brief disappearance necessitated my hiring a temporary amanuensis, a Miss Harriet Johnsons. I assumed when she gave no explanation for this plurality perhaps she merely entertained a preference for more than the one Johnson. Indulge me now whilst I momentarily play the punster but she hardly seemed the type to be a typist.

Neither she nor does any other person have the least notion why for a second career she selected desk duty after forty two years performing as an ecdysiast, a profession she was made to abandon due to injury incurred trying to keep up with the tsunami of competitors amongst those currently popular female vocalists.

As the story goes, she was exhibiting her talents at a neighborhood firehouse one weekend and whilst executing a grind and bump, having completed the hip rotating portion, she thrust her abdomen out and upward so aggressively, her contracted gluteus minimus, medius and maximus became stuck and soon after fossilized. More…

The Closing Doors by


I’ve maintained for years that there’s no greater misery for the average New Yorker than getting to the subway platform, racing down as you hear the train coming, and arriving on the platform to see the doors shutting just as you approach. Neil Goldberg shares my fascination with this particular moment, having secretly photographed many people at the exact moment they realized they would not be getting to their destination on time. Last week at the Museum of the City of New York, “Stories the City Tells Itself”, a show of Goldberg’s work opened, including the subway platform photographs, and other works documenting the mundane and everyday sights familiar to anyone who’s lived in New York. Goldberg’s work is also featured in Keep The Lights On, a film also to a large extent about the rhythms of daily life in New York City. The show runs through May 28th, so if you don’t make the subway in time, don’t fret.

Hawk Kinkaid and HookOnline.org by

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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 HookOnline.org, 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…