While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
No matter how many times culture warriors rattle their sabers, gay parents and straight parents have to deal with a lot of the same shit (sometimes literally). No matter your sexuality, most of the travails of parenthood are universal. Of course, gay parents also have to contend with a lot more figurative shit than their straight counterparts, thanks to those self-appointed guardians of parenthood as portrayed in 1950s sitcoms. A comedic screw you to intolerant folk who are nostalgic for a time that never existed, So Not the Cleavers brings together four parent-comedians, two gay and two straight, to riff on the experiences all parents share. Kevin Meaney, Vickie Show, Maryellen Hooper, and Dan St. Paul are all headliner-level comedians, sharing the stage to form a giant Voltron of gay-straight comedy solidarity. They arent just paying lip service, either: Half of the proceeds from the night of laughs go to the efforts of the American Foundation for Equal Rights to repeal Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California. Timed to coincide with Pride Week, the show is a powerful rebuke of those stuck in a 1950s fantasyland and a hilarious dose of parenthood comedy thats a long way from Bill Cosby but is every bit as true.
Wed., June 22, 8 p.m., 2011