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
They're going on a duck boat tour, and playing bingo, of course. They're touring the Old Mint Building, just because it's pretty. Sign language interpretation is provided at most events. There's even a "Meet-n-Greet Mixer." Little else happening during the International Bear Rendezvous could be repeated in front of religious fundamentalists, making it all the funnier that the large, hairy, and proud-of-it bear community occasionally acts like a bunch of little old ladies visiting the city. As some of the only people in the U.S. (elsewhere, too) who simply adore themselves for being so large and hairy, bears are role models for us all. So, straights, when you see gaggles of big leather dudes ogling each other while shopping for hankies this weekend, smile. If you're a big leather dude, smile even more; it's your week to piss off religious fundamentalists in the way that only you can. As the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are wont to say, "Go forth and sin some more."
Feb. 11-15, 2010