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
When Bea Arthur died this spring, there were few articles that failed to mention the actress wild popularity among gay men. Of course, her formidable stature, husky voice, and acerbic wit made her a natural among discerning queens, but for folks trapped in the quiet backwaters of the mental Midwest, this actually came as news. How could they envision an all-drag cast presenting Golden Girls episodes, live onstage in San Francisco? For years? Fans of the show already know that death, depression, septuagenarian promiscuity, and incontinence is the stuff of hilarity, but on the size 12 heels of Saint Beatrices death, this installment of Golden Girls: More Gay Pride Episodes is particularly poignant. Heklina, Pollo Del Mar, Cookie Dough, and Matthew Martin continue superbly in their roles as Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche in Scared Straight and Goodbye, Mr. Gordon. These scripts, which hinge on Blanches gay brother and Roses new talk show, Lesbian Lovers of Miami, require very little revision for Pride Month. Expect suitable commercial breaks (Meow Mix, Mounds, and the like) and giveaways of Designing Women: The Complete First Season (a disturbing glimpse of things to come, perhaps?).
June 12-26, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009