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
The sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
In this dominion of progressive politics, its easy to forget that other parts of the country arent quite as accepting. In July, Kurt Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five was banned from a Missouri school district when a Missouri State University professor complained about the book contain[ing] so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame, as if teenagers are rushing to a 42-year-old novel about a time-traveling World War II soldier to get their illicit thrills. Righteously, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library responded by offering 150 free copies of the book to students. Banned by the Bay is a weeklong series of events marking the American Library Associations Banned Books Week, with events throughout the city exploring the First Amendment and our inalienable yet ever-threatened right to read and write books that may offend or anger. "Lets Talk Freadom" features media and human rights lawyer Kirk Boyd speaking about the history of censorship in the United States and the state of the First Amendment in libraries and schools across the nation, which is more tenuous than we might want to believe.
Wed., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2011