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
Illumination appears in the strangest places sometimes. We were watching the train wreck of our hometown television show Trauma a little bit ago, hating it, but wanting to see our house in the background. The writing, the characters, bleh. And then boom, beauty: These streets were full tonight of people who were beat up when they were a kid for being gay. Kicked out of their house, disowned by their parents, at 14, and just knowing a place like this even existed it was a better alternative, I tell ya, to offing yourself, because you cant change who you are. That is why they come here. Thats why I came here. So saith Tyler as he comes out of the closet. Sniff! Had we gotten spoiled? Had we been taking that other meaning of sanctuary city for granted? Thank you, Trauma, for articulating the meaning of the 20th Annual Home for the Holidays concert of the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus. Home! Comfort, joy, thanksgiving, raising our voices in loving song, celebrating together yay! The chorus plans a slate of traditional carols including God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Hanukkah songs; Mariah Careys version of Joy to the World; and a tribute to Julia Child called Fruitcake. Yay!
Thu., Dec. 24, 5, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009