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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
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Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
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Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of "Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal"
Review of "Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951" by Christopher Isherwood
Review of "Out For Good"
Review of "Hoyt Street: an Autobiography"
Review of "Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict"
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Review of "Whores for Gloria"
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
George, Jr.
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
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Holy Drag!

Impressions of an entirely lapsed Catholic on attending a performance of high Mass presided over by the Cardinal in Rome on a recent visit: 

After the mass: there they came, the opulent squadron of prelates making their processional way toward the sacristy,  past entranced parishioners in the pews,  the Cardinal at the helm, followed by high prelates--the young good-looking ones cherishing their coveted place close to the Cardinal, and he clearly cherishing theirs.  Their gorgeous red gowns, topped by blousy hip-length cassocks, barely kissed the floor, making seductive sounds--swish, swish, sigh, sigh. The procession of priests drifted on like red ships with white sails.  They accepted with a nod the hands stretched out to them by the congregants, and the Cardinal gliding by waved airy blessings at them, the way movie stars blow kisses at the fans in the bleachers during the Academy Awards, and all amid the wafting of perfumy incense emanating from swinging censers--swing, swing, swing, sigh, sigh, swish, swish.  Oh, and the glitter of rings and necklaces and pendants and belts--sparkle, sparkle, swish, swing, sigh--and on they swept, the Cardinal and his prelates in their stunning gowns and spangles and flirtatious beeds--and the Cardinal, catching sight of a muscular man in a tight shirt, paused to stare appreciatively--and then, swish, swoosh!--out of sight, into the sacristy to change into less glamorous but still stylish attire, a subdued black outfit, with only a touch of contrasting white, a long dressy cassock, a shock of bold red.  Irresistible temptation:  a peek into the sacristy while the prelates changed!  Why, it was like the dressing room of  Las Vegas showgirls, red gowns swooped and scooped up by eager little acolytes--sweep, sweep, scoop, swish, sigh, sparkle, swoop!--and there it was, a crush of red velvet and coy sequins, removed gowns and smart accessories that young acolytes cherished and held close to themselves garments worn by the Cardinal and his favorites.  Sweep, scoop, swish, sigh, scoop, sparkle, sparkle, wink!

     Then it all turns ugly.  These men are  the hypocrites who uphold the strictures of the political party they represent--the Church--strictures that have condemned and damned and tortured and persecuted and prosecuted and ostracized countless human beings throughout history:  during the Inquisition, burning and torturing innocent people for blasphemy, sexual transgressions; strictures that today account for a climate of condoned hatred toward all who deviate from their sanctimonious admonitions and prohibitions and accusations about sex, homosexuality, divorce, birth control, and (until recently but the entrenched hatred lingers) the "complicity" of Jews.  These are the men, these prelates, who today uphold some of the most corrupt notions about society, resulting in gay-bashings, unchecked births creating poverty and hunger, the lessening of women. These are so-called "abstinent men!" ( Abstinent?  Really?  Surely the hypocrisy extends beyond their mouthings of abstinence, into their guarded cloisters.)  Yet they presume authority over all sexual matters!....  Why abstinent?  In early centuries, Popes and Cardinals and priests married and had children--and kept mistresses and misters--and  amassed staggering wealth.  Marriage produced heirs, though, and that contained an explosive threat to the Church's vast wealth.  What if the heir of a prelate laid claim to the Church's wealth?  The demand for celibacy solved that detail.

John Rechy
Los Angeles, California
July 2001

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