Category Archives: Culture

You Really Oughta Be In Movies…

72cover The ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST, a screenplay contest dedicated to the positive portrayal of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trangendered and queer individuals in film, celebrates it’s 9th anniversary this year.  Entries are now being accepted online and are limited to the first 250 entries for 2007.  Executive Director, David Jensen, "We are pleased to continue the contest and are amazed with the high caliber screenplays received year after year."
The ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST has gained respect and notoriety from Hollywood studios, agents and producers. Entries for 2007 are being accepted online at:
Prizes for 2007 include cash, industry exposure and merchandise.  The One In Ten Screenplay Contest is sponsored by: Cherub Productions, Final Draft, scr(i)pt magazine,, and

The submission deadline for 2007 ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST is September 1, 2007.  Entry forms are available online through the contest website:  Entry forms may also be obtained through the mail by sending a self addressed stamped envelope to:

CHERUB PRODUCTIONS One In Ten Screenplay Contest, PO Box 540, Boulder, Colorado 80306

For more information contact: Mike Dean — One In Ten Screenplay Contest 303.629.3072

Thank You Bill Moyers

Moyers BILL MOYERS: It’s time to send an SOS for the least among us — I mean small independent magazines. They are always struggling to survive while making a unique contribution to the conversation of democracy. Magazines like NATIONAL REVIEW, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, SOJOURNERS, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, THE NATION, WASHINGTON MONTHLY, MOTHER JONES, IN THESE TIMES, WORLD MAGAZINE, THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW, REASON and many others. [Editor’s Note: Like the one you’re reading here.]

The Internet may be the way of the future, but for today much of what you read on the Web is generated by newspapers and small magazines. They may be devoted to a cause, a party, a worldview, an issue, an idea, or to one eccentric person’s vision of what could be, but they nourish the public debate. America wouldn’t be the same without them.

Our founding fathers knew this; knew that a low-cost postal incentive was crucial to giving voice to ideas from outside the main tent. So they made sure such publications would get a break in the cost of reaching their readers. That’s now in jeopardy. An impending rate hike, worked out by postal regulators, with almost no public input but plenty of corporate lobbying, would reward big publishers like Time Warner, while forcing these smaller periodicals into higher subscription fees, big cutbacks and even bankruptcy.

It’s not too late. The postal service is a monopoly, but if its governors, and especially members of Congress, hear from enough citizens, they could have a change of heart. So, liberal or conservative, left or right, libertarian, vegetarian, communitarian or Unitarian, or simply good Samaritan, let’s make ourselves heard.

Cock Crafts and Penis Cozies

We receive a lot of press notices and announcements of books and theater and art exhibits. We’re crazy for craft work, too (in his spare time, Dan also edits MENKNIT — "Man Enough to Knit/Strong Enough to Purl").

And White Crane devoted an entire issue of the magazine to crafts….Summer 2005

But even we were particularly taken with the work of Jack Davis, now appearing at the Mark I. Chester Studio at 1229 Folsom Street, in San Francisco. Needless to say, these are not your grandmother’s crochet.

Penis003   Penis026_2 Penis059 Penis088

Just the kind of arts and crafts you’d like to curl up with on a chilly spring evening.

French AIDS Cartoon

Frenchaidsfilm This is nothing short of amazing. 

A witty and very honest little animated film about AIDS and prevention and leading a good healthy gay life.  Survival and overcoming are the central themes.  This French PSA is the work of filmmaker Wilfredo Brimo.

Wish I had seen something like this when I was coming out.  It’s both funny and realistic.

Brilliant and touching too.

Watch it and enjoy!.

Sigur Ros’ Gay Boys video

This Sigur Rós video is pretty stunning.

Sigur Rós, the Icelandic band is known for their ethereal multi-layered music (they were an enormous influence on Radiohead’s Thom York), has produced a stunner here.

The video for the song titled "Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása" from their album Ágætis byrjun present a stunning series of images telling a very old story about gay being and the array of social and religious constraints against natural love.

The lyrics are in a homemade language created by the band, they call it Hopelandic and consider it their form of their native tongue.  The title has been translated as "Good Weather for Airstrikes" and was named after that phrase which was said by a weatherman during the Kosovo war.  It’s interesting to have this video attached to what is clearly an anti-war song.

Very moving.  A bit long but there were moments that left me speechless.

Fellow Travelers Closing Reception

And a fine time was had by all! 

A roomful of readers, lovers and passers-by joined White Crane Institute at the New York City Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center last night in celebrating the vision and wisdom of Mark Thompson’s Fellow Travelers: Liberation Portraits exhibit.

Mark came in from Los Angeles (we missed you Malcolm…feel better soon!) and was joined at the Center by fellow authors Gary Schmigdall (Walt Whitman: A Gay Life) Arnie Kantrowitz (Under the Rainbow), Joel Singer, whose late partner,  James Broughton, Broughton
was among the many beautiful portraits. It is a very moving display of some of the most influential thinkers and artists in our movement.

The exhibit, which is touring LGBT Community Centers around the country over the next year under the auspices of White Crane Institute, is a stunning collection of 15 black and white portraits of some of the giants of the Gay wisdom, spirituality and culture movement. Planning is under way to bring the exhibit to Chicago and the brand new Center on Halsted … the Cleveland LGBT Community Center…and then Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City and Modesto, California. Watch for listings in your area.

In fact, this was to have been the closing reception for the show, but response has been so positive, that it is being held over for another two weeks at the Center on 13th Street.

Ft_invite_front Sometime in May, video of the show, and interviews with Bo Young and Mark Thompson about the Fellow Travelers photography show will be available on-line at Out at the Center, the NY LGBT Community Center cable television show, which is shown at various times on both Time-Warner Cable in Manhattan and Cablevision in Brooklyn.

Fellow Travelers at the Center

Ft_invite_frontMark Thompson’s "Fellow Travelers"
exhibit now at the Center in New York!

For those of you who live in or near New York City, we wanted to give a
heads up announcement about this exhibit sponsored by White Crane Institute in collaboration with the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center: Fellow Travelers: Liberation Portraits by our good friend, Mark Thompson.

Ft_invite_back_1The show went up March 26th and has received an enthusiastic reception.  If you haven’t been out to see this inspiring exhibit time is running out so get there while you still can.

We’re also happy to announce that Mark will be attending the closing reception next week on April 26th.

We hope to see you there.

So It Goes: 1922 – 2007

He wasn’t a Gay man. Sardonic I think would be the word. Mordant. And while he wasn’t Gay he did suggest that the next best thing was to go into the arts if you wanted to annoy your parents….if you didn’t have the guts to be Gay.

Kurt Vonnegut died last night at the ripe old age (a phrase he embodied…I mean, look at that picture…) of 84.

In my life Kurt Vonnegut work played an integral role — not unlike one of his own fictional characters — in my coming out to say nothing of his writing’s effect on me as a reader and my imagination.

When I first told all my family that I was a gay man, the responses ranged from thoughtful to ignoring it to200pxthesirensoftitan1959
loving and embracing. Probably one of the most interesting responses, though, was my brother Tom’s comment, in writing, that his thoughts on the subject of homosexuality were formed by none other than Mr. Vonnegut. In his books, famously in the estimable Slaughterhouse Five, and earlier in The Sirens of Titan, Vonnegut had invented the planet Tralfalmadore. Tralfalmadore actually appeared regularly, as did the character Kilgore Trout. It would be easy to simply go down the Swiftean rabbit hole of Kurt Vonnegut’s imagination, and get lost in his invented worlds which he used to talk about the world we live in.

But back to my brother Tom…

Tom explained to me…because somehow it had escaped me…that on the Planet Tralfalmadore, it took all kinds of people to make babies…it took men and it took women…it took gay men and it took old women…it took four dimensions and it happened in a continuum of Time that was incomprehensible to mere Earth people. That made sense to my brother…so he just added that if I was happy, it was fine with him. And, for all intents and purposes, we never spoke of it again.

Here’s the quote from Slaughterhouse Five:

One of the biggest moral bombshells handed to Billy by the Tralfalmadorians, incidentally, had to do with sex on Earth. They said their flying saucer crews had  identified no less than seven sexes on Earth, each essential to reproduction. Again: Billy couldn’t possibly imagine what five of those seven sexes had to do with the making of a baby, since they were sexually active only in the fourth dimension.

The Tralfalmadorians tried to give Billy clues that would help him imagine sex in the invisible dimension. They told him there could be no Earthling babies without male homosexuals. There could be babies without female homosexuals. There couldn’t be babies without women over sixty-five years old. There could be babies without men over sixty five. There could be no babies without babies who had lived an hour or less after birth. And so on. It was gibberish to Billy.

I would, now, have to take issue with the assumption that the highest good that humankind can aspire to is the making of babies. I think even Mr. Vonnegut, a father of seven himself (four of his own…three of his brother’s that he took in when his brother and his wife died within days of one another) would agree. But there was a time when that was the poser for me: if the purpose of heterosexuality was the continuation of the gene pool…then was there any purpose to homosexuality?

Of course, in true Kilgorean fashion, I came to realize, as every Traldalmadorean surely knew, that if the purpose of straight people was to continue the gene pool, then our purpose as Gay people was to make sure it was Olympic-sized, with nicely marked lanes, and big, warm, color-coordinated towels.

We’re not the "quantity-of-life" people…we’re the "quality-of-life" people. And Vonnegut proves that this is not an impossible concept for straight people to grasp. If they can get past their own navel-gazing…I am reminded of another great writer, Joan Didion, who seems to have imagined that she has invented grief and loss and death in her Year of Magical Thinking…they might find that Gay people have something to bring to the table other than more mouths to feed and more consumers to use…just as we always have, across cultures, throughout time of however many dimensions.

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the treasures of my youth. He enabled me to look at this planet Earth from another point of view. An absurdist one, at times…but this is a world that needs a vision of, nay, an appreciation of, the absurd. Reading his work is a rite of passage, I think, still. I hope his work will live forever…surely Slaughterhouse Five will stand alongside One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Catch-22 as literature from the late 20th century that will inform generations to come. This was a wise man. Here is some of his wisdom:

  • "Television is now a form of government."
  • "Science is magic that works."
  • "Anyone unable to understand how a useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either."


What do W.H.Auden, Aaron Copeland, Langston Hughes, Vladimir Nabokov, Wendy Wasserstein, Derek Wallcott and Eudora Welty (ok…and Henry Kissinger, but we’re going for "upbeat" and "celebratory" here) have in common with author and White Crane friend Fenton Johnson?John_guggenheim_2

They’re all Guggenheim Fellows. (portrait to the right: John Simon Guggenheim)

This morning it was announced that Fenton Johnson is a 2007 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on a new work of nonfiction entitled Desire in Solitude.

Johnson is currently an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona, and readers of White Crane will remember a wonderful conversation with Fenton in Issue #62. Fenton Johnson is the author of five other books including two time Lammy awards for Geography of the Heart: A Memoir (1996) and Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey (2004). He has received numerous other literary awards and has also been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a James Michener Fellow.

White Crane offers the warmest congratulations to Fenton Johnson. It is a richly deserved honor for a wonderful writer and a very nice man.