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GayTies News for Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Die Another Day: Finding Common Ground in PrEP

"I know my sexuality is not going to be the cause of my death," says Quentin Ergane, 38, a gay, HIV-negative, African-American caregiver in Seattle. His sense of certainty comes from his confidence in the HIV drug Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP...
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Good2Go Is An App For Consenting To Sex

Want to have safe and consensual sex? There's an app for that. Good2Go is a new smartphone application that encourages users to give consent before engaging in any sexual acts. The app targets college-aged adults and its creators from Sandton Technologi...
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Marilyn Rosen Talks Marriage, Pink Martini and LGBT Equality (AUDIO)

This week I talked with my new wife, Marilyn Rosen, a symphony booking agent, about our recent marriage, which took place at Scullers Jazz Club before an intimate gathering of 80 friends and family members. Marilyn and I have been together for almost 17 y...
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Creationism Is About Gay Marriage, Not Science

One day a few years ago I lost my glasses. I searched all over: kitchen, bedside table, bathroom. I didn't find them but I did find Elizabeth, my wife. "E," I said, "Have you seen my glasses? I've looked everywhere and can't find them." She smiled quizzic...
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Deal Breaker No. 1: Why I'll Never Again Date a Guy Who's in the Closet

I'll never forget the year when "discreet" became a dirty word. It started when I fell in love with a boy who had to sneak out of his house to see me. I say "boy" not because we were teenagers breaking curfew. Shane* and I were grown men, consenting adu...
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When You're the Secret Boyfriend

Logically, the answer is simple: Don't get involved with someone who isn't willing to be seen with you in public. And in a perfect world, I think that's what I would have done before I allowed myself to become the "secret boyfriend." But as anyone who h...
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Watch a video. featuring public nudity. Click on "Video Library," then "category," then select "Naked in Public." (Or any other topic you want.)

Article of the Week

Who is the Personality Known as “The Gage of the Boone,” and what is his Queer Mission?

Interviewer: What did your journey to becoming a fixture as an artist and personality within the New York nightlife scene entail?

Gage of the Boone: I moved to NYC from San Francisco but spent time living in France and traveling throughout Europe in between. After San Francisco, I was city shopping to see where I belonged. I wanted to move to London but that didn't work out -- instead NYC reached out and grabbed me. In San Francisco I was part of a wild and colorful world of parties, art and music and also part of a band called HETICIDE. That period of my life really influenced where I am now. Nightlife in San Francisco was less of a focused thing; everyone was an active part of creating the world and making events or parties happen.

I've always dressed crazy. I started making clothes when I was 15 because I started going out to raves. The first club I started going to was a mega club with four rooms and two floors where DJs from NYC would come to spin. The club was just down the street from our house. San Francisco made my "looks" a 24/7 lifestyle; not necessarily like drag that would come off and go on -- more like you would just wake up in it. New York is clearly a little different. People are more judgmental and sometimes homophobic, so my life changed slightly when I moved here. Nightlife here is the place where the drag queens can put on their look and the 24/7 freaks can feel really comfortable and at home. I've always been nocturnal, so this very naturally became my playground. When I first moved here I put more makeup on at night and turned up the look a little more, but it was still a 24/7 thing. I had been to parties in NYC and all over Europe before I moved here, so I see nightlife as an international scene. In a way I accidentally gravitated towards the people who organize things and our bond organically formed through mutual respect and admiration.

I never really intended for nightlife to become my job, it just happened. I was working a lot of freelance and random jobs and was literally a starving artist, so when people started to ask me to host parties there was no way I was going to say no -- and it was and still is a great work environment. Desi Santiago and Ladyfag were really instrumental in seeing my potential and bringing me into the world.

Your work embodies a combination of art, fashion and performance. How do all of these intersect within your identity as Gage of the Boone and the work you produce?

While nightlife is kind of my 9-5 job and it's fun, like any other artist in NYC you've got to have that job on the side to be able to create your work. I'm really lucky because my art work and work work overlap, in a way, since it's all creative.

I went to school for fashion and sculpture. From an early age I was taking acting and dance classes but I was really shy, so I never thought anything would come from that. However, through fashion and sculpture I realized that performance was central to activating everything. At this point I'm creating multimedia installation and performance pieces. Not to be confused -- I make art/performance for clubs, but also make much quieter and more conceptual work for my own practice. The way I conceptualize things varies. Sometimes its concept based, and the work itself is research into gaining a personal understanding of the ancient past or the future, or esoteric, metaphysical theorems I'm meditating on. Other times it comes from a shape or a color and is completely visual. Usually everything convolutes, eventually emerging, such as a shape leading me to unearthing the concept.

The work in the long run is visual, hermetic and abstract. It's very open to the audience's eye, the aim being to slow viewers down and transport them and their reality. I love doing site-specific work as well, so, sometimes it's more about creating an immersive environment for a specific place. The clothes that I create are also made in this organic way, and they are visual, as well, to break people out of their everyday reality. Sometimes people actually scream when I enter a bathroom. It can be hilarious to see peoples' reactions. Some people are frightened, others in a state of awe, some think it's funny.

The space you run, The Spectrum, has become integral for the evolving queer creative scene in Brooklyn as both a venue and queer community space. What does The Spectrum represent to you and what do you want it to become?

I created The Spectrum in active resistance to NYC shutting down queer spaces. Clearly spaces come and go, but at the time when The Spectrum was created a number of amazing DIY queer spaces/venues had been shut down. It was starting to feel like that was no longer possible, and I wanted to make sure that it was a possibility. There are amazing queer spaces in cities all over the world. I was really inspired, with friends in California, Barcelona, Copenhagen and London for facilitating these spaces. It felt necessary for every queer living in Brooklyn that The Spectrum exist. I feel my role has been to build and begin steering the ship, but it couldn't have thrived without the help of the many friends and volunteers who have helped along the way.

I see my participation in The Spectrum as a helper and a worker but in no way am I a singular face of The Spectrum. Everyone who enters The Spectrum embodies The Spectrum and that's what keeps it a community space. It's a cultural hub nuanced by the many people who come and go from all over the world. This constant flux of participation allows for the space to constantly shift and change and the longer it exists the more international it becomes. I have friends all over the word and hear people talking about The Spectrum globally -- it's an amazing feeling. The Spectrum's main purpose is to provide affordable space for queer artists, musicians and performers to rehearse and create art work. This operates on a sliding scale basis in order to keep the focus on accessibility rather than money hungry profiteering. We also provide donation-based classes: so far we have had yoga, pilates, meditation, esoteric occult theory and dance classes, as well as queer self-defense workshops, but we'd like to continually evolve and add to our programming schedule.

What do you think the function of queer people, and queer art, is within the context of mainstream society?

NYC makes it really easy to get trapped into a prescribed way of life: you're supposed to get a job and to grow in your field. But there are many other ways to live and grow in cities non-linearly. I read somewhere that shamans wear many different patterns and colors because if you wear more than three or four you send people into a space of trance because their brains can't instantaneously process all the information. I find it much more interesting to never know what different friends of mine are going to look like at any given moment. I also like getting lost on the street, and prefer when unexpected things happen.

The Situationists did a similar thing when they strove to break up everyday mundane life. I'm constantly amazed and surprised when people clap their hands and thank me on the street for how I look. It's equally powerful when people are morally offended by my visual presence and it's important to remember a look is possibly triggering something deep and unresolved in another person. But most importantly, city children need to see alternate ways of living, so they are aware that they don't have to live the prescribed point A to point B lifestyle they are taught in school and perhaps by their parent/s. When I was 16 or 17, I found out about queer life. Before then I didn't know that there was something beyond gay or straight, and discovering queer identity was like a doorway opened for life to provide infinite possibilities.

It's important for people to dream big and not limit themselves, and also for people to be aware that their existence is political if they like it or not. Queerness is not just about gender or sexuality -- it's about an awareness of infinite possibilities of lives that can transcend gender norms, spiritual and religious understandings, social class limitations, political understandings.

To be queer has always meant that the individual is constantly deconstructing whatever barrier, limitation or label confines them, in order to be open to the moment. It's extremely important.

From the Admin...

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How to Start Online Chat

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How To start a Free Online Guys ChatOf course, members can go into chat anytime with anyone individually; it's a free gay chat service. You do not have to be a premium member to use it. Any gay singles can chat free. But… Read more