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About the Second Tuesday Lecture Series

The Second Tuesday Lecture Series is the oldest and longest running cultural event of The LGBT Community Center ( in New York City.

Since 1985, the series has presented over 140 noted speakers in the arts, academia, and politics in lectures, discussions, and readings. Speakers representing every major cultural award in America, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Grammy Award (Grammys), the Academy Award (The Oscars), Broadway's Tony Awards, the Lambda Literary Award, the National Book Award, and the British Man Booker award, have made presentations.

It was through this program that Larry Kramer (a last minute replacement speaker) in March 1987 spoke about the devastating plight of the AIDS Crisis. Critical of the organized community's response to the disease, what began as a speech led to an intense discussion and the decision to meet again the following week to see what could be done. This was the beginning of ACT-UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), which became one of the largest direct action AIDS organizations in the world.

Unless noted otherwise, Second Tuesday programs start at 7:00pm, often with a reception before the presentation. The LGBT Center suggests a donation of $10, although all donations are voluntary and any amount is appreciated. All are welcome and no one is ever turned away because they can't afford to pay.

Upcoming Speakers

 Special "Center Talks," Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm

Tim Murphy, author of the moving new AIDS and East Village novel "Christodora"

A novel of great scope, Christodora is a bold portrait of the bohemian Manhattan of sex, drugs, art, and AIDS activism from the 1980s into near the future. Tim Murphy ambitiously turns the interconnected lives of individuals in the East Village into a moving NYC story and offers insights about the future city that we're already building.

Tim Murphy author photo   Christodora by Tim Murphy book cover

In this vivid novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan’s East Village. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared in ways that none of them can anticipate.

As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and then to the millionaire residents of the glass towers of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly, Jared, and their neighbors over the years. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a powerful response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and demonstrates the power of human connections.

"Murphy dives into the story of one of the East Village’s most storied buildings—and returns with a moving novel, a love letter to the complicated families we make here in New York, and to the city itself."
-- Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

“An impassioned, big-hearted, and ultimately hopeful chronicle of a changing New York that authoritatively evokes the despair and panic in the city at the height of the plague."
-- Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life

Tim Murphy has reported on HIV/AIDS, LGBT issues, culture, travel, and fashion for more than twenty years including at Poz (where he was an editor and staff writer), Out, Advocate, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and Details magazines. His cover story for New York magazine about the new HIV-prevention PrEP regimen was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Article in July 2014. He lives in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley.

The fabulous Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, will have copies of Christodora for sale.

 Special "Center Talks," October 18 at 7:00 pm

Sarah Schulman, author of the novel "The Cosmopolitans" and the non-fiction book "Conflict is Not Abuse"

Sarah Schulman is one of our favorite, most highly praised, and prolific authors. She writes both fascinating novels, such as The Cosmopolitans, and important non-fiction philosophy, as presented in her newest book Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair.

Sarah Schulman author photo by Drew Stephens   Sarah Schulman's The Cosmopolitans book cover   Sarah Schulman's Conflict is Not Abuse" book cover

In The Cosmopolitans (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2016), Schulman describes Greenwich Village in 1958. Earl, a black, gay, actor, and Bette, a white secretary, have been neighbors for thirty years, forming a deep bond as refugees from small-minded hometowns. But when Hortense, a wealthy young actress with links to Bette's painful past, shows up, Earl and Bette's hard-won assumptions are shaken to the core. The Cosmopolitans is a beautifully written, page-turning novel about friendship, love, and revenge set in the vibrant changing world of 1950s New York.

"A rich evocation of its time and place... Simultaneously a realist exploration of a particular milieu, an illustration of the changing roles and possibilities for women at that time, and a series of thoughtful musings on the nature of companionship and platonic love, Earl and Bette's story is also a satisfying revenge narrative and a portrait of an unexpected but vital friendship." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair, (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016), Schulman observes that inflated accusations of harm are now being used to avoid accountability. This occurs at all levels, from intimate relationships to global politics. Illuminating the difference between "conflict" and "abuse," Schulman addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating. This bold work reveals how punishment replaces personal and collective self-criticism, and shows why difference is so often used to justify cruelty and shunning.

Schulman illuminates the ways in which cliques, communities, families, religious and racial groups, and national political parties refuse to change their self-concept. This controversial and important book brings insight into both contemporary and historical issues. Conflict is Not Abuse shows how those in power use injustice, exclusion, and punishment to dehumanize individuals in our families and communities, African Americans at the hands of police, people with HIV, and Palestinians.      

Sarah Schulman is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at CUNY. Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim in Playwriting and a Fulbright in Judaic Studies. Her novels include Rat Bohemia, The Sophie Horowitz Story, and The Mere Future. Her nonfiction includes The Gentrification of The Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination and Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. Her plays and films have been seen at Playwrights Horizons, The Berlin Film Festival, and The Museum of Modern Art. An AIDS historian, Schulman is co-founder of the ACT-UP Oral History Project, is on the advisory board of The Jewish Voice for Peace, and is faculty advisor to Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island.

The fabulous Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, will have copies of The Cosmopolitans and Conflict is Not Abuse for sale.

 Tuesday, November 8

Election Night

Check back for details. There might be a presentation later in the month....

 Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm

Kaki King, "Guitar God," composer and jazz guitarist

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King is a true iconoclast. Over the past 10 years the Brooklyn-based artist has released six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive albums (from which B-sides & Rarities has been largely culled), performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks including Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn's Into The Wild, and played to an increasingly fervent following of music lovers on innumerable world tours.

Kaki King photo   Kaki King in performance   Kaki King Everybody Glows

In addition to her own solo work, Kaki sometimes performs accompanied by NYC-based string quartet ETHEL. She also recently performed a Carnegie Hall premiere of a classical piece commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.

This is NOT a concert, but Kaki talk about her life as a musician and perform a few songs. For more information:

Kaki King's TED "Talk" Performance

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