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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 (GayCenter.org) 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 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center suggests a donation of $10, although all donations are voluntary and all proceeds go to The Center.
   

Upcoming Speakers
       

 Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00 pm

Documenting LGBT History: A Presentation by the Co-Directors of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, partly funded by the US National Park Service

Invisible no more! The Federal Government has partly funded a project to document and preserve LGBT history in NYC.

While significant LGBT events continue to occur around us right now, this is a giant step in guaranteeing that our history isn't lost. The three co-directors and the project manager of this special task force will talk about the historical survey and present the interactive web site that will soon be online to track sites so that we can all learn more about our LGBT history. (The web site will be at http://nyclgbtsites.org/.)

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will document locations in all five boroughs to identify important historical and cultural sites and events, and to prevent threatened sites from disappearing. The survey will include clubs, bars, restaurants, theaters and performance venues, residences of lesbian and gay notables, spaces where civil rights and organizational events took place, and works of art and architecture important to lesbians and gays. Although NYC has been a national leader in the LGBT rights movements, this is the first time that a comprehensive survey has been attempted. The Project has received a grant from the National Park Service to work on this project. (These are the same folks who take care of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and the Yellowstone National Park out West.)

Historic Sites Project Team at Julius      US National Park Service Logo

While this is the first LGBT preservation grant from the National Park Service, it shows a genuine concern on the part of the federal government to preserve queer history. The Project co-directors are national pioneers with over 20 years involvement in issues related to LGBT history and historic preservation:
Andrew S. Dolkart is the Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University.
Ken Lustbader is a Historic Preservation Consultant.
Jay Shockley is the former Senior Historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Amanda Davis is a NYC-based architectural historian and the Project Manager for the program.

The LGBT community is among the least represented in national, state, and local designation programs, with only seven of the over 80,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places listed for their primary association with LGBT history. This is the first giant step required to change this situation.
   

For information about this presentation at The LGBT Center.   

BGS-QD logo
The amazing Bureau of General Services - Queer Division (BGS-QD) will be selling books at this event: BGSQD.com.
    

 Tuesday, June 14 at 7:00 pm

Jim Downs, author of "Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation" for Pride Month

Jim Downs is an acclaimed historian who has turned his eye to the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement, especially in the 1970's. It's a completely new idea of what really happened after Stonewall, and how we got here today.

The LGBT movement has made huge gains in recent years, but the history of gay life remains poorly understood. According to conventional wisdom, gay liberation started with the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in 1969. The 1970s represented a moment of political and sexual triumph before the AIDS crisis threw a shadow over the so-called “gay lifestyle”.

The historian Jim Downs rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records, Downs tells moving stories of gay people who stood together to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life. Gay people found one another in the Metropolitan Community Church (a nationwide gay religious group); in the pages of gay newspapers that encouraged its readers to think of their sexuality as a political identity; at the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore in NYC; and at theaters putting on “Gay American History,” a play that shined a light on the problem of gay oppression.

But these achievements would be largely forgotten after the arrival of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, which allowed critics to claim that sex was the defining feature of gay liberation. An essential act of historical recovery, Stand by Me re-discovers a triumphant moment in history and transforms how we think about gay life in America from the 1970s to the present.

   

"Stand By Me marks a significant contribution to our better understanding of the LGBTQ past. By emphasizing previously underplayed events and individuals, Downs importantly complicates the standard narrative in ways both novel and nuanced." — Martin Duberman, Professor of History, CUNY

Jim Downs, is a Mellon New Directions Fellow at Harvard University and an associate professor of history at Connecticut College. The author has also written for Time, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. Downs lives in Cambridge, MA.
   

 Tuesday, July 12 at 7:00 pm

A joint reading: Garth Greenwell, author of "What Belongs to You," and Paul Lisicky, author of "The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship"

Garth Greenwell author photo   Paul Lisicky author photo (photo credit Star Black)

Two of our favorite new authors: Garth Greenwell (left) and Paul LIsicky (right)

No other book has received the acclaim that What Belongs to You has this year. "Equal parts sexy and painful, the book dives deep into matters of cultural differences, shame, illness, and human relationships." ―Anna Fitzpatrick, NYLON

In a single year, Paul Lisicky lost two significant relationships, one with a fellow novelist who died, and the other is the breakup with his husband, an award-winning poet. A self-revealing and achingly tender story.
   

What Belongs to You book cover

On a warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko several times over the next months, drawn by hunger and loneliness, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness transforms into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.

What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.

"A rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, its subject: a gay man's endeavor to fathom his own heart." -- Aaron Hamburger, The New York Times Book Review

Garth Greenwell is the author of Mitko, which was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Literary Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and A Public Space. This is his first novel.
   

Paul  Lisicky Narrow Door book cover

In The Narrow Door, Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul's romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise's cancer diagnosis and Paul's impending breakup. Lisicky's compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival --hard-won, unsentimental, and authentic-- proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life.

“A rare look into the friendships writers form with people they may end up competing with for the same posts, publishers, and prizes―and an even rarer look into the life of a significant writer who lived with and loved another significant writer for 15 years. . . . A triumph.”― Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review

“Mr. Lisicky has a gift for understanding suffering, an added bundle of receptors for detecting loneliness.” The New York Times

Paul Lisicky is the author of four books, including Famous Builder and The Burning House. He has received fellowships from the NEA and the Michener/Copernicus Society, among others. He teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden.
   

 Special Fourth Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00 pm
Special Night for "Center Speakers"

Edmund White, literary idol, author of his thirteenth novel, "Our Young Man"

White's latest novel, Our Young Man, continues to contribute to his fabulous literary status, continuing in the tradition of A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, the non-fiction Joy of Gay Sex (with Charles Silverstein), and his memoirs, My Lives and City Boy.

Edmund White's new novel, Our Young Man, follows the life of a gorgeous Frenchman, Guy, as he goes from a small industrial city in France to the top of the modeling profession in NYC's fashion world, becoming the darling of Fire Island. Like Wilde's Dorian Grey, Guy never seems to age; at 35 he is still enjoying lavish gifts from older men who believe he's 23. Ambivalently, Guy lets them believe this until he finds he needs the lie to secure both wealth and love. Surveying the spectrum of gay amorous life through the disco era and into the age of AIDS, White explores the power of physical beauty --to fascinate, to enslave, and to deceive-- with sparkling wit and pathos.

 Edmund White author photo  

“Edmund White is one of the three or four most virtuosic living writers of sentences in the English language.” – Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

“Edmund White is one of the best writers of my generation; he's certainly the contemporary American writer I reread more than any other, and the one whose next book I look forward to reading most.” – John Irving, author of The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and In One Person

Edmund White is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a winner of the Award for Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. His biography Genet won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Previously living in Paris, France, he has now returned to NYC.
   

 Tuesday, September 13 at 7:00 pm

To be announced

Check back for details. Presentation to be announced....
   

 Special Third Tuesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm
Special Night for "Center Speakers"

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.

 Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 pm

To be announced

Check back for details. Presentation to be announced....
   

 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.


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