A few paragraphs below READ THE FULL STORY HERE!
“Great war novels inevitably follow great wars, and in literary circles following World War II, everyone was wondering what would be the successors to “A Farewell to Arms” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” — and who would write them. But when John Horne Burns, age 29, in his small dormitory suite at the Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., on the night of April 23, 1946 (Shakespeare’s birthday, at that), finished “The Gallery” — “I fell across my Underwood and wept my heart out,” he later recalled — he was convinced he had done just that, and more. “ ‘The Gallery,’ I fear, is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century,” he wrote a friend.”
“Undoubtedly the book’s most remarkable portrait is of Momma, the proprietress of the Galleria’s gay bar, where, every day but Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., gay soldiers from every branch of the Grand Alliance gather to imbibe and cruise and sometimes score. Whether Momma’s Bar ever really existed or was simply Burns’s earnest dream is unclear and, in a way, irrelevant: for someone as evasive about his own sexuality as a gay man of his generation had to be — ostentatiously “dating” and pretending periodically to have a fiancée — it was more than a startlingly ringing endorsement of gay culture; it was an act of enormous and atypical, almost inexplicable, courage. The men in the gallery of gays (and, with only a couple of exceptions, they are all men) in “The Gallery” are alternately lonely, proud, unpleasant, sensitive, officious, effeminate, macho, offensive and lovable; in other words, reasonably normal, rather than the suicidal freaks and criminals that had populated American literature, gay and straight, up to then. And they are all in uniform at a time in the history of the United States military when, officially at least, they were not allowed and did not exist.”
“Though it’s hard to document (there were not yet any gay publications to speak of), gay readers immediately recognized “The Gallery” for the literary landmark it was and talked it up. The gay writer and ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein admired it “extravagantly,” according to Christopher Isherwood. At places gays frequented, like the writers’ colony at Yaddo, it was discussed continuously. The first edition of the homosexual Baedeker, “The Gay Girl’s Guide,” published in 1949, called the chapter on Momma “splendid.” The equally competitive Vidal, who confessed in his journal that he found Burns’s talent positively painful — “the dignity of ‘The Gallery’ is like a blow,” he complained — later called “Momma” one of the most brilliant passages in all of gay literature.”
David Margolick is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. This article is adapted from his new book, “Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns,” published by Other Press. Editor: Adam Sternbergh
Dirk Willis comes to High Performance Men from just outside Boston, Mass where he works in Construction. At 34 years of age, he works very hard on maintaining his physique and his main hobby is body building. He has a beautifully hairy body and he loves being an exhibitionist. Showing off is a big turn on for Dirk. His favorite food is Mexican and his favorite sport is Rugby.
B&W Images from “Pirate”shoot for ELLE mag.
ph: Danny Cardozo
stylist: Danny Santiago
hairst: Hector Simancas — with Ana Moya Calzado.
Dandy pics by Danny Cardozo
Growing up in the 1950s, Tom Bianchi would head into downtown Chicago and pick up 25-cent “physique” magazines at newsstands. In one such magazine, he found a photograph of bodybuilder Glenn Bishop on Fire Island. “Fire Island sounded exotic, perhaps a name made up by the photographer,” he recalls in the preface to his latest monograph. “I had no idea it was a real place. Certainly, I had no idea then that it was a place I would one day call home.”
In 1970, fresh out of law school, Bianchi began traveling to New York, and was invited to spend a weekend at Fire Island Pines, where he encountered a community of gay men. Using an SX-70 Polaroid camera, Bianchi documented his friends’ lives in the Pines, amassing an image archive of people, parties and private moments. These images, published here for the first time, and accompanied by Bianchi’s moving memoir of the era, record the birth and development of a new culture. Soaked in sun, sex, camaraderie and reverie, Fire Island Pines conjures a magical bygone era. DAMIANI
Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines
Edited by Ben Smales. Introduction by Edmund White. Text by Tom Bianchi.
Featured image is reproduced from Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines.
BUY IT ON AMAZON
An excerpt from the VICE interview with Bianchi:
VICE: And you happened to be there with a fancy, new Polaroid camera, too.
BIANCHI: I was a lawyer at Columbia Pictures at the time. At an executive conference in Miami, we were given an SX-70 Polaroid camera. It was this little plastic thing, which I took to Fire Island a little while later and started taking pictures of my friends. At the time, a lot of people were still in the closet so, as you can understand, they were extremely wary of having their picture taken. So, the important thing about this camera was that it allowed me to take the picture and a few minutes later put it out on the table for people to take a look. It made everyone immediately more comfortable and I very quickly formed the intention to show the world what a cool, amazing place the capital of Queerdom was. Or the provincial part of it [laughs].
VICE: Leafing through the book, I can’t help but notice that everyone in the pictures is unbelievable hot.
BIANCHI: Well, the reason is twofold. Gay men in my generation were called pansies or poofs – we had been raised to have very negative feelings about ourselves. It was around our time that more and more guys began to discover gyms, too. And the more guys went from ordinary looking men to “Oh, my God, look at that stud,” the more of a no-brainer it became that you had to be as close to perfect as possible. Suddenly this really beautiful community of men emerged, and they all boarded planes, trains, or buses to Fire Island every weekend.
At the same time, I wanted my sexual partners to be really beautiful, hot guys. And I never wanted anyone to think I was using my camera to seduce people, so for the most part the intimate pictures are of people I had relations with.
VICE: And then HIV came along. The sense that I got from reading your book is that the disease set the gay rights movement back quite a few years.
BIANCHI: I think it’s the opposite. I think what happened was that we were kids, partying along, thinking we were untouchable, immortal. AIDS forced us to grow up.
MORE PICS AFTER THE JUMP…
Glory strolls through the fields of Saskatchewan. A little gurl’s dream come true!
It was hard not to stare at the legs of Bob Benson (played by James Wolk) in these fish-covered short shorts. And that was Bryant’s intent. ”They were a vintage pair that we found at one of the costume shops and we rented them,” Bryant told InStyle.com. “Bob is whimsical in his own way, and I always wanted him to wear colors that were always just a little off. I felt like that was just part of his personality. He’s always saying these funny quirky lines and has this funny way about him, so I loved the idea of him having colors that were just a tad… off. You do get a sense about him that he’s very much the overt people-pleaser. He’s really fun to dress.”
Winner of “Best Interview” at Hot Docs in Toronto.
Short documentary made for the 5 day Documentary Challenge about Mark Mitchell, a costume designer from Seattle, WA.
Mark Mitchell’s burial line will be released this fall 2013
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival: The Gay Erotic Art of Maurice Vellekoop & Gengoroh Tagame (Chip Kidd too) … this SATURDAY in Toronto!
- Saturday, May 11, 2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Church on Church – Google Map
- 504 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C8
Maurice Vellekoop is Canada’s foremost gay comics author and illustrator, with work that sometimes runs in international magazines and other times shrink-wrapped and slapped with an 18+ sticker. Gengoroh Tagame is the undisputed master of Japanese gay erotic comics, in Toronto for the very first time to celebrate his first English book! Together, these two titans of erotic art have produced some truly amazing illustrations, and now for the first time their work will be exhibited together. with Chip Kidd.