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Kevin Spacey, Company Towns, and the Reformation

Past Present Episode 106

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate Kevin Spacey’s coming out amid charges of pedophilia, the 21st century company town, and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

FeatureMulti MediaPast PresentPodcast

Girl Scouts, #MeToo, and HIV/AIDS

Past Present Episode 104

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the Girl Scouts in light of the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to admit girls, #MeToo activism, and how Michael Friedman’s recent death of HIV/AIDS helps us understand the illness in historical context.

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Burdens and Disruptions

The Continued Relevance of Sylvia Rivera’s Trans Latino Activism

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Homonationalism, Heteronationalism and LGBTI Rights in the EU

This year’s pride marches in Europe have taken place under the shadow of a threat, compounded by the recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe (Paris, Brussels and now Germany) and the slaughter at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. We have been urged not to give in to fear, while at the same time we’ve been told that undisclosed security precautions are being taken. The route of the Paris pride march was drastically shortened, supposedly for security reasons. It’s not clear whether the attack in Orlando was motivated by religious fundamentalism or was more the product of anger and anguish about the attacker’s life and sexuality. Either way, it could be just a matter of time before a similarly murderous anti-LGBTQI attack takes place in Europe. …


Queer Reflections On A Summer Of Violence: Surviving Orlando Without Alibi

In a June 12, 2016, Op-Ed (“The Scope of the Orlando Carnage”) New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joined many pundits in cautioning against what he described as narrowly sectarian interpretations of the violence that was unleashed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on the previous evening. “Let’s be clear,” Bruni declared, responding to “complaints on social media” about the failure of the mainstream media and politicians to avow the homophobic motivations of the attacker, “this was no more an attack on L.G.B.T. people than the bloodshed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris was an attack solely against satirists.” Extending this curious analogy between satirists and queer people …

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Orlando, the City Beautiful

In May 1981, a sinkhole opened up in Winter Park, Florida, the tiny suburb just north of downtown Orlando. Over the course of that day the ground gave way, swallowing five Porsches from a repair shop, a small home, and the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

The event brought national attention to my hometown; all three national television news networks came to report the story. Years later I would open my college geology textbook and find a picture of the Winter Park sinkhole staring back at me. Eventually, my textbook explained, the sinkhole had been filled with water and christened Lake Rose by the city. But I already knew that. We had picnicked through the years in the new park built beside it. I took social dance and etiquette lessons for Junior Cotillion at a small building just up the street. …