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Articles tagged "Gay"

An Introduction to Our Fourth Annual Queer Issue

This June, Words without Borders publishes its fourth annual Queer issue. The United States is celebrating LGBT pride month. The country’s Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver verdicts on two landmark cases relating to gay rights in America, both concerning the rights of same-sex couples to marry. In France, the new Socialist president François Hollande signed a “marriage for all” bill into law in late May. In response, massive demonstrations erupted around the...

The Opposing Shore

The room is covered in dead leaves. Two benches are placed just so, conjuring up a bucolic garden scene, in the first days of fall, in the countryside, waiting for the season to roll by and take our memories with it. And yet we’re a mere stone’s throw from the Place de Clichy in Paris, in the eighteenth arrondissement, and it’s spring. On a small stage, a young performer from Toulouse, the twenty-eight-year-old AJ Dirtystein, is naked and covered in white rice powder....

On the Moscow Metro and Being Gay

In the catalogue of sins in his Divine Comedy, which is as random as it is insanely detailed, Dante found room for the sin that “dared not speak its name” long before Oscar Wilde’s trial—one of which Dante’s beloved guardian and tutor Brunetto Latini was also guilty. (He placed such sinners in the Seventh Circle of Hell, near the suicides and usurers, but above thieves and bribe-takers.) I always wished that Dante had added another sin, one which probably...

Very Cheesy and Also Rather Blah

carefully giving it some thought the lines on my palm[1] have deflected for you some now I suppose my dirty beard, my fiendish leg hair will graduate in time that someone of my years should care about minutiae but it’s true I never held you in my arms those training grounds where one prepares for hardship even the most majestic backdrop wouldn’t be a match for this bucktoothed “Cheese” into the camera ke-cha! then good-bye good-bye no one can...

Letters without Envelopes

Mara's first letter came in the autumn of the late 1980s. The fact that she had gotten my address in Switzerland, as she explained at the beginning, seemed incredible to me, almost mysterious. She lived in Dalmatia, in a town I had never been to. She wrote me a two-page letter, mentioning more than once that she was a lesbian, probably the only one in Dalmatia, if not the whole of Croatia. For a number of years, she had been visiting her uncle in Zurich and particularly her friend...

from “The Graveyard of Bitter Oranges”

In front of a tropical fruit stand in the Piazza dei Cinquecento, lit up by low-hanging bare bulbs, I stood and observed the red flesh pierced by black seeds of the melons, the yellow pineapples split in two, the ovular, yellow-green bunches of grapes, and the segmented coconut flesh laid out in large basins. I heard Arabian music, camels knelt down before a Corpus Christi altar covered over with flowers, blessed mendicants meandered through the streets among the dead cobras, playing...

Two Takes on May-December

In Cristina Peri Rossi's "Ne me quitte pas," a fortysomething psychiatrist finds a patient's romantic anguish reflects his own insecurity about his teenaged lover. As the patient describes the pain of leaving his wife, the psychiatrist broods: how can this gorgeous, indefatigable boy be content with someone his father's age? For a darker take on the May-December theme, see Andrés Barba's wrenching "Nocturne", from our December 2007 Partings issue. The middle-aged...

Ne Me Quitte Pas

“I can’t seem to remember her,” the man said in anguish. “I can’t remember her face or her body or her voice—that voice that I once adored. I have this mental image that her voice was pleasing, but the sound isn’t there. Do you understand? How can you be in love with someone whom you can’t seem to remember? We’ve only been separated for six months.” (The psychologist jotted something down in his notepad that passed unnoticed by...

Abdellah Taia’s “An Arab Melancholia”

Abdellah Taïa is Morocco’s highest profile gay writer, a point underscored in the accompanying blurb to his recently translated An Arab Melancholia. Since the book is billed as an autobiographical novel, one might expect—wrongly, it turns out—a gut-wrenching exposition of the existential dilemma of growing up gay in Morocco. Taïa came into his own awareness in Islamic Morocco, where being openly gay is taboo, which of course complicates an already complex and...

from “Inside a Girl Like You”

October 27, 2006 Tamara, I’m writing to send you my new address. In case you’re still getting mail for me, you can forward it here: Katina Mela, Erodiou 8 (off Euripidou), Athens. I’ll find out the zip code and send that, too. The apartment here is smaller than ours, the main bedroom is more or less connected to the living room. Well, it’s separated by a sliding door, but you can hear everything if someone’s in the living room. (Not that there’s...

from “The Fool”

The Fool (Głupiec, 2005) is set in contemporary Olsztyn, author Ewa Schilling's hometown in northeastern Poland. Alina is a thirty-year-old high school teacher and the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, who taught her that   " feelings are dangerous. " Dangerous, indeed: She falls in love—  "without sense, "   " without a chance  " —with her dynamic young student, Anka. While exceptionally mature, Anka is still months from graduation. With precise,...

from “Man Angel”

Endless, the levee. Endless, the dead straight path. Endless, the whirring of the bicycle tires on the asphalt, the whistling of the wind in their ears and the high, bare, immutable blue of the sky over their heads. Endless, the blazing hole of the sun, the shimmer of the heat over the fields and the cruelty of midsummer in the afternoon, when the greasy coating of sweat, dust, and sunscreen begins to drip from their faces onto the handlebars, and each revolution of the pedals climbs with...

An Interview with Ewa Schilling

This interview was conducted by email, in English and Polish, between 24 May and 1 June, 2010.   W. Martin: How did you begin writing The Fool (Głupiec), and what motivated you to tell this particular story? Ewa Schilling: Well, I was thinking about all these teachers and students who fall in love with each other, women and girls in the schools. And about all their stories, which are unspoken. Especially in Poland, with its politics and priests—all these men who hate...

from “Diary”

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The following article contains scenes depicting nudity and sexual situations. Reader discretion is advised.

Snacks in the Fashion Pages

Right up till Friday afternoon the casting location was still not settled. The several small  meeting rooms in the Kuningan area were still too expensive for a small-scale casting that only involved twenty models, five to eight bookers and the assistants from the various agencies. Plus me, as the “big boss” of the operation, the one who would decide who could go onto the next stage of modeling for the Glora pearls advertisements. So roughly there were almost thirty people....

from “Soul Mate”

My father-in-law, Feibush, arrived unannounced at my doorstep in the middle of the week. I was writing out a mezuzah and so, fortunately, my cabinet of secular books was closed. Feibush’s eyes brightened when he saw the parchment, the quill in my hand, and the large yarmulke upon my head. Only when his gaze rested upon the closed book cabinet did a kind of cloud descend over his face. I suspected that he knew full well what trials and tribulations hid upon those shelves. And though...

Just Gone to Bed

Just gone to bed Oh well, not turning the light on Barefoot Jerking the shin back from the cold rim And nothing Something gripes inside and However I strain doesn’t come Remembered in horror M.P. telling how adenoma they reach it with a cutter through the urethra good gracious to the bathroom not feeling the pain hit the toes against the door jamb okay okay here’s a toothbrush with aero- dynamic handle squatting push it furiously into the rear up and down...

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