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The Daily Agenda for Saturday, May 4

Jim Burroway

May 4th, 2013

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Maspalomas, Gran Canaria; Mobile, AL; Norrköping, Sweden; Northhampton, MA; Raleigh, NC.

AIDS Walks This Weekend: Anaheim, CA; Atlantic City / Asbury Park / Morristown / Newark / Ridgewood, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Ft. Wayne, IN.

Other Events This Weekend: Hot Rodeo, Banning, CA; Boston LGBT Film Festival, Boston, MA; Frieberg Gay Film Festival, Frieberg, Germany; Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Miami, FL; Urban Bear Weekend, New York, NY; Sitges International Bear Meeting, Sitges, Spain; Tybee Gay Days, Tybee Island, GA.

Keith Haring: 1958. Inspired by graffiti art in New York, Keith Haring’s bold lines, vivid colors, and simple, active figures became an iconic presence throughout the 1980’s. He was a huge proponent of public art, and that led to commissions and collaborations from around the world. The very out, HIV-positive gay man even found common ground in his collaboration with the visionary Baptist preacher/folk artist Howard Finster.

From his diagnosis of AIDS in 1988 until his death in 1990 at the age of thirty-one, his artwork also became the de facto art of AIDS through the work of the Keith Haring Foundation. In 2008, Rizolli published a 522-page monograph supplemented with a wealth of material including drawings, studio photo, and journal entries. His journals, which he kept from the age of nineteen until his death, were re-issued in 2010 by Penguin Classics.

Lance Bass: 1979. The ‘N Sync alum grew up in Mississippi in a Southern Baptist family where, as many southern gay boys do, he learned to sing in the church choir. He further honed his bass voice (no pun intended) in his high school’s award-winning show choir and in a state-wide choir, where he just happened to work with Justin Timberlake’s vocal coach. When Timberlake left The Mickey Mouse Club in 1994 and joined up with Lou Perlman to put together a boy band, it was Timberlake’s vocal coach who recommended Bass after the original bass singer dropped out. ‘N Sync went on the record three multi-platinum studio albums which yielded eleven top forty pop singles including number one hits “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.”

After ‘N Sync went on permanent “temporary hiatus,” Bass took a turn at training at Star City, Russia to qualify for a seat on a Soyuz capsule for a trip to the International Space Station in 2002. He completed the grueling training which earned him a certification from NASA and the Russian Space Agency, only to lose that chance to go into space when his commercial sponsors withdrew their support over financial and liability concerns. In 2006, Bass came out in a cover story for People magazine.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?



May 8th, 2013 | LINK

I will always have a fondness for Bass as one of two public figures that helped me acknowledge my own orientation. The venerable George Takei publicly came out at about the same time, which struck me in ways I didn’t fully grasp at the time, in part because I was already a Star Trek fan. Similarly, N*Sync was part of the music of my teenage years, and Bass’ coming-out resonated with me. I will always be grateful to them for their brave public faces at a transitional stage in my life.

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