December 17, 2015 |
It's been a tough year for proponents of gay-conversion therapy: In 2015, 18 state legislatures considered or enacted laws against ex-gay therapy for minors, a program promising to turn gay men straight was deemed a fraud by a New Jersey civil court, and even President Obama condemned the practice. So it's fitting that, in its twilight, the ex-gay movement is now the subject of a new history, by Temple University sociologist Tom Waidzunas. The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality , released by the University of Minnesota Press, documents the evolution and decline of "reorientation" - which began with early experiments like induced seizures, electroshock, and aversion therapy, and continued in the mainstream psychology community well into the 2000s.
December 15, 2015
"PERSPECTIVE Matters" by Catherine Wallace, was one of the most asinine letters I viewed in print in quite some time First, I agree with Black Lives Matter; you are correct there. Also you are right that the organization is very relevant. Black Lives Matter in its perspective. Again I agree, countless treaties with the Native American people have been broken, ignored and worse. As far as stating that no white man has ever been owned, check out history. I am an African-American, and yes the enslavement of our forefathers was horrendous, as was the subsequent treatment they endured after so-called abolition.
December 2, 2015 |
EIGHTH AND Market was humming with its usual mix of shoppers, transit riders and lost souls on Friday afternoon, as digital ads in the sky bathed the corner below in flashes of color. Asa Khalif stood on a sidewalk near the intersection, surrounded by a handful of Black Lives Matter protesters, and tried to draw attention to a protest in memory of his cousin, Brandon Tate-Brown. Ever since Tate-Brown was fatally shot by Philadelphia police during a controversial struggle in Mayfair last December, Khalif and members of the movement have routinely taken to the streets to call for justice and change - in the rain, in the snow, in numbers large and small.
November 24, 2015 |
The first influence that Christian McBride mentioned at the Merriam Theater on Saturday night was not one of the four civil-rights icons paid homage in his epic suite The Movement Revisited . Appropriately for a hometown performance, the bassist/composer instead began the evening by talking about his grandmother, whose hoard of Ebony and Jet magazine back issues provided his earliest introduction to African American history. He made fun of her pack-rat tendencies back then, McBride concluded, but now has her to thank for planting the seeds of his most ambitious work as a composer to date.
October 19, 2015 |
BACK IN 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a piece in the Atlantic called "Why Women Still Can't Have It All. " It was a fierce, fed-up essay about how tough it remains for women with kids to advance in their careers, 50 years after feminism was born. The essay went viral and Slaughter has broadened it into a new book, Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family , which she'll discuss at the National Constitution Center on Monday evening. I'll be interviewing her there, so I've been thinking a lot about work-life balance, an issue that has consumed me since I became a parent 19 years ago. I remember racing around the kitchen one morning, congested with a cold, my baby fussing on my shoulder, stuffing bottles into a bag, racing to the sitter's and then speeding into work, only to find I was wearing two different shoes.
October 5, 2015 |
EARLIER THIS WEEK, I was listening to the radio and a song came on by Timbuk 3 titled, "The Future's So Bright. " Truth be told, the song is fairly crappy, but it has one great lyric, "the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. " As is often the case when I listen to music, I thought about the relevance of that phrase to life, and particularly, sports. I thought about which Philadelphia professional team it would apply to. Probably not to the somewhat disappointing (at this point)
July 3, 2015 |
It was a polite protest, the women wearing dresses and heels, the men in dark suits and ties. But when John James stepped onto Independence Mall on that hot July Fourth in 1965, he had a lot to lose. Being identified as gay - much less taking part in a public protest - could bring jeers, insults, and punches. He could be fired from his job if people knew he was gay. Psychiatrists then classified homosexuality as a mental illness, one that demanded a cure - electric shock therapy, or even lobotomy.
July 1, 2015 |
Though most outdoor performances would benefit from being indoors, the new choral/dance work Turbine unquestionably belonged where it was Sunday evening, at the Fairmount Water Works overlooking the Schuylkill - even though Saturday's downpour had cost it one of two planned performances. Early on, one puzzled over the amorphousness of this site-specific collaboration by choreographer Leah Stein, composer Byron au Yong, and the Mendelssohn Club choir. It seemed to be poetic murmuring, with short congenial melodies suggesting a lamentation recalled from a distant past.
June 21, 2015 |
After 13 years, Philadelphia's Pattern Is Movement may be on its way to a breakup - Saturday's show at Johnny Brenda's is the electronic indie-soul duo's last gig - but at this particular moment, drummer Chris Ward and his pal of 22-plus years, Andrew Thiboldeaux (heavenly crooner, creamy keyboardist, songwriter) are driving to Chicago together, Thiboldeaux driving, Ward on phone duty. With the announced dissolution of the band in April (weirdly - the duo is truly at the top of its frenetic, funky game with 2014's eponymous album)
June 6, 2015 |
Imagine the exact opposite of a slick urban home-design showroom, and you might land somewhere in the vicinity of WoodsEdge Farm in Stockton, N.J., a sleepy haven for llamas, alpacas, and honeybees 45 miles up the Delaware River from Philadelphia. For Shannon Retseck, that's what makes it so perfect. Retseck, 28, of West Philadelphia, was at WoodsEdge to collect alpaca rugs and talk pricing with Brent Walker, 35, a third-generation New Jersey farmer who has been working to reinvent his family business.