How a Museum Cancelling a Controversial Mapplethorpe Exhibition Changed My Life

As an Intern at the Corcoran, I Suddenly Understood the Power of Art

Twenty-seven years ago, controversy erupted over Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs. It changed my life.

In June 1989, I was 22, a newly declared art history major at Northwestern University, about to start an internship at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The child of an art teacher and a psychiatrist who grew up in the small, accepting town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, I’d been going to museums in the Boston area, and making and looking at art, since I was young. I lived just a short distance from the de Cordova …

More In: sexuality

HIV-Positive and in the Waiting Room

Where You Don’t Want Anybody to Know Your Name

The first time I came here was October 2011, after a fairly wild first month at the University of Leeds in England. I’d been laid up in bed for a …

Could I Stop Being Gay?

My Parents and I Desperately Wanted to Change My Sexual Orientation. But Therapy Only Made Me Hate Myself.

Would I truly go to heaven, despite being gay?

This question haunted me growing up. My earliest and most influential childhood memory is being 4 years old and “accepting Jesus into …

Why Does India’s Supreme Court Want Me Back in the Closet?

After Four Years of Sexual Freedom, It’s Once Again a Crime to Be Gay in India

Last Tuesday, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a law that has turned me, along with millions of other Indians, into a sexual criminal.

Four years ago, a lower court decision struck down …

San Francisco City Attorney Therese Stewart

Litigating on Behalf of What Just Might Be the Wackiest City in America

Therese Stewart is chief deputy city attorney for the City of San Francisco; she argued for the city against Proposition 8 in federal court. Before participating in a panel on …

UCLA Williams Institute Research Director M.V. Lee Badgett

How Your iPhone Can Help You Stop Compulsively Checking Your E-Mail

Economist M.V. Lee Badgett is research director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA and the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration …