Staff acted immorally and possibly illegally

Andrew Mahan (L) in a personal photo taken while working at the CYT

Many of my gay peers did. I know that’s a stereotype, and I can’t know exactly why queer people, especially gay men, feel drawn to Broadway-style theatre, but many of us really do.

Acting in high school plays and musicals became critical to my mental health and self worth. After college, I even did some community theatre, returning to a world I had experienced as a loving oasis. Later, my partner Lenny introduced me to Broadway for real, to his world of queer friends who made professional NYC theatre happen — actors, directors, producers, singers, dancers, and choreographers.

None of…


LGBTQ stories from Prism & Pen — July 25, 2021

by James Finn

When I challenged Prism & Pen writers on Monday to craft stories about ice cream, I had no idea the prompt would inspire so many bowlfuls of beauty and thoughtfulness. I’m trying something new this week, placing all our prompt stories together so you can see them at a glance.

But let’s start out with three fascinating stories that have nothing to do with ice cream.

Readers: Remember, if you don’t have a Medium subscription, click on the underlined links to slip through the paywall. But if you can afford the USD 5.00/month …


Says religion overrides law

Craig Northcott. YouTube screenshot from Newschannel5.com in Nashville.

Remember Tennessee prosecutor Craig Northcott? I wrote about him in 2019 when he refused to bring charges in a cyber-bullying case in which teenager Channing Smith killed himself after being outed and ridiculed online by homophobic bullies who attended his school.

Northcott’s conduct is similar to behavior by Kentucky county clerk Kimberly Davis, who infamously refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Northcott story differs in two critical ways.

First, Davis lost. The Supreme Court told her to get lost, pointing out that her religious beliefs must have no bearing on her upholding generally applicable civil law. Second…


Staggering hypocrisy exposes Church hate speech

Jeffrey Burrill addressing the USCCB Fall 2020 General Assembly. YouTube screen capture.

Last autumn as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops actively lobbied Congress to kill a proposed national suicide hotline because it directed help to suicidal LGBTQ people, the Conference elected Jeffrey Burrill as their general secretary. He had worked as a high-level staffer since 2016. His promotion made him the highest-ranking, most powerful Catholic priest in the United States who is not a bishop.

On Inauguration Day, Burrill remained general secretary as the Conference’s senior bishop chastised President Biden for supporting LGBTQ equality, claiming the president’s policies “advance moral evils.” …


Sex on the roof with a beautiful gay couple

Stock image by By StokImagBrasil licensed from Adobe Stock

I say boy in the gay sense of young man. Back when other gay men still called me a boy, Carlo helped his older lover David run a popular ice cream and coffee parlor at one of the busiest, gayest corners of Greenwich Village.

I say beautiful because Carlo’s skin glowed. Most of the year, his face was the color of coffee with cream, but in summer the sun brushed his cheeks with the palest pink blush.

I say sexy because Carlo’s athletic torso, even wrapped in a white apron, drew every queer eye as he bustled about filling tiny…


A Prism & Pen writing prompt

Ice cream photo by Kendra. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

What, you expected me to say “a box of chocolates?” Sorry, I only know enough about Forrest Gump to make a bad pun. But hey, it’s summer and brutally HOT for those of us in the northern hemisphere. A queer friend of mine on the Canadian prairies is roasting while a queer friend in England melts down on a blistering beach without a cooling breeze in sight.

Naturally our thoughts are turning to climate science, right? Well, sure, when we aren’t thinking about ice cream!

A friend of mine once owned a popular ice cream shop in Greenwich Village. He…


Prism & Pen Queer Stories — July 18, 2021

by Artemis Shishir

Another week of great stories at Prism & Pen highlights why we love being queer. Our writers examine how being a part of the LGBTQ community has helped us see life differently. This is is very important as we navigate a world where LGBTQ intolerance is popping up more than ever.

But for now, let’s dig into this week’s offerings.

Readers: Remember, if you don’t have a Medium subscription, click on the underlined links to slip through the paywall. But if you can afford the USD 5.00/month membership, we sure would appreciate your support.


Catholic rage sends men to the hospital with grave injuries

Photos of Benoît and Mickaël they posted on Instagram.

Would you be shocked if I told you a mob in France ganged up on a gay couple and beat them badly enough that one thought he was going to die and both ended up in the hospital? The story is shocking in a way, but has powerful lessons to teach about religious disdain for LGBTQ people and about how churches must start behaving more morally. As Christian friends of mine say, churches need to become more Christian and less hateful.

A gay French couple were gathered with family for Bastille Day and fireworks on the French island of Corsica…


Take off those polo shirts and make love all night

Stock image from: Pxfuel

I drove 15 miles from my tiny Michigan village to another tiny rural village. I pulled into a parking spot next to a fun fair where you can buy cotton candy and win stuffed animals if you nail a target with an air rifle.

I walked past an old fashioned diner serving patty melts and tuna salad on white. I nodded hello at some teenagers lined up to buy soft serve ice cream from a seasonal shack.

Then I pushed open a door and walked into a shop to buy an eighth of an ounce of marijuana.

The stylish young…


Prism & Pen Queer Stories — July 11, 2021

by James Finn

This week and next, Prism & Pen writers are counting the ways we love being queer. Our current writing prompt is our most popular ever. Even so, this issue is packed with all kinds of stories, from activism and politics to family matters and insider peeks into worlds we only imagine we understand.

Let’s get started!

Readers: Remember, if you don’t have a Medium subscription, click on the underlined links to slip through the paywall. But if you can afford the USD 5.00/month membership, we sure would appreciate your support.

James Finn

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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