Perfect Tex Part 3

10 years of GO Magazine, from MySpace to marriage equality

2008

ImplosionWhat a difference a year makes. So soon after the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest level ever, the bottom fell out of the American economy. Lehman Brothers filed for biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history in September (an honor previously held by WorldCom), bring down numerous financial institutions. Spurred by the flailing housing market, corporate fraud and mysterious things called “credit default swaps,” the Dow plummeted 777 points in a single day in October. The worldwide crisis hit Greece, Spain and other European players particularly hard. “We’re in a recession” became the universal reason for corporate layoffs and a rallying cry for the 2008 presidential election. (2008)
Client 9Sixteen months after being elected as the agent for reform in Albany, Gov. Eliot Spitzer confessed in March to hiring a $4,300 prostitute multiple times. Reports show that Spitzer (known as “Client 9” in the law enforcement sting) may have spent over $80,000 on prostitutes and kept it a secret from his family-but that didn’t prevent his wife Silda from standing stoically by her philandering husband at a cringe-worthy press conference announcing his resignation. Lt. Gov. David Paterson was immediately sworn in as New York’s first African-American governor following the scandal. (2008)
H8 for Prop 8After the California Supreme Court ruled in May that gays and lesbians have the right to marry, more than 18,000 same-sex couples tied the knot between that spring and November-when marriage equality voters succeeded in overturning the law by the ballot measure known as Proposition 8. Gay advocates sued in the landmark federal case Perry v. Schwarzenegger (later Perry v. Brown and now Hollingsworth v. Perry), with liberal David Boies and conservative Ted Olson as co-counsel. Activists took to the streets on both coasts to protest the injustice. And most experts expect the case to reach the Supreme Court, but until then, same-sex couples wait in limbo. (2008)
Yes We Did!“Change We Can Believe In” was the motto that earned Barack Obama his title of President of the United States, replacing an eight-year Republican administration more focused on corporate profits than the common good. On the promise of bolstering the floundering economy, Obama earned 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes to become the first African-American POTUS. (2008)
Nutmeg NuptialsConnecticut became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage (and the second state to maintain its legality, after California voters approved Prop 8). The high court ruling took effect in October and gave all the rights and privileges of heterosexual marriage to gay couples. The ruling also made Connecticut the first state in which a court found that civil unions, in lieu of marriages, violated the equal protection clause of a state constitution. Two years later, all civil unions that had been performed in the Nutmeg State to that point were converted to marriages. Mazel tov! (2008)
Beaming BridesSpotting each other during a backstage meeting in 2004, Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi say they were in love from the moment they laid eyes on each other. For her part, Ellen was quick to announce their plans to get married the day after same-sex marriage was legalized in California in May. They tied the knot in their L.A-area home in October. Both wore outfits by Zac Posen and their personal chef catered a vegan feast for close friends and family. (2008)

2009

Hudson HorrorAfter striking a flock of birds six minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, the US Airways’ Flight 1549 crash-landed in the middle of the Hudson River in January. The pilot, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, ensured that all passengers evacuated the plane without injury. One hundred and fifty-five passengers were pulled to safety aboard nearby boats in what the media called “the Miracle on the Hudson,” and Sully became an overnight hero. The plane was later transported to a museum in North Carolina where it remains on display. (2009)
States of Our Unions2009 was a banner year for same-sex marriage in the New England states (and the Midwest). Vermont and New Hampshire, which previously allowed civil unions for gay couples, legalized same-sex marriage through the state legislature and the legal system, respectively. Iowa also joined the revolution, becoming the first flyover state to make marriage equality legal. The District of Columbia replaced its domestic partnership provisions with marriage, effective in 2010. And finally, Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed same-sex marriage into law, but a mean-spirited voter referendum repealed it before the law ever took effect. (2009)
Bronx CheerFollowing the retirement of conservative Justice David Souter, Bronx native Sonia Sotomayor was chosen by President Obama as Souter’s replacement on the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed the appointment by a vote of 68-41 in August. The third woman on the current court (and fourth to ever serve), as well as the first Hispanic Justice, Sotomayor brings a liberal slant to counteract the entrenched constructionism of Antonin Scalia et al. (2009)
Opposites Don’t AttractTelevised beauty pageants (especially those owned by Donald Trump) were never considered bastions of intellectual thought, but the argument against same-sex marriage reached an unprecedented level of silliness when Miss California, Carrie Prejean, opened her mouth during the Miss USA Pageant. Host Perez Hilton asked the blonde bombshell if she supported same-sex marriage, and her answer was Palinsque in verbosity. “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I think I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman,” she said. Prejean won second place in the pageant and a spot in the bigot’s hall of fame for her efforts. (2009)
How Ya Like That Apple?After seven years of research, two publishers and countless rewrites, GO editor Kat Long’s book The Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex and Sin in New York City finally debuted in March. Ig Publishing, a progressive small press in Brooklyn, secured favorable reviews from The New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice, New York Press and more, while Kat gave interviews to radio shows here and abroad. (It’s available on Amazon.com.) (2009)

2010

Terrestrial TerrorThe poorest country in the Western Hemisphere was struck by a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in January, resulting in 300,000 dead and 3 million people in need of emergency care. Before the disaster, more than 80 percent of inhabitants were living in poverty-just imagine how many more were after the worst quake since 1770. Relief agencies and Hollywood mobilized to collect funds for the multinational rescue efforts. To this day, volunteers are still visiting Haiti to clean up the mess that the earthquake created. (2010)
Bigelow Beats the BoysKathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director with the widely acclaimed Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker. The film itself earned 6 Oscars and was stunningly successful in conveying the heart-pounding risks soldiers at war face every day. Adrenaline-fueled subjects are par for the course in Bigelow’s films like Blue Steel (rookie police officer played by Jamie Lee Curtis pursued by psychopath), Point Break (FBI officer investigates bank-robbing surfers), Strange Days (L.A. cop uncovers police corruption ring) and K-19: The Widowmaker (crew must save malfunctioning nuclear submarine from disaster). Along with her Academy Award win, Bigelow garnered accolades from Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe nominations and other honors. (2010)
Gulf GusherThe Gulf of Mexico’s worst oil spill began with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform in April. The initial explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others.

Executives at BP, the British oil company, seemed oddly unconcerned even as environmental workers scrambled to save petroleum-soaked wildlife. Local shrimpers and fisherman saw their industry crash for the season. BP finally capped the gushing well, but the cleanup continues, and long-term effects of the oil spill won’t be known for years. (2010)

A Can Full of CrazyFour Loko, the famous “blackout in a can,” was banned in NYC in November when several teenagers died after bingeing on the caffeine-loaded alcoholic soda. The FDA criticized Four Loko’s manufacturers over marketing the saccharine-sweet beverage to minors and college students. The formula was altered to remove the stimulants, but not before die-hard fans who feared a total ban bought up cases of the original product. The cans slowly reappeared, minus the guarana, taurine and caffeine, on store shelves in 48 states. Now, can we do something about those bath salts? (2010)
Breaking the SilenceAfter a 17-year battle, LGBT advocates celebrated when Congress repealed the military’s hated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December. President Obama, who had made the repeal one of his campaign promises to gay voters, signed the bill surrounded by service members who had been discharged under the anti-gay rule. The military is now prohibited from discharging anyone based on his or her sexual orientation, although the many federal benefits attached to service in the Armed Forces are not given to gay veterans or families due to Defense of Marriage Act stipulations. We hope repeal of DOMA is next on the chopping block. (2010)
Think InkU-Hauls, trucker hats, cats…lesbians and certain objects just seem to go together. Take tattoos-almost every lezzie has one, whether she always admits it or not. We asked readers to “show us your tats!” and set out to find the best ink in the nation. Hundreds of GO fans sent in photos of their body art, hoping to win the $1,000 grand prize. It was nearly impossible to pick the best one! (2010)
Sing it Proud Through the tireless efforts of Executive Director Diedra Meredith, a.k.a. Deepa Soul, the OUTMusic Awards threw a lavish ceremony to honor openly LGBT recording artists and their groundbreaking work. Hunter Valentine, Rachael Sage and Ray Boltz were the big winners (among others) at the Webster Hall bash, of which GO was a proud sponsor. (2010)

2011

Out of IraqAfter nearly nine years, hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded on both sides, and trillions of dollars, the war in Iraq officially came to an end in December. Without much fanfare, the last convoy of U.S. troops withdrew from Camp Adder in Nasiriyah. “This December will be a time to reflect on all that we’ve been though in this war,” President Obama said in an address predating the withdrawal. “I’ll join the American people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq.  We’ll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 American patriots — and their Iraqi and coalition partners — who gave their lives to this effort…The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year.  The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home.” (2011)
SEALed with a Fist“Justice has been done,” said President Obama in May, when Osama Bin Laden was located and exterminated in a remote village in Pakistan. The most wanted man on Earth and mastermind of the horrific attacks on 9/11 was finally killed in a firefight with elite Navy SEALs, who had stolen into the fortified compound under the cover of darkness. The successful outcome of one of the most secretive military missions in memory punctuated the U.S.’ 10-year search for the notorious terrorist. (2011)
TouchdownIt was truly the end of an era. The Space Shuttle Atlantis didn’t just complete its final mission in July-the occasion marked the last flight for NASA’s famed shuttle program. Though its mission might have been unglamorous in description (carrying spare parts and equipment to the International Space Station), the voyage capped a 30-year exploration of space, marked by triumph and tragedy. Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis, the last three active shuttles, will enjoy retirement at aviation museums, and perhaps inspire the next generation of astronauts. (2011)
Come on, IreneIn July and August, the east coast was battered by a bout of seriously freaky weather. First, a record heat wave settled swampily over the city, suffocating unfortunate inhabitants. Then, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocked northwest Virginia, sending tremors up the eastern seaboard-GO staffers even felt the jiggle in our SoHo office! And in the same week, Hurricane Irene barreled in from the Atlantic, soaking the south and causing apocalyptic flooding in upstate New York and New England. Irene was among the top five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, resulting in 55 deaths and approximately $15 billion in damage. (2011)
Remembrance and Rebirth On the 10-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the 9/11 Memorial at the former site of the World Trade Center opened to the public. In a televised visit, Presidents Obama and Bush reflected over the massive waterfalls that flow into the footprints of the twin towers. Alongside are bronze panels with the names of every person who lost his or her life that day, as well as the six who perished in the 1993 attack. (2011)
Force of NatureWith a magnitude of 8.9, an earthquake struck the seabed off the coast northern Honshu, Japan’s largest island, triggering a devastating tsunami in March. The monster wave smashed into the fishing port and its nuclear reactor, damaging the structure and releasing radioactive materials into the atmosphere. The entire town was either evacuated or swept out to sea. More than a year later, a Japanese fishing boat dislodged in the tsunami was found in British Columbia waters and a fishing dock washed up on an Oregon beach. (2011)
Victory!In a victory for all New Yorkers and the movement toward equality, the New York Senate legalized same-sex marriage in June. The vote-taking place on the eve of Pride weekend-was 33 in favor, 29 opposed. At Governor Andrew Cuomo’s urging, four Republican senators went against their party line and voted for the bill, putting the “yea’s” over the top. Gay and lesbian couples lined up to wed on the first day the bill went into effect in July. (2011)
The Wedding GuideLike everyone else, we were ecstatic when the New York legislature legalized same-sex marriage-and we celebrated with a jam-packed Wedding Guide for legal brides-to-be in September. Florists, designer ateliers, caterers, planners, venues and more opened their doors to same-sex couples ready to tie the knot. As always, we revealed our picks for the best of the bunch. (2011)
Hooray for HenriettaTwenty years is a long time, but in nightlife terms, it’s an eternity. That’s why we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Henrietta Hudson, the legendary lesbian bar in the West Village. “We wanted to put a place on the map where people could come out and be gay,” manager Lisa G. told GO in our November issue. “Twenty years ago you could just walk down the street, all happy and gay…so we opened a place where people could go and be themselves.” (2011)
Real PrideWith the Pride issue in the can, GO turned around and threw a huge Pride kick-off event at the fancy District 36 nightclub in June. Our guests of honor were the castmembers (all of them!) of the second season of the Real L Word. After a star-studded red carpet, celebrities and guests mingled on the dancefloor and ogled at the gorgeous go-go dancers. After several rounds of premium cocktails, Romi, Whitney, Francine, Claire and the rest of the gang announced the nominees for the upcoming GO Readers Choice Nightlife Awards. (2011)

2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step BackWashington Governor Christine Gregoire signed the state’s same-sex marriage bill into law in February, though opponents managed to put it to a voter referendum on November’s ballot. The same happened in Maryland, with marriage equality opponents earning enough signatures to put the newly signed same-sex marriage bill up for a public vote. If voters choose to maintain the law, same-sex couples will be able to marry in both states in 2013. On the other side of the coin, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, vetoed the legislature’s same-sex marriage bill. (2012)
ACA OKHooray, healthcare! The Supreme Court ruled in June that the 2010 Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare,” is constitutional. The controversial act will extend healthcare services to thousands of LGBT people who currently lack insurance, and expand access to LGBT-inclusive care. All insurers are required to provide women with eight preventative services (contraception, gyno exams, etc.) with no additional co-pays, making us one step closer to guaranteeing that all people are insured and healthy. (2012)
Game of ChickenChick-fil-A president Dan Cathy ruffled feathers when he told a radio interviewer that the company is “supportive of the biblical definition of family” (the family-owned business is closed on Sundays and donates thousands of dollars towards anti-gay organizations every year). Then the brouhaha really blew up: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared August 1 “National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” while gay activists and other supporters of marriage equality staged kiss-ins Chick-fil-A franchises. Children eating at Chick-fil-A were robbed of their Muppets toys because The Henson Company pulled its sponsorship of its kid’s meals. And students at liberal colleges circulated petitions to remove Chick-fil-A restaurants from their campuses. (2012)
Red RoverIs there life on Mars? That question could soon be answered now that Curiosity, the largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet, is safely resting on the red planet after a nail-biter of a landing in August. NASA put in $2.5 billion to complete the mission and plans on sending Curiosity to roam the planet for two years, taking high-resolution pictures and collecting samples from alien soil. Experts are hoping that Curiosity will pave the way for sending manned spaceflight or even colonizing our neighboring planet. (2012)
Pro ChoiceNYC’s lesbian nightlife leaders put the one-upmanship aside for one night and gathered at the glitzy new XL nightclub for GO’s Readers Choice Nightlife Awards in May. In the fifth installment of the yearly bash, promoters, DJs, bar owners, go-go dancers and other after-dark types walked away with the highly coveted plaques. Special guest entertainers for the evening included Sophia Urista, Doxi Jones, Hunter Valentine and emcee Murray Hill. (2012)
Real L Word welcomes NYC castmembersEveryone’s favorite reality series/TV trainwreck went bicoastal for its third season in July. The Real L Word, previously the exclusive haunt of L.A. lesbians, welcomed a handful of New York City-based cast members into the drama-filled fold. Hunter Valentine’s Kiyomi, Somer, Vero and Laura, plus blond bombshell Amanda, added to the crowd of West Coast stalwarts. (2012)
Stephanie Adams wins NYPD suit (February)July 2003 cover model Stephanie Adams-and November 1992 Playboy Playmate-won a lawsuit against the NYPD in February. Adams alleged that officers stopped a taxi in which she was a passenger, pulled her out of the backseat, and roughed her up while searching for a nonexistent firearm. She won $1.2 million in the suit, and told the New York Post she hopes to become an advocate against police brutality. (2012)

Click here to read about the ealier years 2002-2007