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Violet Ghosts

Violet Ghosts-2

  Acclaimed queer authors Trebor Healey and Craig Laurance Gidney explore the veil between worlds in their newest books, Falling and A Spectral Hue. These are stories of artists making contact with a metaphysical or mystical reality, expanding and queering our understanding of the world we live in. Healey and Gidney’s work portrays the otherworldliness [...]

Fri. Oct 18, 2019 7:00 PM


February 7, 2014

Opening Reception for Manorama – Collages & Drawings by René Smith

Manorama – Collages & Drawings by René Smith

Bureau of General Services—Queer Division

83A Hester St., between Orchard and Allen Sts.

NY, NY 10002

Friday, February 7th, through Sunday, March 30th Thursday, April 10th

Join us for a discussion with René Smith about her work on Sunday, March 30th, at 4 PM

Manorama Rene Smith small

“This body of work is a sincere ode to longing and the beauty of men’s bodies, but it also contains small jokes, ideas about history, and references to our relationship to photography. The project is about men’s bodies seen through a woman’s eyes – the woman’s gaze – the man’s body – the body as landscape with hills and valleys to roam. The collages are made from vintage magazines from the 60’s and 70’s – a time when the male nude in widely circulating publications was new, and the idea of a woman appreciating the male nude was radical.  The paintings and drawings are based on my own photographs of friends and professional models and take on the same subject – still fairly uncommon from a woman’s point of view.” René Smith


René Smith lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. She was a Visiting Lecturer in Painting at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and has also been an artist in residence at The Gil Society in Iceland and Vermont Studio Center. She has shown her work at The Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Koi Gallery (Bangkok), NoSpace Gallery (Bangkok), BKK Art House (Bangkok), The Chiang Mai University Art Museum (Thailand), and Aljira Contemporary Art Center (New Jersey). René Smith was born in Philadelphia and received her M.F.A. in Painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome and her B.A. in Painting from Bennington College in Vermont. She teaches painting at St. Thomas Aquinas College.




Start: February 7, 2014 6:00 PM
End: February 7, 2014 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
Phone: 646 457 0859
83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States

February 5, 2014

Frank Spinelli Reads from His Memoir Pee-Shy

Part family memoir, part love story, PEE-SHY by Frank Spinelli gives readers an inspiring message of empowerment with the page-turning suspense of true crime.

In 1978, eleven-year-old Frank Spinelli’s parents signed him up for Boy Scouts. Soon after, he was taken under the wing of Scoutmaster Bill Fox, a cop who sexually and mentally abused him for two years. When Frank told his family, they were convinced to do nothing. Frank blamed himself for everything. That year he also became pee-shy.

Thirty years later, Frank has a thriving medical practice and a comfortable home in Manhattan’s gay community, but still struggles to overcome the physical reminder of his past trauma. Then he learns his former Scoutmaster and abuser has adopted fifteen boys in the decades since they last crossed paths. One adoption had even earned Bill a national Father of the Year Award and a book deal.

This shocking discovery gives Frank the opportunity to overturn thirty years of confusion and self-blame—for himself, and for other boys like him. During the course of the next three years, he confronts the man who stole his childhood and brings him to justice.


Advance praise for Pee-Shy

“Spinelli deftly portrays his years as a chubby, awkward adolescent and the complexity of his reaction to the molestation. Spinelli’s refreshing honesty as a protagonist make this memoir an important testament to a reality that is too often concealed by shame or fear.” – Publishers Weekly 

“Intensely bracing reading…an engrossing memoir about overcoming childhood sexual trauma.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“With raw honesty [Dr. Spinelli] makes us understand that monsters do exist and a child’s innocence is precious.” – Whoopi Goldberg 

“A devastatingly heart-breaking look at life after childhood abuse, with wit and piercing insight that can only come from a place of brutal honesty.” – Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of The Bucolic Plague and star of The Fabulous Beekman Boys 

“This is a memoir about a grown-up boy’s generous—and healing—heart.” – Kevin Sessums 


Frank Spinelli -Photo Credit Chad Schroer

Frank Spinelli -Photo Credit Chad Schroer

DR. FRANK SPINELLI is a licensed and board certified internist and sits on the board of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center, the oldest HIV organization. His memoir, PEE-SHY, recounts his childhood of sexual abuse as a young Staten Island Boy Scout, his decision 30 years later to pursue his abuser, and how he ultimately had the Scoutmaster who molested him – and many other boys over the years – put in prison. Spinelli is also the author of Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness (Alyson Books, 2008), was the host of Ask the Doctor on Advocate.com, and appeared as the medical expert on Threesome on here TV.  Dr. Spinelli has been featured in two documentaries; Positive Youth and the Emmy nominated 30 Years from Here, and has appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street. Currently, Dr. Spinelli appears monthly on Sirius Radio’s Morning Jolt. He has made several appearances on ABC News, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, MTV and Veria TV. For more information, please visit: www.FrankSpinelliMD.com


Start: February 5, 2014 7:00 PM
End: February 5, 2014 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
Phone: 646 457 0859
83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States

February 1, 2014


Robert Siek introduces poets Jeffery Berg, Jerome Murphy, and Justin Sherwood.



JEFFERY BERG grew up in Six Mile, South Carolina, and Lynchburg, Virginia. He received an MFA from New York University. His poems have appeared in Court Green,Map Literary, MiPOesias, the Gay & Lesbian Review, and Harpur Palate. He has written reviews for Lambda LiteraryReview and the Poetry Project Newsletter. A Virginia Center of the Creative Arts fellow, Jeffery lives in New York and blogs at jdbrecords.



JEROME MURPHY received an MFA from New York University, where he currently acts as Program Administrator at the Creative Writing Program. He assisted Diane Middlebrook in researching Her Husband: Hughes and Plath, a Marriage. His reviews have appeared in the column Outwords, which he authored for Next Magazine from 2010 to 2011, and in The Brooklyn Rail.



JUSTIN SHERWOOD’s poems and essays have appeared in ILK, H_NGM_N, The Poetry Project Newsletter, and New Criticals, among others. He is a graduate of the New School MFA Creative Writing Program, where he was selected for the 2012 Paul Violi Prize in Poetry. He lives in Astoria.



ROBERT SIEK is a poet who lives in Brooklyn and works as a production editor at a large publishing house in Manhattan. His poems have appeared in journals such as The Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, Mary, Assaracus, Chelsea Station, and The Nervous Breakdown. In 2002, the New School published his chapbook Clubbed Kid, and in 2007, his short story “Sixteen” appeared in the short-fiction anthology Userlands: New Fiction Writers from the Blogging Underground. His first full-length collection of poetry, Purpose and Devil Piss, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in late 2013.



Start: February 1, 2014 7:00 PM
End: February 1, 2014 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
Phone: 646 457 0859
83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States

January 31, 2014

Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow Presents Mädchen in Uniform

Friend of the Bureau Ariel “Federow” Speedwagon introduces the 1931 lesbian cult film from Germany  Mädchen in Uniform, directed by Leontine Sagan. Lively discussion will follow the screening.

IMDB page for Mädchen in Uniform.

Check out B. Ruby Rich’s “Maedchen in Uniform: From Repressive Tolerance to Erotic Liberation,” published in Jump Cut, no. 24-25, March 1981, pp. 44-50 (copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1981, 2005).


Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow is a writer/performer, dancer, clown, and the former Miss JewSA. She’s worked with, among others, Jenny Romaine, Susana Cook, Katy Pyle, and Coral Short. Notable stages: Dixon Place, LaMama, WoW Theater, the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics’ Encuentro in Sao Paulo, HEY QUEEN!. Company member: Butch Burlesque, Katy Pyle’s Ballez, Aftselokhis Spectacle Committee. Ariel is one of the Squirts in Dan Fishback’s Squirts: New Voices in Queer Performance at La Mama, January 3-12.




Start: January 31, 2014 7:00 PM
End: January 31, 2014 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
Phone: 646 457 0859
83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States

January 30, 2014

When is White Girl – a Public Reading

Hilton Als’s latest book, White Girls, is an essay collection (personal and critical) that takes the idea of “white girl” and twists it through the lens of American culture.

It is a book that defies an easy read, or contemplation in solitude. Is it a mess, a mockery, and brilliant? Is it confusing, contradictory, and liberating? Does it serve identity politics to itself on a platter? Is it post racial? Is it fierce?

Join curators and artists Malene Dam, Bridget de Gersigny, and Ted Kerr for a public conversation on the book. Participants will be invited to read passages that stuck with them and that they want to discuss, and as a group we will engage in a conversation about the book, its impacts and possible meanings.

When is White Girl is part of ”NO NARRATIVE PRECEDED US” an ongoing collaboration between Dam, de Gersigny, and Kerr started in Oct. 2013 with public conversations and performances in New York and at CCS Bard. Using the format of a reading group the collaboration explores the intersections of identity politics with shared queer and feminist histories across time.

White Girls is available for purchase at the Bureau. 


Malene Dam is a Danish born artist and curator currently a student at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.  She engages in an array of issues related to contemporary society, most recently with a strong focus on queer temporality, histories of feminism, education, and conflict. Her research-based practice addresses temporal and spatial notions of cultural collectivizations, inquiring how discourses situate themselves as knowledge. She holds a BFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and a MFA in Photography and Media from CalArts.


Bridget de Gersigny is a South African born, visual artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Her work draws upon political history and technological communications, often related to shifting ideologies, through a post-colonial and queer lens. She is a 2014 Queer/Art/Mentorship Fellow and recently completed her MFA at ICP-Bard. She holds a BA degree from the University of Cape Town, in Psychology and Literature, and Art History from University of South Africa.


Canadian born Ted Kerr is a New York based artist, writer and organizer whose work focuses on queerness, HIV/AIDS and community. He was the 2011 Artist in Residence at the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, and is currently the programs manager at Visual AIDS.




Start: January 30, 2014 7:00 PM
End: January 30, 2014 9:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services–Queer Division at Cage
Phone: 646 457 0859
83A Hester St., New York, NY, 10002, United States