Out on the Town: How Being Queer Influences Artists’ Work


Actor and event planner Richard Nahem has author Michael Cunningham to thank for the “Art of Creation” series he founded in 2001. Nahem’s imagination was sparked by a New York Public Library offering that featured Cunningham musing aloud about how he conceived his Pulitzer-winning novel, The Hours. Enthralled by what he heard, Nahem decided to set up his own provocative public discussions on the idiosyncratic nature of creativity. Previous participants have included Sarah Jessica Parker, Moisés Kaufman, Laurie Anderson, Charles Busch, A.M. Homes, and the ever inspiring Cunningham himself. To add a little intellectual kick to Pride week, Nahem has organized a queer panel of diverse artists to talk about their own unique creative processes—and the way being gay or lesbian has (and hasn’t) influenced their work. The lineup includes actor B.D. Wong, musical comedy loudmouth Lea DeLaria, playwright Doug Wright (fresh from winning the Tony for I Am My Own Wife), choreographer Richard Move, writer Sarah Schulman, club guru Chi Chi Valenti, New York Times style columnist Bob Morris, fashion director and Observer columnist Simon Doonan, and the granddaddy of all artsy queer activists, Larry Kramer.