Lesbian Pop Culture
Gay Pop Culture
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Gay Themed Movies
of Gay Films
Gay & Lesbian
TV Shows With
Gay & Lesbian
Top Ten Gay
Images in the Media
and Jake Guyllenhaal
Starring Sean Penn
and Josh Brolin
For The Bible
Tells Me So
Prayers for Bobby
IMDB: Movie Notes on
Prayers for Bobby
The Laurel Hester
Real Time News:
NEW FILM ABOUT LIBERACE
Starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon
tells the story
Matt Damon plays
the part of
"These two men
were deeply in
love and in a
before there was
Damon says of
having a spat or
for bed? That’s
Huff Post: Rumors of Bromance Between Matt Damon & Ben
Behind the Candelabra
BIO PIC ABOUT ALLEN GINSBERG
Daniel Radcliffe Plays Gay Beat Poet
Daniel Radcliffe has said goodbye to playing Harry
Potter, but in his new film role the 22-year-old actor looks very
similar to a grown up version of the boy wizard. Well, a grown up Harry
with a 1950s hair cut and a new pair of specs.
Dan will play gay Beat Generation writer Allen Ginsberg in artsy new
movie Kill Your Darlings, and he has been spotted filming in New
York with his co-star Dane DeHanne. We actually think Dan looks really
cute rocking this reto hipster look.
This will be another edgy role for Dan as the Beat Generation writers
experimented with their sexuality and drugs. Dan himself is used
to speculation about his sexuality, and the millionaire actor has
admitted that he found the media’s suggestion that he’s gay funny.
“I had to smile when stories emerged questioning whether I was gay.
Obviously I knew I wasn’t but people were curiously desperate to suggest
I was. The papers used to say I had a gay face, whatever that is, or a
gay voice but it simply wasn’t true. Now I have a girlfriend so I’m
guessing everyone finally believes me. When you know a gay guy has a
crush on you it’s the most flattering thing.”
Daniel Radcliffe as Beat Poet Alan Ginsberg
IMDB: Kill Your Darlings
LGBT Motion Pictures
Huntsville Film Maker and Author
Keith Hartman, who grew up in Huntsville,
Alabama, describes himself as an author and struggling filmmaker.
He currently lives in West Hollywood, California.
In 2009 Keith shot several marriage-equality public service
announcements, designed to poke fun
at California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Video 1: The
Defenders of Traditional Marriage
Video 2: The
In 2010 Keith’s first feature film hit the festival circuit. You
Should Meet My Son! won “Best Picture” at four film festivals, as
well as awards for “Best Screenplay”, “Best Actress”, and “Best
Supporting Actress”. It’s now available on DVD on Amazon.
His first book was Congregations in Conflict, an examination of
nine different churches and how they dealt with the issue of
homosexuality, sometimes in surprising ways -- like the Southern Baptist
Church which voted to marry two gay men, the order of seventy year old
celibate monks who all came out of the closet together, and the Black
Catholic church which expelled its gay organization in order to be more
"inclusive". The book was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and
Keith appeared as a guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation in
conjunction with it.
His second book, The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse
is one of those novels that really confuses book store owners, because
they can never figure out which section of the shop to put it in. The
critics have alternately described it as science fiction, mystery,
social commentary, magic realism, and even a coming of age story. It won
two Spectrum Awards for gay science fiction, was picked as one of the
"Ten Best Novels of the Year" by The Drood Review of Mysteries,
and was a double nominee for the Lambda Literary Awards in the Mystery
and Science Fiction categories.
His third book, Gumshoe Gorilla was also a nominee for the Lambda
Keith’s latest novella, Murder under the Buried Sky, came out in
2011. Future projects include a graphic novel titled Vampire
Strippers Must Die! His latest feature began shooting in June
Video 1: The
Defenders of Traditional Marriage
Video 2: The
Keith Hartman Website
IMDB: Keith Hartman
It's Time to Take a
This year, over 5 million
American kids will be bullied at
school, online, on the bus, at
home, through their cell phones
and on the streets of their
towns, making it the most common
form of violence young people in
this country experience. The
Bully Project is the first
feature documentary film to show
how we've all been affected by
bullying, whether we've been
victims, perpetrators or stood
silent witness. The world we
inhabit as adults begins on the
The Bully Project opened on the
first day of school. For the
more than 5 million kids who'll
be bullied this year in the
United States, it's a day filled
with more anxiety and foreboding
than excitement. As the sun
rises and school busses across
the country overflow with
backpacks, brass instruments and
the rambunctious sounds of
raging hormones, this is a ride
into the unknown. For a lot of
kids, the only thing that's
certain is that this year.
Trailer for Film: Bully
Time Mag: A Punishing Movie Your
Kids Must See
The Bully Project
A Student, A School and a Case That Made History
The Southern Poverty Law Center
documentary film "Bullied"
has been shown in various
locations throughout the state,
including UAB and AUM.
Most recently, it was shown at
the ALGBTICAL Winter Workshop in
Birmingham. The film is a classroom
documentary designed to combat
SPLC's New Film to Combat
Order Your Free Copy of the SPLC
SPLC Teaching Tolerance
SPLC Fighting Hate
Gay & Lesbian Film Festival of Alabama
"Shout" is the name of the gay and lesbian film festival of Alabama.
Presented annually in Birmingham since 2005, the Shout Film Festival
features independent films with LGBT themes and subject matter.
In the past few years, the Shout Film Festival has
been incorporated into the annual Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival and
has been presented in late August. Each year the event features an impressive collection of LGBT
drama, comedy and documentary films.
Hit So Hard
Wish Me Away
Agile (good Boy)
Oh My God
This is What Love in Action Looks Like
The Wise Kids
When Judith Met
Thank You for Judging
My Best Day
Naked As We Came
The Silent Thief
Unfit: Ward vs Ward
All the Way Through Evening
Nate & Margaret
Blues for Willadean
Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
An Ordinary Couple
Forever's Gonna Start Tonight
Play in the Gray
Battle of Pussy Willow Creek
I Killed My Mother
Click Here to Learn More About Birmingham Shout
Click Here to Visit
the Birmingham Shout Website
Memphis Outflix LGBT Film Festival
Historical LGBT Event
This new documentary film, by Kate Davis
and David Heilbroner, was first shown in June 2010. It recounts
the June 1969 police raid on the Stonewall gay bar in Greenwich Village
that led to three days of violence. In that confrontation that
surprised police, suddenly militant gays simply had enough and fought
back and won. It was, as one participant describes it here, their
"Rosa Parks moment."
The New York Times calls the Stonewall
incident "the turning point in gay rights history." This film
methodically provides historical context for the events, supplying ample
evidence of the discrimination against gays and lesbians at the time.
Mike Wallace probably will be none too happy about an excerpt from a
1966 "CBS Reports" news special in which he declares that "the average
homosexual is promiscuous and not interested in, nor capable of, a
There also are accounts of electro-shock aversion therapy administered
to homosexuals, as well as a drug given at a California mental hospital
that is described as "chemical waterboarding."
But the heart of the film is the accounts of the riots, with commentary
by such figures as former Village Voice journalists Howard Smith and
Lucian Truscott IV (the paper's offices were virtually next door at the
time), several of the people who participated in the uprising,
commentators including former New York Mayor Ed Koch and playwright
Doric Wilson and even the former NYPD inspector who led the raid. The
cop, Seymour Pine, clearly was shocked by the violent resistance they
encountered, describing the proceedings as a "real war."
There have been several significant films documenting the struggle for
gay civil rights, including "Before Stonewall" and "After Stonewall."
"Stonewall Uprising" skillfully fills the gap in between.
for Stonewall Uprising
Hollywood Reporter: Film Review of Stonewall Uprising
Club: Article on Stonewall Uprising
York Times: Stonewall Uprising
FILM ABOUT HARVEY MILK
Sean Penn Wins Best
Actor Academy Award
was awarded an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of
slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in
the film, Milk.
In his acceptance speech he acknowledged the protesters
who were present at the event and defended same sex
The straight actor's portrayal
of an openly gay politician was
a timely one -- with "Milk"
coming out shortly after
California's same-sex couples
lost their right to marry in a
"I think it is a good time for
those who voted for the ban
against gay marriage to sit and
reflect and anticipate their
great shame and the shame in
their grandchildren's eyes if
they continue that way," Penn
"We've got to have equal rights
View His Acceptance
Speech on YouTube
Read the Reuters
Van Zant's latest film, Milk, starring Sean Penn,
Josh Brolin, and James Frano, tells a griping story of
the life of Harvey Milk,
an American politician and the first openly
man to be elected to public office in California, as a
member of the
San Francisco Board
soaked up some awards-season glory recently, being named
best film by the New York Film Critics Circle.
Sean Penn, who stars in the biopic as '70s gay-rights
leader Harvey Milk, was named best actor, and Josh
Brolin won best supporting actor for his role as the
assassin in the movie, the Associated Press reports.
The New York group concurred with the Los Angeles Film
Critics Association, which named Penn best actor.
Milk also received one Golden Globe nomination for Sean
Penn as Best Actor.
Milk was born and raised in New York where he
acknowledged his homosexuality as an adolescent, but
chose to pursue sexual relationships with secrecy and
discretion well into his adult years. His experience in
the 1960s caused
him to shed many of his conservative views about
individual freedom and the expression of sexuality.
moved to San Francisco in 1972 and settled in the
a neighborhood that was experiencing a mass influx of
gay men and lesbians. He felt compelled to run for city
supervisor in 1973, though he encountered resistance
from the existing gay political establishment. His
campaign was compared to theater; he was brash,
outspoken, animated, and outrageous, earning media
attention and votes, although not enough to be elected.
He campaigned again in the next two supervisor
elections, dubbing himself the "Mayor of Castro Street".
Voters responded enough to warrant his running for the
well. Taking advantage of his growing popularity, he led
the gay political movement in fierce battles against
anti-gay initiatives. Milk was elected city supervisor
in 1977 after San Francisco reorganized its election
procedures to choose representatives from neighborhoods
rather than through city-wide ballots.
Milk served almost eleven months as city supervisor and
was responsible for passing a stringent
ordinance in San Francisco. On November 27, 1978, Mayor
another city supervisor who had recently resigned and
wanted his job back.
Film in Focus
KQED: Harvey Milk, Hero & Martyr
Harvey Milk: The Forgotten Populist
Time Magazine: 100 Heroes
ACADEMY AWARD FOR BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
From HRC President
about not just all the gay men
whose love is denied by society, but most importantly, the greatness of
-Ang Lee, Academy Award Winner for Best Director
me, there was a little more excitement in the air at this year's Oscars.
It wasn't the stars, the red carpet glamour, or even the tearful
acceptance speeches. My excitement was that tonight's 78th Annual
Academy Awards proved one thing beyond the shadow of a doubt: Americans
are ready to hear our stories. Stories of acceptance, stories of
compassion, stories of love.
America honored three films that portrayed gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender characters with compassion and honesty. Capote,
TransAmerica, and Brokeback Mountain each brought gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories to movie theaters, the front
pages of newspapers, and, most importantly, the everyday conversations
of millions of Americans this year.
All across the country, these stories are touching lives and changing
Most of the Oscar buzz focused on Brokeback Mountain, the deeply
moving story of two men who meet and fall in love on a ranch in Wyoming.
The sad fact is that, just like the characters in the movie, real-life
same-sex couples are denied full equality every day. With the country's
attention focused on issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender Americans, this is a perfect time to take a stand for
With eight nominations - more than any other film this year - the
overwhelming success of Brokeback Mountain proved once again that
when Americans are exposed to the truth about gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender individuals, almost all react with openness, inclusiveness,
and acceptance. And it's not just the movies that are bringing these
simple truths to people around the country - you do, too, every time you
talk about GLBT equality with friends, family, and co-workers.
It was also a joy to see Felicity Huffman nominated for Best Actress for
her exceptional portrayal of a transgender woman in TransAmerica.
Her performance offers a window into a world that most Americans never
see - or choose to ignore. And when they see that world, they know that
it's not so scary, it's not so different, and that it deserves the
respect that Human Rights Campaign fights for every day.
The Oscars are a great spectacle every year. But this year, I'm happy to
say that the Academy also honored beautiful films that showed some of
the real-life struggles of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
individuals - and that reflect a growing understanding and acceptance
Congratulations to Gustavo Santaolalla, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana,
and Ang Lee of Brokeback Mountain;
to Philip Seymour Hoffman of
Capote; and to all the other Academy Award winners.
(From Joe Solmonese, HRC President)
GAY COWBOYS HIT A HOME RUN
Commentary and Critique
What if they held
a culture war and no one fired a shot? That’s the compelling tale of
‘’Brokeback Mountain.’’ Here is a heavily promoted American movie
depicting two men having sex—the precise sex act that was still a crime
in some states until the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws just two
and a half years ago—but there is no controversy, no Fox News tar and
feathering, no roar from the religious right. ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ has
instead become the unlikely Oscar favorite, propelled by its bicoastal
sweep of critics’ awards, by its unexpected dominance of the far less
highfalutin Golden Globes and, perhaps most of all, by the lure of a
gold rush. Last weekend it opened to the highest per-screen average of
any movie this year.
Those screens were in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco—hardly
national bellwethers. But I’ll rashly predict that the big Hollywood
question posed on the front page of The Los Angeles Times after those
stunning weekend grosses—‘’Can ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Move the
Heartland?’’—will be answered with a resounding yes. All the signs of a
runaway phenomenon are present, from an instant parody on ‘’Saturday
Night Live’’ to the report that a multiplex in Plano, Tex., sold more
advance tickets for the so-called ‘’gay cowboy picture’’ than for ‘’King
Kong.’’ ‘’The culture is finding us,’’ James Schamus, the ‘’Brokeback
Mountain’’ producer, told USA Today. ‘’Grown-up movies have never had
that kind of per-screen average. You only get those numbers when you’re
vacuuming up enormous interest from all walks of life.’’
In the packed theater where I caught ‘’Brokeback Mountain,’’ the
trailers included a National Guard recruitment spiel, and the audience
was demographically all over the map. The culture is seeking out this
movie not just because it is a powerful, four-hankie account of a doomed
love affair and is beautifully acted by everyone, starting with the
riveting Heath Ledger. The X factor is that the film delivers a story
previously untold by A-list Hollywood. It’s a story America may be more
than ready to hear a year after its president cynically flogged a
legally superfluous (and unpassable) constitutional amendment banning
same-sex marriage for the sole purpose of whipping up the basest
hostilities of his electoral base.
By coincidence, ‘’Brokeback Mountain,’’ a movie that is all the more
subversive for having no overt politics, is a rebuke and antidote to
that sordid episode. Whether it proves a movie for the ages or as
transient as ‘’Love Story,’’ it is a landmark in the troubled history of
America’s relationship to homosexuality. It brings something different
to the pop culture marketplace at just the pivotal moment to catch a
Heaven knows there has been no shortage of gay-themed entertainment in
recent years. To the tedious point of ubiquity, gay characters, many of
them updated reincarnations of the stereotypical fops and fussbudgets of
1930’s studio comedies, are at least as well represented as other
minorities in prime-time television. Entertainment Weekly has tallied
nine movies, including ‘’Capote’’ and ‘’Rent,’’ with major gay
characters this year. But ‘’Brokeback Mountain,’’ besides being more
sexually candid than the norm, is not set in urban America, is not comic
or camp, and, unlike the breakout dramas ‘’Philadelphia’’ and ‘’Angels
in America,’’ is pre-AIDS.
Its heroes are neither midnight cowboys, drugstore cowboys nor Village
People cowboys. As Annie Proulx writes in the brilliant short story from
which the movie has been adapted, the two ranch hands, Ennis Del Mar
(Mr. Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), are instead simply ‘’high
school dropout country boys with no prospects, brought up to hard work
and privation, both rough-mannered, rough-spoken, inured to the stoic
They meet and fall in love while tending sheep in the Wyoming wilderness
in 1963. That was the year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on
Washington and Betty Friedan’s ‘’Feminine Mystique,’’ but gay Americans,
and not just in Wyoming, were stranded, still waiting for the world to
start spinning forward. Over the next two decades of sporadic reunions
and long separations, both Ennis and Jack get married and have children;
it barely occurs to them to do otherwise. In their place and time, there
is no vocabulary to articulate their internal conflicts, no path to
steer their story to a happily-ever-after Hollywood ending. Before they
know it, they are, in Ms. Proulx’s words, ‘’no longer young men with all
of it before them.’’
Ennis’s and Jack’s acute emotions—yearning, loneliness, disappointment,
loss, love and, yes, lust—are affecting because they are universal. But
while the screenplay, by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, adheres
closely to the Proulx original, it even more vividly roots the movie in
the rural all-American milieu, with its forlorn honky-tonks and
small-town Fourth of July picnics, familiar from elegiac McMurtry works
like ‘’The Last Picture Show.’’ More crucially, the script adds detail
to Ennis’s and Jack’s wives (as do Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway,
who play them) so that we can implicitly, and without any on-screen
moralizing, see the cost inflicted on entire families, not just on Ennis
and Jack, when gay people must live a lie.
Though ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ is not a western, it’s been directed by
Ang Lee with the austerity and languorous gait of a John Ford epic.
These aesthetics couldn’t be more country miles removed from ‘’The
Birdcage’’ or ‘’Will & Grace.’’ The audience is forced to recognize that
gay people were fixtures in the red state of Wyoming (and every other
corner of the country, too) long before Matthew Shepard and Mary Cheney
were born. Without a single polemical speech, this laconic film
dramatizes homosexuality as an inherent and immutable identity, rather
than some aberrant and elective ‘’agenda’’ concocted by conspiratorial
‘’elites’’ in Chelsea, the Castro and South Beach, as anti-gay
proselytizers would have it. Ennis and Jack long for a life together,
not for what gay baiters pejoratively label a ‘’lifestyle.’’
But in truth the audience doesn’t have to be coerced to get it. This is
where the country has been steadily moving of late. ‘’Brokeback
Mountain,’’ a Hollywood product after all, is not leading a revolution
but ratifying one, fleshing out—quite literally—what most Americans now
believe. It’s not for nothing that the proposed constitutional ban on
same-sex marriage vanished as soon as the election was over. Polls show
that a large American majority support equal rights for gay couples as
long as the unions aren’t labeled ‘’marriage’’—and given the current
swift pace of change, that reservation, too, will probably fade in the
next 5 to 10 years.
The history of ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ as a film project in itself
crystallizes how fast the climate has shifted. Mr. McMurtry and Ms.
Ossana bought the screen rights to the Proulx story after it was
published in The New Yorker in 1997. That was the same year the
religious right declared a fatwa on Disney because Ellen DeGeneres came
out of the closet in her ABC prime-time sitcom. In the eight years it
took ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ to overcome Hollywood’s shilly-shallying and
at last be made, the Disney boycott collapsed and Ms. DeGeneres’s star
rose. She’s now a mainstream daytime talk-show host competing with
Oprah. No one has forgotten she’s a lesbian. No one cares.
ANOTHER startling snapshot of this progress can be found in a
culture-war skirmish that unfolded just as ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ was
arriving at the multiplex. The American Family Association of Tupelo,
Miss., a leader in the 1997 anti-’’Ellen’’ crusade, claimed this month
that its threat of a boycott had led Ford to stop advertising its Jaguar
and Land Rover lines in glossy gay magazines. Last week Ford, under fire
from gay civil-rights organizations and no doubt many other mainstream
customers, essentially told the would-be boycotters to get lost by
publicly announcing that it would not only resume its Jaguar and Land
Rover ads in gay publications, but advertise other brands in them as
As far as I can tell, the only blowhard in the country to turn up on
television to declare culture war on ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ also has an
affiliation with the American Family Association. By contrast, as Salon
reported last week, other family-values ayatollahs have made a conscious
decision to ignore the movie, lest they drum up ticket sales by turning
it into a SpongeBob SquarePants cause celebre. Robert Knight of
Concerned Women for America imagined that the film might just go away if
he and his peers stayed mum. Audiences ‘’don’t want to see two guys
going at it,’’ he told Salon. ‘’It’s that simple.’’
So he might wish. The truth is that the millions of moviegoers soon to
swoon over the star-crossed gay cowboys of ‘’Brokeback Mountain’’ can
probably put up with the sight of ‘’two guys going at it.’’ It’s the all
too American tragedy of what happens to these men afterward that neither
our hearts nor consciences can so easily shake.
Frank Rich / New York Times)
FRIGHTENING BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Commentary and Remarks
I went to see "Brokeback Mountain" the other day, mainly to
prove to myself that I could.
This was after reading a New York Times piece by Larry David of
"Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame in which he wrote
that, though he loves gay people and supports both gay marriage
and gay divorce, he does not plan to see this critically praised
movie about gay cowboys. David said he's discomfited by the idea
of watching two men fall in love and fears it might make him gay
"Not," he added, "that there's anything wrong with that."
It strikes me that David's essay amounted to the smiley-face
liberal version of what is being said more bluntly in
conservative circles. "Gay love story carries a high 'ick'
factor" reads the headline of a story on the American Family
Association Web site. It quotes a prediction that people will
leave the theater vomiting.
How asinine, I think.
Yeah, says a little voice in my head, but if that's how you
feel, why haven't YOU been to "Brokeback Mountain"? Well, I
protest, right now I'm teaching in this tiny college town in the
middle of nowhere. I'd have to drive 90 miles.
Good point, says the voice. But didn't you drive that far to see
"Good Night, and Good Luck"?
Now look, I say, and suddenly there's this wheedling tone to my
voice, some of my best friends are gay. Heck, my own brother's
gay. But you
know, we ARE talking about a love story between two guys, and
they might be kissing and, you know, touching and ... stuff.
The little voice falls silent. It is a
So I went to see "Brokeback." And I can report that it was as
shattering and powerful as advertised. People were moved. Nobody
me back to that ick factor.
I find myself wondering if this primeval revulsion doesn't speak
less to our antipathy toward homosexuality than to our fears
about masculinity. I mean, while a movie about two women in love
would surely be controversial, I doubt it would present the
visceral threat "Brokeback Mountain" does for some of us. I
doubt Larry David would be scared to see it.
Indeed, the idea of women who can't keep their hands off each
other is a staple of so-called men's entertainment. Visit a
magazine stand if you don't believe me. In the 1980s, it seemed
as if every Prince video had band members Lisa and Wendy groping
Point being, when it's women, we -- meaning straight men -- tend
to find it titillating, exotic, arousing in its very
forbiddance. When it's men, we -- meaning straight men AND women
-- tend to react as if somebody dropped a snake in the bed.
Small wonder the FBI reports that while 902 men were reported
victims of sexual orientation hate crimes in 2004, only 212
We seem prone to find male homosexuality the more clear and
present danger, the more urgent betrayal of some fundamental ...
something. Some will
say it's -- and I will finesse this for a general audience --
the nature of man-to-man sex some of us find off-putting. I
think it's more basic than that. I think gay men threaten our
very conception of masculinity.
The amazing thing about "Brokeback Mountain" is its willingness
to make that threat, directly and overtly. These are not cute
gays, funny gays, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" gays. These
are "cowboys," and there is no figure in American lore more
iconically male. Think Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, the Marlboro
Man. The cowboy is our very embodiment of male virtues.
In offering us cowboys who are gay, then, "Brokeback Mountain"
commits heresy, but it is knowing heresy, matter-of-fact heresy.
Nor is it the sex (what little there is) that makes it
heretical. Rather, it's the emotion, the fact that the movie
dares you to deny these men their humanity. Or their love.
Ultimately, I think, that's what the Larry Davids among us
sense. And why for
them, "Brokeback Mountain" might be the most frightening movie
(From Leonard Pitts /
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for commentary
/ Columnist for the Miami Herald / 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL
33132 / E-mail,