Since the Oscars are less than a month old, I decided this week’s column should be about movies and, in particular, about movies that are well known in the gay as well as the straight world.

One of the most famous is called Desert Hearts. It is derived from the 1964 novel by Jane Rule called Desert of the Heart. The movie, is still the top grossing lesbian flick of all time. The original novel was unique in that it was uncharacteristically optimistic for its time.

Maurice is a Merchant Ivory production, from an E.M. Forster novel, that explores a young man’s homosexual identity in 18th century England. In the same vein is Wilde, the story of the famous writer and wit, Oscar Wilde who suffered much persecution for his homosexuality.

Bound is a lesbian flick from the mid 80s. The joke in the gay community is that it is responsible for a whole generation of women coming out of the closet. It is a sexy film-noiresque flick about two women and a few mobsters … definitely worth a rental at the video store.

A list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Boys Don’t Cry and The Crying Game, both of which were given an Oscar nod for their efforts. Boys explores gender identity and love in a heart breaking way. Crying Game is essentially a thriller but also forces the audience to look at beauty and love in a new way.

GALA had their monthly meeting this past weekend. On the top of our agenda was a Spring Thaw dance that is tentatively scheduled for May 7, pending confirmation on the venue booking. As the name suggests, it is a dance designed to celebrate the arrival of spring so the theme will be tropical. Attendees are encouraged to wear their finest or funkiest or tackiest tourist outfit. Coconut shell bikinis are always appreciated. We are planning on having several blenders working overtime making tropical drinks.

The straight community is welcome to attend this function as well. I will have more details as we near the date.