Walk along Waverly Place in New York City’s West Village and you’ll hit the narrow end of Christopher Park, a sharp shard of public land inhabited by four lovely but melancholy figures. Covered in white plaster, they are clustered in pairs: two men, standing, and two women, seated. They’re called “Gay Liberation”—but there’s nothing liberatory about them. With their mournful expressions and restrained physical contact, they seem more like a vision of gay tolerance, liberation’s anemic shadow.
Before we start talking, Kia LaBeija slips off her shoes and runs her feet through the grass-green Astroturf at the end of a pier at the Hudson River Park Trust, one of the most brutally, beautifully gentrified parts of Manhattan. It's the first spring day that feels like summer, not just hot, but heavy, thick. Everyone here wants to be naked. Thirty years ago, everyone would have been.
Before Lost, Pretty Little Liars, Veronica Mars, True Detective, or any of the other weird and wonderful show that has come to dominate the new Golden Age of obsessive TV fandom, Twin Peaks was everything. While it only lasted two seasons, David Lynch's early-90s masterpiece was a game changer, an instant classic that even had then-President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, begging for spoilers.