Posts Tagged ‘Gay Pride’

Darden’s Future

June 25, 2018

“Where do you go every day, Darden?” Errol asked. Darden’s father was tough but fair but even Darden hesitated to respond.

“Out in the woods,” Darden said. He continued packing a meal for midday and grabbed his cloak in case it got cold again. Autumn was slowly rolling in like the world’s fever was breaking. Carrying the cloak in a bag was not too much of a burden. It was better than having to come back to the house early.

“What do you do out there then?” Errol asked. Darden had hoped, with very little conviction, that his father would drop it.

“I just walk around and look at the trees,” Darden said and left it at that. He shoved everything in his pack, all jumbled up.

“Leave the boy alone, Errol,” Mara said. Darden’s mother frequently came to his rescue which often made things worse. He really wished she would have kept silent here. It was embarrassing to have your mother always trying to protect you.

“He is going to have to stay and help with the shop soon,” Errol said with a grunt. “You need to grow up at some point, Darden.”

“Not today, though, Errol,” Mara said. “Let him grow up later. He’s just a boy.”

“Mother,” Darden said. “I can fend for myself. If Father wants me to stay and learn the shop then I will stay and learn.” The look on his face was fierce and his father was taken aback for a moment.

“No,” his father said, softening a bit. “Your mother is right. You’re not ready yet. You will know when you’re ready and only then will I teach you.”

Darden was surprised by that. “Thank you, Father.”

“But,” Errol said. “Keep in mind that it is not far off. It cannot be far off.”

Darden nodded. He knew well that childhood was slipping away and responsibility was coming. “I know,” he said.

“Then take a bow and some arrows,” Errol said. “As long as you’re out there anyway, there might be a chance you could bring some meat home. Be constructive.”

“I guess you’re right, father,” Darden said. “I’ll see what I see.”

Darden reached up and took down his father’s longbow from above the mantle. He grabbed a few arrows from a bucket by the fireplace and shoved them into a quiver and then left without another word, fearful that his father would speak again. As soon as he was out of the door, he felt as if a weight was lifted off of him. He smiled again as he headed towards the forest.

The path to the forest did not go far from the little village of Darden’s birth but it was still a significant distance on foot. They used horse-drawn wagons to bring lumber back to the village. It was for that reason that Darden felt completely alone on his walk. Once he had achieved a good distance from the village, he started to sing. He had a beautiful voice but he did not know this. He had only ever sung on his own, never where anybody could hear. So there was nobody to offer him praise. He sang because he enjoyed singing. It helped pass the time. Out in the nothing, Darden felt comfortable with himself and with his voice.

He kept singing as he made his way through the roots and the brambles, weaving between trees. He was not wandering as he had told his parents, he definitely had a specific destination in mind. Of course, he stopped singing as he got to the clearing. The clearing deserved reverence and reverence meant silence at least at first. He walked into the clearing once again and felt the sunlight on his face. He tilted his head up towards it for a moment, feeling the warmth and love of it. Then he lowered his gaze and looked ahead at the object of his mission. As soon as he had found him, he had wanted to visit every day. He walked forward slowly, barely even feeling his footsteps anymore.

At first glance, he looked like a statue. Almost perfect white alabaster stone, he was obviously a warrior of some kind. He had been wearing some sort of armor although the insignias on it were somewhat foreign to Darden. He had long flowing hair that was partially covering his face. That face was flawless, absolutely perfect and beautiful though Darden wished that it was wearing a smile instead of a grimace. He also wished he knew what color the young man’s eyes were although when he looked into those eyes, his own eyes were drawn to the man’s lips and then his thoughts would wander. He shook himself from his reverie and sighed for the last in what must have been dozens of times.

The man had been turned to stone at some point. Darden did not know the particulars but it looked like it had been a monster of some kind. Darden knew that years ago the Guard had slain a basilisk and Darden had heard the tales of how their gaze could turn people to stone. Darden wished that he had slain that Basilisk himself. He would have stabbed it himself a million times. Thinking about it made Darden see red and he felt himself turn away. Instead of violence, he started to sing to the young man. He wished he could help the young man so much. The problem was that the young man was missing an arm. If he was restored to flesh, he would bleed out almost immediately. It was tragic. And so he kept singing and when his song was over he did something he never did before.

“I don’t know if you can hear me,” Darden said. “I’m not even sure who you are but I love you. It’s true that I don’t know your name or what your preference was. It may seem silly but I do love you and it kills me that you cannot love me back.” He paced back and forth in front of the stone man in front of him. He ran hands through his hair and sang again for a bit.

“I don’t know what to do,” he said. “My father wants me to work at the shop and maybe take it over down the line. If I do that, I will be stuck where I am forever and I will never see the world like you did. I will never be an adventurer like you. No more singing. I don’t know if I can handle that. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life but I will keep coming back here for as long as I can.”

Darden sat down on a log with another sigh and laid his father’s bow in the grass at his feet and just looked up at the mystery man.

Media Update 6/14/18

June 14, 2018


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Last year, for Pride, I watched Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and noted that I could not get a hold of a copy of Priscilla at the time. I also noted that most people say that the movies are somewhat similar. In Too Wong Foo, three drag queens travel across the US and break down in a small town and cultures clash. In Priscilla, two drag queens and a transgender woman travel across Australia and they break down and cultures class. The thing is, in Too Wong Foo there is a moment where they win over small-town America but that is not what Priscilla is about. The strength of the movie comes from the interplay between the characters played by Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, and Guy Pearce. The three of them are constantly joking with each other, sniping at each other, and sharing deep, heartfelt moments together. The three of them are each struggling with different parts of gay culture and the way it clashes with more conservative parts of the world. They are a transgender woman, a bisexual man, and a gay man respectively and they clash with the world and with each other but ultimately hanging together. The movie is fun, sad, and even dark in places but it shows that there is hope at least on a personal level. I definitely recommend it and I would actually suggest watching both movies as they are kind of two sides of the same coin.


Milk

In the late seventies, Harvey Milk was elected to a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and when that happened he was the first openly gay person to be elected to office in the state of California. He was the third openly gay person elected to public office in the United States. At the time, San Francisco was already becoming a bastion of gay civil rights and gay culture and Harvey decided to harness that and fight for gay rights. The movie follows his several failed campaigns until his rise to office and his crusade to oppose an anti-gay referendum. Along the way, he is opposed by Anita Bryant, Senator John Briggs, and fellow Supervisor Dan White. Milk is portrayed as a brilliant strategist who never wanted to be a candidate but instead insists “the movement” is the candidate. Sean Penn is magnetic as Milk and his successes are something I wanted to cheer on. Bryant is portrayed in actual archival footage as the misguided, brainwashed evangelical Christian she was. John Briggs is portrayed in much the same way. Dan White (played by Josh Brolin) is a more sympathetic character as he is a flawed man who clings to his Christian values and falls farther and farther behind the times and into the wrong side of history with the rest. The rise of Milk is a great inspiration and his tragedy is such a dark moment in civil rights history. I definitely recommend this one too.


But I’m a Cheerleader

I wanted something a little lighter for the final film of the week (I watched all three in one day) so I started searching lists of movies aired at pride festivals. I saw this movie and looked it up and saw that it had a horrible Rotten Tomatoes score and then I saw that the movie was compared to John Waters films. That sealed it. The critics never “got” John Waters but he was always one of my hometown heroes. So a campy take on gay and gender issues sounded like exactly what I wanted to watch. I was not disappointed. Immediately, the movie is over the top and funny and too true. The movie is indeed campy but in the way that John Waters and early Tim Burton was to really drive home a point. The art direction has very bright colors and high contrast to also prove a point (much like Crybaby or Edward Scissorhands). The movie (correctly) treats homophobia in a kind of horror movie creepy behavior. The characters treat a “gay rehab” as normal but it hilariously comes off as scary and paranoid. Natasha Lyonne stars as the titular cheerleader who is sent to a camp to get straight. She is joined by a lot of perfectly normal misfits who are also told they are wrong. One of the counselors is played by RuPaul, a big name in the gay community. However, the main villain is played brilliantly by Cathy Moriarty. The movie takes heteronormative and “normal” gender roles and makes them seem weird while making gay culture seem more natural. I definitely recommend it as it was both funny and strangely scary.

Music of the Week:
Gorillaz – Humility

Jen Ledger – Warrior

Janelle Monae – PYNK

Mykki Blanco – I´m In A Mood

Brother Ali – Tight Rope

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Pride 2018”
– I watched more Supernatural Season 13
– I started watching Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I finished Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 1
– I watched more Flash Season 4
– I watched more Arrow Season 6
– I finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4
– I watched more Barry Kramer and GTLive on YouTube
– I watched more PBG Hardcore

Flag-Waving Part 2

July 4, 2015

It is July 4th which is Independence Day in the United States of America even though our armies didn’t officially win independence until September. It’s harder to have barbecues in September though or at least it was back when I was in school. Anyway, we won our independence and fought hard to defend it. I just realize I keep writing “we” as if I was there or had some direct connection to the events. I don’t but that’s the way being a citizen of a country makes you feel.  You take pride in success and feel embarrassment for failure.

I thought I would take the time on today of all days to revisit a post I made back in April about the overrun of American flags in our country. I love our country’s flag. I love the freedom it represents and the power to (hopefully) do the right thing. I just get upset when people use their patriotism as a status symbol.

There was a flag that was draped over my Great Uncle’s coffin. It was given to us because as kids we often went down to Georgia to visit him and his brother who both served in World War II. This flag actually means something. In fact, it means a lot of things to a lot of people. So when I complain about American flags everywhere I am not talking about this sort of thing. I come from the city that birthed our National Anthem which is a loving tribute to our country’s flag. It was written during a time when our country was fighting to keep its independence.

To summarize: I should probably not be so uptight about it. Happy 4th of July!

I have two other flag issues to talk about, both of which probably date this post.

The Gay Pride Flag

The Supreme Court has finally made a decision that allows same sex marriage throughout the country. This is a great victory and, in my opinion, joins a long list of civil rights victories that should have happened long before they actually happened. There is still a lot of work to do on the civil rights front and the equal rights front and there will always be people who stand in front of progress.

One of those people came up to me yesterday and claimed that 10,000 people signed a petition to replace our country’s flag with the gay pride flag. Really? People are actually still falling for these fake news stories? Awesome. A lot of us are really excited about the Supreme Court victory but we’re not about to go overboard. Statistically the homophobic and intolerant philosophies that cause people to buy into something like this are disappearing.

Confederate Flags

Another news story that will date this post is that all over the southeastern part of the USA, governments are taking down confederate flags. A (hopefully) minor part of the population is reacting to this with anger. This completely and utterly bewilders me.

The confederate flag is part of a dark period in history called the American Civil War. It represents a country that briefly existed due to differences in policy from the United States government. We could argue for hours over what those differences were but the rebellion failed and the US went through a rough period of reconstruction that led to both halves reforming into one country. Therefore, the nation it represents hasn’t existed for over one hundred years.

My mother’s side of the family is from South Carolina and, to our great embarassment, a confederate flag hung at the capital building for a long time. Whatever the flag originally represented, at some point it began to represent racism. This is the interpretation that I grew up with due to my mom’s experiences growing up in the south and the flag’s association with slavery and later the KKK. A distant family member recently told me that they believe that the confederate flag should be left alone because it symbolizes heritage and history. However, this person has also used the N word unironically and in anger so it is hard for me to take this argument seriously.

So why cling to a national flag of a long dead country? A country in a region that statistically did not believe in equal rights and fought any progress in that area. It’s really hard for me to believe that the reason isn’t racism. I don’t see the confederate flag as a positive symbol at all. I agree that it should not be flown on government land as it has nothing to do with who we are today. At least, it has nothing to do with who I want to be.


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