Posts Tagged ‘LGBTQ’

Pride 2019

June 10, 2019

A lot of cities had their pride parades this past weekend but my hometown and current home Baltimore is having Pride this coming weekend. I have always been an ally to everyone under the banner of “Other” and this includes everybody under the banner of LGBTQ+. That was how I was raised, to be kind and think well of other people especially if they are not trying to hurt anybody. My mother came from a tolerant family in the American South that shunned racism. I went to school for twelve years at a Quaker school which taught love and acceptance for all. In high school, I entered the world of theater which was generally more open-minded than the rest of the world. I met the first gay people I knew of here. Of course, I may have met many gay people previously but it was the nineties and people were heavily closeted.

When I went to college, I met even more people from the beautiful spectrum of humanity. I was introduced to gay culture and my mind was opened even more. I worked professionally in theater for five more years and I met more gay people. I met so many different people over the years. I also read a lot of books and watched a lot of content. It all helped form my feelings on the whole LGBTQ+ community. It just goes to my further my constant argument that exposure helps breed love and peace. Ignorance breeds hate. If you listen to the message that Pride sends out, it is a message of equality, happiness, fun, and fighting back against the darkness. How anybody could interpret it as anything else is a mystery to me.

A long while ago I sort of came out as aromantic. I have never once felt a romantic feeling. I have never longed for the companionship of another human being regardless of gender, sex, or orientation. A lot of people need that sort of thing to make their lives complete but I am happy to have my friends and family. Obviously, over the years the makeup of the LGBTQ+ banner has had some changes. There is too much bickering over who should and should not be at Pride and this year I am seeing a lot of people being fed up with it. This is the first year that I have seen clear statements accepting aromantics at Pride. When I saw it, I felt something break free inside of me and I smiled. We are a small subsection so specific support was not something I was expecting. So, this year will be the first year I attend Pride as an aromantic and not just an ally.

Oh, and the only people who should not be at Pride are cops and hatemongers. Hatemongers are obviously not welcome at Pride. These include the Christian Right, the Nazis, the Klansmen, and all of the raving lunatics who would rather burn it all down than let people be free to be different. However, it also includes silent partners. The corporations who sell rainbow flags but turn their backs on actual gay people, the forces of Capitalism who decided that gay people don’t make them enough money, the well-meaning ‘middle of the road’ types who do not want to make waves even when it means defending people’s rights to be happy. This also brings us to the cops. Yes, the cops. The cops who protect armed nazis in Detroit who chose to march through Pride, sending people who were celebrating indoors and fearing for their lives. The cops who have a history of breaking up gatherings of gay people and almost never side with ‘the Other’ over ‘good’ white men and women. The same cops who have a history of beating the crap out of minorities when they feel like it. No cops at pride, only love and true allies. Please.

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


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