Tag Archives: lgbtq

Kylie to Join Mardi Gras Parade

27 Jan
The Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Australia, will have a special guest atop one of their floats this year. The Australian singer Kylie Minogue will be making her way back home to participate in the event, which is a celebration of the Australian LGBT community.

She said in her YouTube video announcing her return to Mardi Gras, “Your support over the years has just been phenomenal and I can’t wait to come home and share that with you. So see you in March.” This will be her third time attending the event.

Kylie began her career in showbiz on the popular soap ‘Neighbours’, before moving into the music industry in 1987 with the launch of her first single, ‘Locomotion’. She will be celebrating a career milestone – 25 years in the music business – with a community in which she has always had a strong fan base.

You can find out more about the Australian Mardi Gras by visiting their website here; it looks like it is going to be a very exciting, special day!



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Miss California

19 Jan
It took two very brave women to make history in California this year: in the sixty years that the Miss USA pageant has been running, Jenelle Hutcherson (26)  and Mollie Thomas (19) were the first openly gay contestants to compete.

Hutcherson, from Long Beach and Thomas, from West Hollywood, both stated that their platform was that of acceptance. Whilst the Miss USA pageant has very conservative roots, organisers insist that the pageant is all about women being role models and promoting individuality – and who wouldn’t admire these women?

Whilst there have been other lesbian contestants in the pageant world, many of them blend in and don’t make it a known thing. This is a world of long hair and high heels, in a general sense. However, the contestants aren’t judged solely on their super-model looks; this pageant is about charisma, self-confidence, poise and knowing oneself. When Hutcherson wore a tux for the Evening Gown phase, there was no questioning her self-confidence and poise; truly, it’s something to admire.

Carrie Prejean could stand to learn a thing or two from these women.

While the media made rather a large fuss about Hutcherson sporting a mohawk, piercings and tattoos, I don’t think that has much to do with her sexuality. Hopefully, this will encourage other ‘alt’ girls to participate in pageants and not feel that they wouldn’t fit in – you don’t need to be gay to wear a ‘hawk, after all! Her girlfriend, a journalist, wrote a wonderful piece on the entire event. The amount of community support that the Long Beach contestant received is heart warming to see.

For Thomas, this was her first pageant. A part-time student at UCLA, she decided to run to promote awareness for the LGBT community and hopes to become a youth advocate and role model. Having volunteered for a school for handicapped children in Mongolia as well as helping to rebuild homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I’d say that she was already a role model before setting a foot on stage.

Whilst Thomas and Hutcherson won’t be wearing a crown this year, we can only wish these exemplary ladies the very best of luck in their future endeavours.

Royal College of Psychiatrists, Make A Right Royal Mess Of It!

26 Apr

Well, well. They may have plenty of letters after their names, but sometimes you do have to wonder about their thought processes! Those (seemingly not so enlightened) people at the Royal College of Psychiatry have had to cancel a meeting titled ‘Transgender: Time To Change’.

Now, this may be due to poor ticket sales, as they claim, or may be to do with the outrage voiced by, and proposed demonstration organised by, trans* people that was to happen if it went ahead.

With an amazing lack of insight, the Royal College of Psychiatry were going to hold a meeting that was, to quote them:

‘exploring the most recent academic, clinical and contemporary thinking on transgender issues, for all people interested in this field.’

with speakers to include every transperson’s bete noir Julie Bindel!! Oh dear!

The Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross Hospital had decided to pull out of the meeting, having been aware of the disquiet Bindel’s appearance was causing in the trans* community. Let’s hope the next time the R.C.P decide to talk about transfolk, they actually engage with us first.

 

‘Dude’- Trans Male Zine

20 Apr

Well, I was distracted for rather a long while (!) checking out the blog for the new trans male zine ‘Dude’. Launched in February this year in Australia (which, from the U.K., is a mighty long way to go to pick up a printed copy. So yay to them that it should soon be available on download!), those hot off the press Antipodean folk are hoping to keep up the printed version as well as making it available to us Northern hemisphere types on download.

The blog page for ‘Dude’ will help to keep you informed of all the latest news on the zine. It also features a picture of the cover of the first edition, how to get hold of a copy, and how you can help to keep it as good as it, so clearly, is. Originally intended as a ‘How to play with transguys guide’, it hopes to open up to cover more info, help, advice, relevant articles and hot, hot pics for future issues.

Judging by the cover (my, some of us transguys are well fit!), and what’s inside, we can only hope it’s a success. Zines on transmasculinity, that are not afraid to cover our sexuality, are a much needed resource. The more widely this zine is seen the better for our community, our understanding and, let’s face it, our libidos. (Really, the cover pics are very sexy..am I stressing that enough??)

Dude cover by Sam Orchard

From Birth To Chosen

5 Apr

A vibrant treasure of a collection of short films was shown at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. ‘From Birth To Chosen’  had eight films that explored the areas of gender and family, both born and chosen. With a mix of documentary, drama and comedy, this group of films delighted the audience and left all who saw them contemplating issues of gender identity and what family is all about.

The programme started with a U.S. documentary, ‘The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children’, which interviewed various family members from several families about the issues that both they,  and their children,  faced in society and amongst friends and peers. This touching, candid film was very moving. It was refreshing to see the family love and support that was given to the children concerned. With a wealth of different experiences and emotions felt between the interviewees, this film provided a sense of hope and recognition to many.

Another short film from the U.S., ‘Loop Plane’ was a gem of a film. With a fictional story set in an amusement park, following a day in the life of a transgender teen who lives and works there with his supportive father, this wonderful short took you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Beautifully acted and directed, and with some quite stunning cinematography, this film is definitely worth looking out for.

Nominated by the LLGFF for the Iris Short Film Prize (which is one of, if not the, gay and lesbian short film awards), ‘James Dean’ was a smart, funny short set in Scotland. Perfectly capturing the way families behave, argue and relate, all whilst waiting in a car ready for a family outing, this amusing film pleased the audience no end. Everyone could relate to the way families bicker, support or disagree, and the ‘punchline’ towards the end of the film was fabulous.

‘Spiral transition’ was a personal exploration of the development of relations between a mother and her trans son, from the moment when he first finds out her feelings about his transitioning. ‘Absence’ was an artily crafted short about gender fluidity, and the way some have to navigate between identities, in order to relate to family members. ‘Living Room: Bar Wotever 2008-2009’ is the first installment of an ongoing project by Dr Jane, about the people who go to the fantastic Bar Wotever, and what the space means to them. It gave a real sense of why Bar Wotever is cherished by so many and incorporated some of Dr Jane’s stunning photographs as well.

Filmed as a pilot for a possible series, ‘Traverse City’ followed the adventures of a woman and her trans boyfriend as they cross the U.S. to meet her gay male parents. Much comedy was had from the reactions of the gay father, the seperate sexual adventures of the non-monogomous central couple, and the awkwardness of having a partner meet the parents for the first time, which most can relate to. Incorporating comedy, drama, animation and fantasy, this had the audience laughing out loud and waiting for the next installment.

The final film in the selection was ‘Bella Maddo’. This fantastic comic melodrama was about a self-obsessed pregnant wife and mother, and the hell she brings on most of her loved ones. Although none of the characters in the story were transgendered, all the actors in the film were. Co-writer, director and amazing star of the film, Janice Danielle, wanted to make a film that showcased talented trans performers, in roles they may usually not be considered for. This hilarious film had a great sense of heightened drama (in the best possible way!) and was shot, written, directed and acted to a very high standard. It made ‘Mommie Dearest’ seem tame by comparison, and was extremely well received by the audience.

Hopefully you will all get the chance to see this great collection of films. You will be amused, enlightened and have your heart touched by the films.

Mutantes (Punk Porn Feminism)

3 Apr

Showing at the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival,  ‘Mutantes (Punk Porn Feminism)’  is a documentary about the sex positive feminist movement, as seen by the activists, sex workers and performers. Virginie Despentes (director of the film ‘Baise-Moi’ amongst others) has interviewed a wide-range of pro-sex performers, academics, film makers and activists across the U.S and Europe, notably France and Spain. With clips from various porn films and performance pieces interspersed throughout, this winner of the CHE ‘Derek Oystan Film Award’ at this years’ LLGFF, is thought-provoking, entertaining, sexy and informative.

The list of interviewees is extensive, starting with Annie Sprinkle, who always manges to raise a smile and challenge prejudice in an enlightened and humourous way, Carol Queen and other women from the early days of the pro-sex feminist era. We follow the changes, growth and expansion of ideologies from the early 1980s to the present day, demonstrated by the views, activism and porn produced by the punk porn movement’s new radicals in France and Barcelona. The way the shift in feminist thinking has occurred over the decades shows how there is constant change as our understanding of gender, femininities and masculinities and sex itself is constantly challenged and built upon.

This refreshing, provocative film has many instances of humour, politics and what the pleasures and limitless expectations of sex is all about. It will leave the viewer with much to think about, as well as the memory of some hot films, which I am sure you will want to remember the titles of. Some of these clips have not been widely seen before, and will leave you wanting to seek them out to view in full. It also helps you rediscover some lost classics; I, myself, had forgotten the joys of Lydia Lunch’s fishnet clad ass as well as Tribe8’s ferocious BDSM influenced live performances. Strong, intelligent women, with a pro-sex, ethical feminist stance and aesthetic, that will hopefully counteract what is unfortunately an often misogynist porn industry, can only be a good thing. Let’s hope we get the chance to see more work from the punk porn feminist movement, and open up all our eyes to what is possible.

Talk About..Pop Factory

22 Mar

This Friday, 25th March, Wotever World are hosting their biggest queer club night at the Scala in Kings Cross, Pop Factory. For a mixed gay/queer/straight crowd, this will be a poptastic, tune-orgasmic night of dancing to some of the best pop, electro, indie, punk, rock n roll, glam and riot grrl music from the past few decades!

As you will have noticed, the term ‘pop’ is themed in a kinky kind of way, not following narrow-minded definitions, but keeping to a much broader spectrum, which is what we like! With POP ART (by the multi-talented, magically gifted Joe Pop) on display, free POP noodles to the first 50 through the door and lolliPOPs for the masses.

A live PA by BOY, a fantabulosa line-up of DJs to include Bob Henderson (Club Motherfucker), DJ Wanker (Fuck The Pain Away), Jo Bunny (Bar Wotever) and Vicki Lester (who I’m sure you all know from Torture Garden) means there will be plenty of choice for you to hit the floor, with happy dancing feet.

Entry is only £5 with a flyer/concessions before 10.30pm, others £7; or £7 concessions, £8 others after 10.30pm, so it won’t break the bank. Remember kinksters, sometimes it’s all about the music, so get down to Pop Factory to mingle with a wonderfully wotever crowd and start the weekend off with a POP (to go with a bang!)

Wotever World

I Love You, But..

18 Mar

On 20th March, from 7-10pm, The Oval House Theatre hosts ‘I Love You, But We Only Have Fourteen Minutes To Save The Earth’, a mixture of live and video performances. Created, directed and developed by Nathan Evans, the talented performer known for his work at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, the show boasts some of the best gender and genre-defying acts that grace our appreciative performance venues.

The wonderful, acerbic, intelligent and (very, very!) funny David Hoyle, reigning Alternative Miss World and (sometime) Bluestocking Society performer Fancy Chance, and bearded lady, homespun philosopher Timberlina, will be performing live. All-round icon, legend and actor Betty Bourne and video artist Kate Pelling will be performing in projected form.

The project gives each unique performer the chance to display their amazing talents within the remit of the title’s outline. This show promises to deliver some of the most thought-provoking, intelligent and amusing performances available at the present time. Tickets cost £5, and I doubt you will find a better priced evening’s entertainment. A one-off show that will delight and inform on a discourse we can all relate to.

Wild Thing, I Think I Love You!

9 Mar

A-wop-bop-a-loo-lop a-wop-bam-boo! Calling all LGBTQ hep cats and happening chicks (and all you ker-azy rockin’ Wotevers), Wild Thing is the happening place to be on Thursday 17th March,  at the Retro Bar.

Wild Thing flyer courtesy of Joe Pop

This is the place that gathers the best in Rock n Roll, rip-up Rocksteady, girl group harmonies and the coolest music throughout the ages, courtesy of the talented (and Bearishly handsome!) Joe Pop and, this month, Dapper D from Nitty Gritty, with her soultastic sounds and skanking ska beats.

A place where the good and great (hairdos) can meet, drink and dance their dappily dancing boots away. Wild Thing (formerly Retrosexual) has that glorious mix of great music, cheap booze and gorgeous lovelies to bop and chat with, which is what all us happy (and slightly degenerate) LGBTQ  folks look for in a fab night out. Tattoos are de rigueur (especially old school ones!) as is plenty of cleavage, whether ’tis on the same person or not.

So all you queers with attitude (of the best possible kind) or, indeed, everyone with a quiff to tease and a story to tell, get yourself down to Wild Thing. Hair don’ts need not apply!

From A Top Writer – ‘Boy In The Middle’

3 Mar

Patrick Califia is one of my all-time favourite writers. He is an incredible wordsmith, able to write both fiction and fact in a way that both draws the reader in and informs you. His erotica is some of the hottest writing you will come across. Boy In The Middle is another of his compelling, sexy short story collections of polymorphous perversity and hardcore, sexually charged scenes. Califia has a way of taking the reader right into the story. He has the ability to describe place, character and atmosphere so well, you can’t but help feel a part of it.

cover for "Boy In The Middle" by Patrick Califia

Boy In The Middle has such a collection of differing characters and set-ups that I defy anyone not to get some pleasure from it. Whatever your kink, fetish , gender or sexuality, Califia caters for you in this book. His writing will  surprise you, in being able to turn you on to a story, scene or character you may otherwise not have thought you’d be interested in; such is the power of his imagination. I recommend anyone who enjoys erotic fiction to read this book. Allow yourself some time to indulge and immerse yourself  in it, because it will be hard to put down. Oh, and if you’re reading Boy In The Middle in public, be aware that its effect may leave you needing to find somewhere, for a ‘quiet, private moment’!