Tag Archives: queer

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.

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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.

Fishers of Men

25 Mar

Having delighted many a fan of muscular men with previous photoshoots for their clothing ranges, Dolce and Gabbana have not disappointed said fans again. Steven Klein’s photoshoot for Dolce and Gabbana’s spring/summer collection has a Spartacus-come-Sicilian fishermen theme. Grappling with ropes, netting and chains, as well as each other, (which I am sure we are all quite familiar with, in one form or another!) the mixture of smooth, pretty boys and hairy, rugged-type models get all sweaty in their range of warm weather wear.

Fashion photography is reknowned for using kinky, erotica-themed ideas. In this particular shoot the muscular homoeroticism fair ripples off the page! If you are a connosseur of such imagery, you should check out Coffee, Cake and Kink’s selection of Ulli Richter’s photography, which gives a few, hard lessons to any imitators. (Especially my personal fave ‘Hard Labour’. There’s no messing with these men!).

Hard Labour

Hard Labour

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’!

Bright Young Things

16 Feb

On the 19th February, at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, there is going to be a special event for young (13-26 year old) LGBTQ and questioning people, as well as their friends and allies. House of Stars, created and run by Wotever World and with LGBTQ advice being offered on the day by Galop, promises to be a place of community, strength, entertainment and convivial fun.

Running from 3-7pm, and with free entry, there will be DJs, installations and performances throughout. Performers include Naith Payton and Rachel and Alice. Anyone else interested in performing should get in touch via woteverworld@gmail.com by Friday.

Wotever World used some of the profits from their Riot Cabaret night at the Scala last December, to fund this important event. It is not always easy for the under-18s to find places to go out in a scene that is mostly aimed at those who are older and able to buy alcohol. Understanding your sexuality and identity, finding others who are similar and can relate to what you’re going through, and being in a space in which you can all feel comfortable can be hard. Having a place that also provides entertainment by, and for, people of that age group is even harder. So well done to all those who have made this event possible!

Queer Riot!

30 Jan

For all you folks up in Manchester, or those visiting in February, there will be a Queer Riot happening! It’ll be at the Contact Theatre, and run by the tireless, fearsome and downright lovely people who organise Ladyfest (Manchester) and Queeruption (Manchester), it will be a mixture of discussions, workshops, feminist and queer performances and friendly sociability.

To quote their own statement, the event is to “Fight back against the cuts and help create queer culture in a time of austerity.” To keep very much in the spirit of the event, it’s free!! It’s happening on Saturday 12th Feb, from 4pm-7.30pm, though I’m sure the effects will ripple on a lot longer. An antidote to the times we’re living in. Viva la queer avant garde, viva la revolution!


Event: Queer Craft

15 Dec

I’ve only just found out about this, but it looks like great fun. Wotever World is holding a special Queer Craft Xmas Fayre Car Boot Sale from midday on the 18th of December (so this saturday) at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 5HY (google map link). Stallholders will be selling clothes, fetishwear, collectables, and lots of handmade crafty goodies.

Gingerbread man in leather fetish gear

Even more excitingly, our resident web queen, Alison, will be there with her crafty arty goodies under the name I like the word NAUGHTY – some of her goodies are already available through CCK, but this looks like too much fun to miss! Pop down and say hi to Alison, have a last minute shop – and maybe run into a few more of the CCK team.

gift tags of a selection of sex-toy cartoons, wearing santa hats

Gift tags from I like the word NAUGHTY