Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors

“There have never been lesbians or gay men in Hollywood. Only homosexuals.” With this final despairing statement, gay film historian and activist Vito Russo ends The Celluloid Closet, his landmark study of representations of LGBTQ people in film.

When Russo first published The Celluloid Closet in 1981, he could not imagine that over a decade later LGBTQ directors would make movies that depicted the complex and varied experiences of LGBTQ people with respect and pride, and that Hollywood would begin to finance and distribute these films. Nor could he foresee that 35 years later, Barry Jenkins, a black gay director, would win the Best Picture Academy Award for Moonlight, a sensitive, nuanced, and beautifully filmed story of a young gay black man’s coming of age.

Sadly, Russo died of AIDS-related complications in 1990 and did not live long enough to see the blossoming queer cinema that began to emerge shortly thereafter. In 2013, GLAAD created the Vito Russo Test in his honor. Mainstream Hollywood filmmakers still have a way to go in terms of positive portrayals of LGBTQIA characters, but queer filmmakers around the world have been producing excellent films that pass the Vito Russo Test and then some for decades. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading “Pride Month: Queer Cinema by Queer Directors”

Movie Mondays: Show Your “Pride” this Labor Day

prideAre you looking for a film to celebrate the achievements of unions this Labor Day? Are you still beaming from the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage? If so, then Pride is, quite simply, the perfect movie for you.

Pride (nominated for Best Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes) tells the surprisingly true story of the British Miner’s Strike of 1984. After British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced the closing of mines throughout the United Kingdom, miners went on strike for nearly a year, clashing violently with police and being starved of fuel and food. A small group of lesbian and gay activists, in an expression of solidarity, take up the cause and raise money for the miners as LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners). Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Show Your “Pride” this Labor Day”

LGBTQ memoirs

~posted by Frank

It’s Gay Pride month, and it’s time to take a look at some forthcoming and recently released memoirs celebrating the richness and diversity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives.

For a good laugh, check out Bad Kid by David Crabb as he recounts growing up goth and gay in Texas in the 80s, and Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver, a self-deprecating look at life as a single gay man in New York City. You can read about the personal and professional life of pioneering, caustic politician Barney Frank in Frank, and join George Hodgman as he cares for the mother who never accepted that her son is gay in BettyvilleStories of inspiration can be found in A Work in Progress by YouTube vlogger Connor Franta and in Coming Out to Play by professional soccer player Robbie Rogers. And discover the obstacles that Big Freedia, reality star and ambassador to Bounce music (New Orleans hip hop), faced in his eponymous memoir. Continue reading “LGBTQ memoirs”

Romantic Wednesdays: LGBTQ Pride

Posted by Eric G.

It’s been 45 years since Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) New Yorkers fought back against police harassment at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, helping to usher in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. This weekend is also the 40th Anniversary of the Seattle Pride Parade, which was lucky enough to snag the ever-popular George Takei as its grand marshal! Naturally, I corralled some queer reads to complement this colorful time of year. Be proud of who you are, who you love and what you read! Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: LGBTQ Pride”

Movie Mondays: New LGBT Cinema

Click here to view Geography Club in the SPL catalog Click here to view Concussion in the SPL catalogClick here to view Stranger By the Lake in the SPL catalogClick here to view Laurence Anyways in the SPL catalog Click here to view I Am Divine in the SPL catalog

Posted by Frank

In honor of Pride Month, let’s take a look at some of the most recent feature films and documentaries from the LGBT community.

For movies about the lives of gay men, consider: Test, which follows the exploits of Frankie, an understudy in a San Francisco dance company in 1985; The Happy Sad, which explores the lives of a gay black couple in contemporary New York; Stranger By the Lakea French thriller in which a murder takes place at a lake popular with gay men cruising for sex; and Pit Stopan Independent Spirit Award nominee that examines the lives of two isolated men in rural Texas. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: New LGBT Cinema”