Free of shame, funny as hell and the first of its kind.
LGBTQ-films are usually produced by indie-studios, and appeal to critics’ taste because of directors’ choices or actors’ portrayals. Because of the marginalized context, LGBTQ-narratives are a great lens for finer aesthetics. There aren’t any beautiful landscape shots in Love, Simon, and the camera doesn’t really linger in any scene, which makes the $17 million dollar 20th Century Fox production seem more like John Hughes‘ Sixteen Candles rather than Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name. Rather unconcerned with aesthetics in general, Love, Simon sets just one goal: Get the title character the love story he deserves.
At its core, the film is another big-budget teenage romance. Directed by Greg Berlanti and adapted from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda, the film follows Simon Spier (the bucolic Nick Robinson) and his group of close friends in an affluent suburb of Atlanta. We begin with Simon discovering a Craigslist-like posting that results in emailing Blue, another closeted-student at Creekwood High School. Most gay men watching will revel in the glory of chasing anonymous men online considering some of us are doing just that every day, but Love, Simon isn’t caught up in the throes of subversive desire. It’s PG-13 realness. There isn’t any back-alley cruising; no quick cuts of naked, damp flesh. Simon only says “Fuck” once, and he’s really mad. He’s like Sam in A Cinderella Story — uninterested in eroticism but desperate for companionship. The film is 100 percent family friendly (as are most films that co-star Jennifer Garner) and that’s what makes it profound. …
The other day at the office, we had a lovely little gift exchange courtesy of the Wicked Sensual Care Collection. Some of us received flavored lube a la salted caramel, cinnamon bun, and pomegranate — I received an unscented masturbation cream. My sex drive is pretty high, so I end up masturbating pretty frequently, so I was excited to try it.
So far, I’ve used the cream twice. The first time, I used it in a hook-up while this boy and I were giving each other hand jobs. Our consensus was that we didn’t like how thick the cream is. We ended up wiping our hands and dicks and decided to use cocoa butter instead, which I prefer since it’s a little looser without being as wet and slippy as something like coconut oil or water-based lube.
The second time I used the cream was yesterday, after I had gotten home from a very casual coffee date in Bushwick with a really cute twink, and before I had to leave to get drinks in Downtown Brooklyn with a former co-worker. I noticed some of the cream’s better nuances this time around, since I was alone and pretty stoned off a luscious THC-infused watermelon gummy. I noticed this time how the cream starts out very thick but as you stroke, it actually melts into more of a traditional non-greasy lube. And the longer you masturbate — or give a hand job — for, particularly if you like to edge, your — or ya man’s — precum will mix with the cream-turned-lube and make it just a little wetter, which is necessary, I find. …
I found out about this painting show because a friend DM’d me on Instagram sharing Doron Langberg’s work, which she prefaced with: “Some gay art.” Sometimes simplicity is best. Named after James Baldwin’s 1964 essay Nothing Personal, Langberg’s first solo show in New York (though he has been exhibited widely) is a observational amphitheatre, showing off the Brooklyn-based painters talent for material, color, the situational and a clear joy of painting. I say situational because only on very particular occasions will an anus dilate, and that’s usually after penetration. In “Josh,” the canvas I’m talking about, Langberg uses peachy-cream colors and other caucasian tones to deepen the context of the post-coital fetish. He clearly cares deeply about this used hole. The power of this particular canvas — and the rest of the show — is that what is clearly homoerotic (to the umpteenth degree) reconstitutes itself within the figurative conversation.
Langberg, who uses his friends and family for models, doesn’t dwell inside what is clearly his blatant homosexuality. Sure, these are classic poses of ejaculation or the post-coital, and I’m definitely gay because I love them, but I didn’t once think I had to take this dick, or that hole into any grand context. I know I just spent this whole article talking about the phallus, and that says a lot in itself, but Langberg is a really fucking good painter, he just happened to use everyone’s favorite art history symbol to show that off. The show runs through April 22nd. …
Beefy bodies, green-juice and Elizabeth Taylor drag in the new video
“Riding in your car on the road straight through to nowhere.” So sets the tone for Ssion’s latest single “At Least the Sky is Blue” off the forthcoming album O. The opening line is miserable at best; a cliché sung by teenagers, that has been metabolized into a cultural phenomenon of sorts — who hasn’t dreamt of driving away from it all with the windows open nowhere in front of you?
Cody Critcheloe — the artist behind Ssion — is a mastermind of this kind of banal beauty. He made his name as a singer, making music off his laptop, but has since re-focused on directing. After his music career took off in late-2000s, Ssion’s been on musical-hiatus since 2012’s Bent. The name hasn’t completely gone away though. His film-treatments, which dabble mostly in surrealism, has found him working with the likes of indie-stars Perfume Genius and pop-icons like Kylie Minogue.
When we heard Ssion was coming back with an album it was easy to say ‘yes’ when Cody asked to collaborate on some pages for GAYLETTER Issue 8. In conversation with Bruce Labruce, Cody said that “At Least the Sky is Blue” is a very honest song, inspired by his time spent in L.A. doing ketamine, which he confessed is “such a fun drug.”
On a lyrical level, “At Least the Sky is Blue” indulges in that revery, but the music video has it’s own narrative breakdown. Just under six minutes of footage amount to a pulpy, tacky and totally far-out storyline that includes beefy bodies, an in-house green-juice bar, an 80s Mercedes-Benz, and a dream sequence staring Ariel Pink as a white-haired Elizabeth Taylor. …
My favorite invite-only underground techno party, Unter, is launching a new spin-off party aptly titled Unter SPINOFF. They take the idea of spinning off a new party, spinning out, and spinning into new directions and concepts seriously by shifting the timing, format, and vibe of the new party. In contrast to Unter’s dancing-focused, dark techno, and darkroom-style concepts; SPINOFF is a tool to “explore other genres of music and new and different formats of events.” Instead of being an afterhours party with Unter’s 2am-10am or later timeline, Unter SPINOFF is day party, running from 4:00pm to midnight. Even with my NYC nightlife and graduate school fueled sleep schedule, I appreciate a refreshing day party. You can have a hearty breakfast, rave to exhaustion, and still go to sleep at a reasonable hour. One of my favorite things to do in Berlin is sleep in, head to the club at midday, and arrive as the denizens of the night are at peak dance and drug induced hysteria, and fresh reinforcements of bright-eyed clubbers fill the dance floor to an energetic frenzy. Speaking of Berlin, the Berghain/Panorama Bar residents Boris and Roi Perez (also frequent performers at the infamous Snax fetish parties) are taking lead musical duties along with SPINOFF resident Rachel Noon. A beer and wine bar, comfortable seating, and sprawling yard will be provided; so expect less G zombies and K-hole kittens than your typical techno party, and more fan snapping acid garden queens kiki-ing about the queer utopian revolution. She’s feeling carnivalesque, psychedelic, and cute. Find tickets here. I’ll see you there!
Today, thousands of students around the country rally in solidarity to end gun violence.
As you know (and I assume our readers are political, hip to the latest news, and support great causes), this Thursday is a nationwide walk out. The students from Florida’s Stoneman Douglas have been working their asses off in the past month since they fell victim to the latest school shooting. In what has become a very familiar story in America’s gun rights debate, Stoneman Douglas students have started rallies, marched on Washington, got major retailers to pull guns off the shelves and have boycotted companies largely affiliated with the NRA. Now that is cunt. There is a lot of bullshit activism going on today, but these kids are the real damn deal. Emma Gonzales, who kind of launched a movement accidentally now has millions of followers on Twitter, and she uses that damn platform like she damn should: for change.
At 10:00AM, in support of the students’ call to action, parents, teachers, students, and schools’ staff are encouraged to participate in #ENOUGH. For 17 minutes, campuses will take a moment of pause to remember the kids who were shot and killed at Stoneman and everyone is encouraged to wear orange to show their support. I feel so jazzed for change every time I see these kids in the media (they’re so earnest and fucking mad… I wish I weren’t so jaded…) and we should be supporting their cause in every way. Pulse happened in our community; I shouldn’t have to write It’s only a matter of time before we’re targeted again. …
Film is probably the one visual medium I lack most in my life. Every once and a while I’ll clock something at Sunshine on Houston (soon to be R.I.P.), or maybe if I’m feeling myself I’ll try and browse Netflix before I begin to feel senile. ‘Cause I’m a big old gay man, naturally my browsing goes for anything with a LGBTQ bend, which I am finding is most anything these days, but it takes actually gay artists who truly know the full scope of the experience to make deeply contextual work that doesn’t mooch off the aesthetics of closeted-homosexuality and place it Somewhere In Northern Italy for public viewing pleasure. Shu Lea Cheang lived in NYC through the 80s and 90s when AIDS ran rampant and killed of many of his friends. Fresh off of the Berlin festival circuit, Shu Lea Cheang’s “FLUIDØ is set in the post-AIDS future of 2060, where the Government is the first to declare the era AIDS free, mutated AIDS viruses give birth to zero-gen humans that have genetically evolved in a very unique way. These genderfluid ZERO GENs are the bio-drug carriers whose white fluid is the hypernarcotic for the 21st century, taking over the markets of the 20th century white powder high.” I haven’t seen the film, as it’s the very first screening as a part of this year’s MIX (30 years celebrating queer experimental film), but the stills are quite juicy. There is lollygagging galore, a very heightened sense of color, and nudity. The ides of March are upon is, so why not take a chance? The worst that could happen is seeing a delicious, juicy-peach-like movie about and born from genuine queerness. Get tickets.
Presented by Ty Sunderland, with Mazurbate, Ruby Fox, Aquaria, Youvegotnomale, Linux, Terence Edgerson, Airik Henderson, Justin Angel and many more
A bottle of beer arrived to the office, so we had to taste it.
Rare will you find our office working without a fully stocked bar. There is always the occasional beer floating around if you’re feeling on edge, and we’ve got plenty of half-empty bottles just dying to be mixed.
When we get emails about alcohol, we always open and read. If it’s new, we always ask to try it, since at the office we work better under the influence. After all, this is a creative environment!
On a relatively slow Friday at the office, three of us took to sampling the latest beverage that delivered to our mailbox.
The Shmaltz Brewing Company Pastrami Pilsner’s label is a little busy. I see that they’re trying to get the point across to let you know that they’re an artisanal brew, which I think it’s fine because beer design bottles are lately more extra. I smelled Pastrami at first, then it went away. An iceberg-lettuce taste came through, and that gave it a touch of freshness. As I’m drinking, it’s growing on me. I can see myself on a rooftop drinking this beer; she’s starting to taste like a meal: a cheap deli-meat sandwich made with a bit of mustard. She’s 5.5% Alc — I am not mad at that. I’ll be right back… So, I walked away for a minute, had a puff-puff-pass with Queen B to see how it mixes with it. (Let’s be honest, if I am considering this beer for my next Spring/Summer, I need to picture myself in the proper situation.) Pastrami Pilsner works with smoke because she doesn’t fuck you up like an IPA. …
We haven’t been to Pussy Faggot in some time. Started by Earl Dax, P.F. was designed to showcase some of the best performance talents in the world. If you’ve never attended a night then you are in for a big treat. Earl is an expert in bringing together some of the weirdest and most wonderful artists alive. The last Pussy Faggot was over a year ago because their resident host (and living legend) Ms. Penny Arcade has been touring her amazing new show. This Friday Earl is gathering “a group of folks to join us for the opening night performance of Phoebe Legere’s Speed Queen, her world premiere original musical at Dixon Place! After the show there will be a little soiree with Phoebe in the Dixon Place Lounge. Get $10 tickets (regularly $19-$22) to this performance when you use code FEMMETOP for advance purchase. The musical is based on the life of “Joe” Carstairs, the lesbian speed boat racing champion of 1926 whose lovers are rumored to have included Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead. Phoebe portrays Carstairs and several of Carstairs’ lovers in a musical that blends Legere’s penchant for camp with her formidable musical chops and that gorgeous 4-octave voice.” I mean, I’m sold on that description alone. If you don’t know Phoebe, here’s a quick run down from Earl: “Her career spans everything from starring in cult films like Mondo New York to opening for Bowie on his Sound + Vision tour. She was signed to Epic Records at 16, and performed at the opening night of Pyramid Club where she was often the lone female amongst colleagues like Lady Bunny, RuPaul and Ethyl Eichelberger.” Ok, work. See you Friday, March 9th Ms. Phoebe, Ms. Arcade and of course Ms. Dax!