Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a beautifully crafted film that traces the treacherous life of Chiron, a young boy/man growing up gay in a housing project in Miami. The film is divided into three parts. We first meet Chiron as a young, shy boy, then as a still shy, but angry teen and finally as a lonely, hardened young man. Chiron’s mother is an addict and he’s constantly picked on by boys at school. The only people who offer him any solace are a local drug dealer named Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend (played by Janelle Monae). Each section is strong enough to live on its own as a short film, but the thread running through them is strong. Chiron is played by three different actors, all wonderful in their own ways. I had heard Moonlight described in glowing terms — A.O. Scott from the NY Times even went as far to ask if it was the year’s best film. Of the movies I’ve seen in 2016, it certainly is. Moonlight doesn’t provide obvious resolution to the turmoil in Chiron’s life. It’s not afraid to leave things open-ended. It’s a subtle film, full of loneliness, with brief moments of what looks like transcendence. It is a portrayal of a truly damaged soul, longing for connection. It’s a condemnation of toxic masculinity. Chiron does ultimately find connection, and how this plays out (which I won’t give away) is what makes this such a brilliant film. I left the cinema with such empathy for the character. I had RuPaul’s mantra rolling around in my head: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else.” It’s not that there’s no love in Chiron’s world, he just never learned the most important part: how to give it to himself. Moonlight has stayed with me since I saw it. I’m grateful it was made.
Jamison is a 25 year-old man from Los Angeles. He went to the University of Arizona and studied Theatre and Gender and Women’s Studies. His dream? “Writing and directing super-stylish films” that transcend John Waters. He came out to his conservative parents at 13 — what a confident little pup! He wasn’t in a relationship until much later, but he did fall in love with his little brother’s best friend at the time. During his senior year of high school, Jamison lost his virginity to a cute college guy. He was only 17, but old enough to know that it was “blasé.” Underwhelming sex is, hmm, the worst, but also part of the process.
His happiest moments are when he’s surrounded by groups of creative people — his peers and lovers — “[those] who know how to have the best time and make me feel free, make me feel like my life is beautiful,” he said. On the other hand, things coming to an end make him sad. “Every time I have a really great experience, something that was really life changing (a relationship, or traveling, or a dope party) — the end of it always leaves me feeling so empty. I think that emptiness is filled with sadness,” he said.
He told us that he loves the inside of a man’s thighs. He loves the softness and how it is simultaneously such a strong part of the body. It also houses his second favorite part of a man’s body! …
We know damn well how hard it is to create a printed publication. To get out of bed and try to create something good ain’t easy. We don’t usually post about our efforts, or complain how hard we have to work — it just sounds sooooooo boring, and why the hell are we doing it unless we want to? No one is putting a gun to our heads saying “Tom, Abi, make a magazine!” It’s all hard work and those of us that do it, do it because WE LOVE IT. So, for the love of print, for the love of touching nice printed matter, for the love of owning something that contains a good story, a good image… Let’s go and support this event: “New York Queer Zine Fair returns to the Bureau for two days!” You can attend on Saturday, October 22 or Sunday the 23th, where a group of queer people will bring their printed zines or printed objects to sell. They also will be having a series of event that you’ll probably want to check out and also there’s a nice exhibition by lots of drag queens in the space — it’s lovely. Oh and one more thing, Get our publication, they have all the issues there, fresh from the printer!
Antonio Lopez was a fashion illustrator who died in 1987. He was kind of a big deal in the fashion world of the 80’s. Lopez was a “freelance artist for many of the top fashion publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Andy Warhol’s Interview. He is known to have “discovered” or formed lasting friendships with women like Pat Cleveland, Tina Chow, Jerry Hall, Grace Jones and Jessica Lange. With his friend and business partner, Juan Ramos, Lopez moved to Paris where they both worked with Karl Lagerfeld and many other designers.” Join curator Rocío Aranda Alvarado and the Director of the Estate of Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos, Paul Caranicas, for a guided tour and talk moderated by GAYLETTER contributor Alex Fialho, the Programs Director at Visual AIDS. The show features sketches and artworks from Antonio Lopez’s career. Lopez was notable for his inclusion of ethnic bodies in his work. The fashion world of the 80’s was very white. Iman, and Grace Jones stand out in our memories because they were pretty much the only black figures in the fashion world at that time. For those interested in fashion history this show is not to missed.
The Agnes Martin retrospective on view at The Guggenheim is one of the best museum shows I’ve seen in awhile. The serene journey up the beautifully curved building follows the development of her work in chronological order, and ends under the sublime light of the Guggenheim’s skylight, shining on some of her best large-scale paintings. Don’t miss the two short videos on view in the museum’s library alcove half-way up the building. I had never seen Martin paint or talk about her work before, and it was a revelation to see her meditative focus as she covers a canvas and discusses how her paintings all represent positive emotions. Her positivity is revealed in some of the titles of her works too – most are untitled, but others in the show are titled “Blessings,” “Gratitude,” and “I Love the Whole World.” I recommend you bring a date — by the end you’ll be enraptured with Martin’s ecstatically minimal paintings, and maybe each other. Afterward you can cross into Central Park for a cute make-out session, or if the weather isn’t great, stop by Café Sabarsky for a Viennese pastry and coffee.
Panel Discussion featuring Trenton Doyle Hancock, Laylah Ali and Ariell Johnson
I’ve finally decided to dabble in the world of podcasts. A good one can be really wonderful (especially after some weed). It’s lovely to step back and realize wow, I’m not totally warped by the Internet — I can sit and listen to people speaking for 37 minutes! Listening is a skill, one that’s both empowering and rewarding, and it really is easy to forget you can take those skills into your everyday life. For example, you could go to a panel, on October 22nd, like Black Pulp! Presents: Satire, Comics and Authorship and listen!
I’ve always enjoyed a really good panel discussion, usually because they are composed of professionals who know they must hear one another if they’re going to form concise thoughts and also… so they can put on a good show.
I would argue the art of conversation is not gone, and panels remind the public that to listen to one another is to physically put ideas out into the world and in doing so, educate and change the listeners. “Taking cue from the exhibition Black Pulp! (curated by William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson), Black Pulp! Presents: Satire, Comics and Authorship Panel will examine the unique power of pulp and printed matter to redefine dominant cultural narratives from the Jim Crow Era, Harlem Renaissance, and Black Panther Movement to now.”
The event’s panelists include “Trenton Doyle Hancock, Laylah Ali, & Ariell Johnson (Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse) and is moderated by Michael B. …
I went to Lady Bunny’s show ‘Trans-Jester’ last week at the Gay bar, and National Historic Landmark, the Stonewall. I gotta say, this bitch is crazy, and trust me that’s a good thing. She’s absolutely insane in the best possible way. The show was supposed to close on October 1, but because of its popularity it has been extended, so aren’t you lucky? “In addition to new parodies which re-work selections from Adele, Rent and Bruno Mars to hilarious, effect punctuated by zany Laugh-In style zingers, Bunny has widened her repertoire to include some actually insightful social commentary. (Well, she thinks it’s insightful, anyway.) Trashing the current overemphasis on political correctness...” Trans-Jester is what we expect from a good drag show and more, Lady Bunny dances, talks about RuPaul (they’ve have been friends for yeaaaaaaaars) and sings/lip-synchs songs. Some of the ones I remember went like this: “...please don’t give me white cock,” and “black cock got me hooked...” I think this was in the same song. Lady Bunny reminded me why drag queens should exist, and why it really is a true artform that only those with talent can do right. Miss Bunny is inappropriate, and super fun, you’ll have a good laugh! Click here for showtime and tickets.
Hillary is going to win. Hillary is going to win. Hillary is going to win. I’m hoping that if we say it enough it will happen. Honestly, I think it’s pretty clear that she will beat Trump, but I don’t want to plan on it. I don’t want any Brexit surprises. A lot of people in NYC are from somewhere else. If where you are from is a swing state, please make sure you don’t forget to vote there. PLEASE. FOR. THE. SAKE. OF. US. ALL. VOTE! Tonight, October 19th, we are co-hosting a debate watching party at Eastern Bloc. Alan Cumming is also hosting, and there’s going to be music by Occupy The Disco and Matty Gllitteratti. I can’t think of anything more fun than watching Hillary clobber (please Hillary, don’t disappoint us!) Donald Trump in a room full of fired-up queens. I know this event is $30 bucks, but the money raised will go to Hillary’s campaign, so it’s all for a very good cause.
I have been meditating daily for the last two years. As someone with occasional anxiety and O.C.D and a little depression it’s become a habit that I really rely on to help keep me from going too cray cray. I practice Transcendental Meditation as I’ve found it the most effective and easiest to do. T.M. is mantra-based, and really simple to learn, like stupidly simple — it takes about a minute to pick up the technique. There’s a bunch of scientific evidence that mediation is really beneficial for both mental and physical health, and from my own experience I can say that it works. This Sunday at the Santiago Calatrava designed transportation hub in lower Manhattan, called the Oculus, a 1000 person mediation is taking place. It’s $30 to join, but part of the proceeds benefit the H.E.A.R.T. 9/11 foundation, so that’s good. There’s something about mediating with a group of people that intensifies your focus. I’ve only ever done it with about 10 people, and it was powerful so I can not imagine how intense it must feel with 1000. It’s probably incredible. And certainly worth a measly 30 bucks! Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I love the name of this party, but it’s probably not for me. Although just because it sounds a bit turbo gay doesn’t mean I can’t get in the mood — you gotta be open to everything. So, here’s the deal, it’s a “one time special event” and “one of the most anticipated events of the season, Trade Saturdays, is returning to one of New York City’s most exclusive neighborhoods…” (That’s what they are calling the Meatpacking District, OK sure.) The event is presented by sweetheart Brian Rafferty and the BR Productions Team, with music by Nina Flores (pictured) and an opening set by Ben Baker. It’s also in collaboration with Scruff — woof, woof, woof. There’s 2 for 1 drinks before 11PM, and maybe the most important part of this event, something to look forward to if you just want to keep it going, is what they “just announced.” Right after Trade, there’s an “all new Mint after hours” at the Gilded Lily — located 3 blocks away from the party ($15-$30), from 4:30am-11:00am, like seriously why go home? Trust me if you wake up early and live around that area, on Sunday morning Grindr and Scruff are gonna be lit. Yup!