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Film

Sanitized or Subtle? ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Moonlight,’ and Queer Male Sex in Cinema

An image from the queer film Call Me by Your Name.

Like the Oscar-winning Moonlight last year, another gay drama has cut into mainstream cinema and garnered Academy Award buzz. Based on the novel of the same title, Call Me by Your Name is a film set in 1980s Italy, following 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his fleeting summer love with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a graduate student in his mid-20s who works temporarily as an archaeological assistant with Elio’s professor father at their decadent villa.…

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QFest Hosts ‘BPM’ (Beats Per Minute) Film Screening for World AIDS Day

A photo from the film BPM.

A taste of the Cannes Film Festival will arrive in Houston on December 3 with the QFest screening of BPM (Beats per Minute) at Rice University in observance of World AIDS Day. The film, which is France’s official foreign language submission for the 2018 Academy Awards, follows a group of ACT UP members in Paris—nearly a decade after the AIDS crisis began—as they bring attention to the epidemic. At the Cannes, BPM won four awards including the Grand Prix prize—second…

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Houston Premieres ‘Major!’ Film on Transgender Day of Remembrance

A photo of Miss Major for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20 was created to honor the memories of those who have lost their lives due to violence based on gender identity. This year, Houston community members will come together to not only honor this significant day, but to show pride and respect for the trans women of color who started the LGBTQ rights movement. To mark the TDOR, Transform Houston—a grassroots campaign dedicated to improving the lives and legal protections for transgender,…

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Documentarian Fiona Dawson Headlines Houston Transgender Unity Banquet

A photo of Houston Transgender Unity Banquet speaker Fiona Dawson.

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Fiona Dawson, a dynamic documentarian, bisexual advocate, and speaker at the 25th annual Houston Transgender Unity Banquet on November 4. Her recent work, which centers around trans military members, is especially near and dear to my heart as a child of veterans. The short documentary, 'Transgender, at War and in Love,' was nominated for "Outstanding Short Documentary" at the 37th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards, and is now used in…

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A Closer Walk with Aj: Southern Born Actor Chats Gay Exorcism Film

A photo of gay actor Aj Knight in a new exorcism film.

As a group of young, white evangelicals move into a predominantly Latino neighborhood to preach the gospel, one of the missionaries, Jordan, develops sexual feelings for the leader, Eli. But once Jordan is caught touching himself by the bathroom door while Eli showers, the group tries to exorcise his gay demons in a kind of conversion therapy. Thus is the premise of director John C. Clark’s new film A Closer Walk with Thee, starring Houston-raised out actor Aj Knight as…

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Don’t Let ‘It’ Get To You: Facing Your Childhood Fears with the King of Horror

An illustration of the horror movie It.

My childhood was texturized by horror films, particularly adaptations of King’s work. People still gasp when they hear I watched the original Carrie and It before age 10, The Shining by age 12, along with a host of other classics in between. In Kentucky, I would always spend a night at my Aunt Judy’s and we’d huddle under blankets while watching a horror movie on her wood-paneled TV. I say they left traces; my friend says, “more like craters in your…

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Queer: Rooster Teeth’s Mariel Salcedo

A photo of Mariel Salcedo on Always Open on Rooster Teeth.

Mariel Salcedo has become a Rooster Teeth fan favorite, previously producing and guest starring in the now cult classic, Free Play, before taking on her current role on Always Open. For the production company’s LGBTQ devotees, however, she’s more than a comedic Internet celebrity—she’s someone they can connect to on a deeper level, someone they can call their own.…

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The 100+ Queer Films Project

An illustration of queer films.

Five years and over 100 films later, I’m publishing this list online for others to peruse, enjoy, and add to as well. Consistently, I run into fellow queer people who aren’t familiar with our rich cinematic history that dates back to at least 1930s Germany with Mädchen in Uniform. Local teachers and professors have even started requesting recommendations for their classes. And while my list isn’t perfect, it’s a place to begin a conversation about queer representation in cinema.…

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