Archive for the ‘Bisexual’ Category

That Time ‘Will & Grace’ Forgot HIV Exists. Again (My Fabulous Disease)

October 14, 2017

My buddy, AIDS activist Mark S. King (My Fabulous Disease) calls out Will & Grace for not mentioning HIV in the series revival. I haven’t posted about the revival because I’m not a fan. I never was. I was living in NYC when the show premiered originally. It felt like I was already living a NYC story. Will and Jack would have not been part of my inner circle. They were way too uptown for me. I was if nothing else, a Lower East Side snob.

Mark breaks it down as to why it’s important for Will and Jack to discuss the changing landscape of HIV in gay men’s lives during 2017. From My Fabulous Disease,

Only once, in a 2001 episode in which Grace and her boyfriend mention getting an HIV test, was the topic ever addressed. They produced 194 episodes during the original run of the series.

The revival of Will & Grace exists in a far different world. The privileged white gay men who inhabit Will & Grace have access to healthcare and the resources to either take PrEP, the pill that prevents HIV infection or, should they be HIV positive, get on medications that could render them undetectable and therefore unable to transmit HIV to someone else.

Neither of these strategies were available or understood when Will & Grace left the airwaves ten years ago. They exist now, and they have transformed the sexual and cultural landscape for gay men in this country.

Read Mark S. King’s full post at My Fabulous Disease.

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Transparent: Season 4

October 1, 2017

“Sleep and I shall soothe you, calm you and anoint you…”

Who knew the Pfeffermans were as obsessed with Jesus Christ Superstar as I was when I was a little boy. And they remember the words to the songs after all these years. Even Maura’s sister! Such a magnificent and glorious television series Transparent continues to be. Is this the most loving, dysfunctional family you’ve ever met? Does yours rival them? Mine sure doesn’t. Which is probably why I love watching them tick. This season the family connects with their spiritual and social roots on a trip to Israel. Every one comes together and then proceeds to find their own corner and take some time out to contemplate life: Josh at meetings, Sarah with Len, Ali at the farm, and Maura and Shelly meditating in the midst of the chaos. The only logical family member of Maura’s who gets any back story time this season is the luminous Davina, my favorite non-Pfefferman. We dig deeper into Davina’s past to find her vulnerabilities. I love Davina even more after this season. She is the heart, soul, and calm of the show. Alexandra Billings brings nuance and wisdom to the role. Can’t say enough how much I adore Transparent. 5 out of 5 for this family ensemble.

NewFest 2017

September 29, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: NewFest 2017
The 29th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival

Thursday October 19 – Tuesday October 24
SAVE THE DATES!

NewFest will be celebrating its 29th annual New York LGBT Film Festival from October 19th – 24th, 2017. The six-day festival will feature over 100 films, panels, and parties that reflect the LGBT experience.

Reel Charlie’s looking forward to:
100 Men
Hot to Trot
My Wonderful West Berlin
One Last Thing

One Mississippi: Season 2

September 21, 2017

Spoiler alerts: What I found missing since discovering Tig Notaro’s projects which definitely weave real life with fiction is the idea of naming her sexuality. She certainly doesn’t hide being a lesbian. She just never says the word. It’s a very post-gay, urban stance – to imagine the culture has progressed to the point where it’s unnecessary for labels. We simply show up with a partner and if they are of the same gender, then that is who you are with. It’s a lovely thought for a Star Trek episode. But for the current world we live in, I disagree. For years I have said the world outside of urban gay ghettos doesn’t embrace everyone equally. That idea felt quaint and outdated to many. With the advent of the election last year, everyone’s eyes have been opened to the need to stand up and be counted – as a person of color, as a woman, as an immigrant, as a person of science, and as LGBTQ. So I was thrilled to see Tig name her sexuality. Tig uses the words gay and lesbian strongly during the first two episodes of her sophomore season of One Mississippi. It feels right especially in our post-election reality. However in the middle of all this, the audience is thrown a huge curve when fictional Tig explains to her yet requited love interest Kate (straight Kate as Tig’s brother dubs her) played by Tig’s real life wife, Stephanie Allynne that she’s dated men. No not before she came out, but after. She tells Kate that gender is something that’s specific from a distance, but up close its blurred. Uh what? Why isn’t her character bisexual? I can’t help but think in order for openly gay women and men to be considered reasonable and accepting, we are now expected to embrace having relationships with people of the opposite gender. Just in case anyone might want to label us closed-minded. Tig’s fictional character doesn’t talk about being bisexual. Or being mostly lesbian. She doesn’t talk about being attracted to trans or gender fluid people. She simply drops that bombshell and moves on. It makes absolutely no sense and colored my enjoyment of the series for the rest of the season. I don’t need every queer character to be a gold star gay like me. I know there are all kinds of people in the world. But this kind of posturing rings so politically correct and inauthentic, I’m not buying it. Especially not for Tig’s character.

I realize this argument is my personal argument. I own that. The rest of the season waffles between extremely artful expressions of golden age television and awkward trying too hard moments. I hung in there and will check out Season 3 if it gets renewed. I’m giving One Mississippi: Season 2 a 3 out of 5.

The 20 Best LGBTQ Movies of the 21st Century (Indiewire)

September 5, 2017

From Indiewire,

“Moonlight.” “The Handmaiden.” “Carol.” The last few years have not only brought LGBTQ films and stories further into the mainstream, but queer films have dominated awards seasons and found commercial success. This has been a long time coming: The New Queer Cinema was a major influence on the indie film boom of the ’90s, and set the bar high for the many queer films to follow.

From the list of 20, Reel Charlie favorites include,

Far From Heaven
Pariah
Tarnation
Milk
I Killed My Mother
The Kids Are All Right
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Tangerine
Weekend
Stranger by the Lake
Carol
Moonlight

Click on the film titles above to read Reel Charlie’s reviews.
Read Reel Charlie’s Best Gay Films 2010 – 2015.
See the complete list at Indiewire.

A Timeline of (Nearly) Every LGBT Couple in TV History (Out)

September 2, 2017

Journey through the American television timeline for a look at the favorite LGBT couples of all time.  Including Reel Charlie favorites,

Willow & Tara (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 2000)
David & Keith (Six Feet Under, 2001)
Ben & Michael (Queer as Folk, 2002)
Dana & Alice (The L Word, 2004)
Jenny & Marina (The L Word, 2004) – ok, seriously anyone and Marina.
Omar & Renaldo (The Wire, 2006)
Tasha & Alice (The L Word, 2007)
Rick & Steve (Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World, 2007)
Lafayette & Jesus (True Blood, 2010)
Kurt & Blaine (Glee, 2011)
Tara & Pam (True Blood, 2012)
Stef & Lena (The Fosters, 2013)
Piper & Alex (Orange is the New Black, 2013)
Patrick & Richie (Looking, 2014)
Sarah & Tammy (Transparent, 2014)
Dom & Lynn (Looking, 2014)
Augustin & Eddie (Looking, 2015)
Connor & Jude (The Fosters, 2015)
Nomi & Amanita (Sense8, 2015)
Lito & Hernando (Sense8, 2015)

Clicking on the couple takes you to their slide at Out.com.
Clicking on the series title takes you to Reel Charlie’s review.
109 couples in total. Who’re your favorites? See the full list at Out.

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

August 24, 2017

What I thought might be a sweet YA indie film about a young Christian gay man coming out, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party turned into a much more complicated and satisfying look at suppression and desire in an ensemble of adults and teenagers. Henry Gamble turns 17. During the course of his birthday party young adults and their parents grapple with the confines of their lives – in particular their religious faith while examining their desire for love, happiness, and personal truth. A real surprise. I’m glad I finally gave Henry a shot. 3.5 out of 5.

Watch Three Clips from the Gay Drama ‘Beach Rats’, Due Out This Friday (Towleroad)

August 22, 2017

I’ve heard buzz this year about the new indie film, Beach Rats. Now that it’s being released in theaters this Friday, there’s more news including three new clips released on Towleroad today. From the earlier blurbs on various websites, I wasn’t interested in watching a negative film about coming out. Should filmmakers be able to make work without happy ever after endings? Absolutely. From Towleroad,

Wrote on commenter on Towleroad (andrewd215) a month ago (possible SPOILERS):

I had Beach Rats as one of my must see movies when I went to the Provincetown Film Festival in June. After watching the movie I left wondering if they had shown a different version than the one I had read about getting all the praise. The film did a good job of drawing you into the character and the struggles he was going through, especially in the hyper sexual heterosexual normative male environment he was in. However, it was interesting at the conclusion of the movie to hear more than a few scattered boos but rather a good number and vocal comments among people as they stood to leave and walking out making comments such as “such a f**king cop out” and other like statements. It seems that among those most verbal, that an ambiguous ending for movie can be exceedingly frustrating after the build up the movie because the ambiguity of the ending was so complete and that it would be hard to have a discussion as to how Frankie’s life went from there. Maybe the harsh reactions at the end of the movie were because it showed the anguish, the angst, and his struggles but did not portray or provide that anything resulted from it all so that any dialogue would have to been abstract.

From what I remember about the movie the cruising that went on was a result of Frankie’s online cam site sessions, that in addition or rather than a JO session, lead to an arrangement to meet up. The active cruising scene was the exception but was the result of a failed hook up that lead him to approach a car in the hookup cruise parking area that lead to a very successful night of hot sex. I don’t think this movie is one that will reach people that need to be reached, or in pain and conflict or questioning their sexuality because of the ending of the film. If anything the movie will probably lead those in similar situations and environments to stay in the closet. At least in a 90’s coming out movie you had some idea that come out was a positive thing to do.

I will say that I’m not seeing (for now) Beach Rats. I can handle difficult films with ambiguous endings. I adore French cinema after all. But I’m too wrapped up in politics right now to deal with films that don’t at the very least offer a glimmer of hope to young gay characters. For similar reasons, I’m avoiding Call Me By Your Name. I read the book. Hated it. It’s a story about two straight-identified men who have an affair one summer and then go back to being straight. Whatever. Fluidity be damned. Maybe this story makes sense to hetero men who dipped their toe in the pool in their youth. If you’re going to show bisexuality, show it with satisfying and positive relationships on both sides of the sexual aisle. Otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing heteronormativity. Personally I rarely get to see myself on the screen. I’d rather not have to share it with a straight male’s interpretation of what a gay experience is. And to reinforce this interpretation, the director made a choice not to show any male/male intimacy. Just longing. Give me a freaking break.

Watch the Beach Rats clips.
Beach Rats trailer.

Call Me By Your Name trailer.

Transparent: Season 3 (take 2)

August 15, 2017

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the splendorous Amazon Prime original series Transparent.

‘Sense8’ is back in production, and the finale is going to be totally ‘epic’ (Queerty)

August 12, 2017

Has your cluster been informed yet? Sense8 is coming back for one final epic wrap-up movie. The Netflix series that was too big for just two seasons is back in production and due to release their final film in 2018. Watch an extended “thank you” video from creator Lana Wachowski, her cast and crew. Adorable clips abound. I still get chills when I think of this series. For all its imperfection and limitation it certainly did propel storytelling forward. It created a world where everyone is equal, where everyone’s voice and love are honored. Sense8 wrote the manual for the future of humanity.

Read the full article on Queerty and check out Lana’s fifteen minute video.
Check out Reel Charlie’s reviews of Sense8: Season 1, the Sense8 Christmas Special, and Sense8: Season 2.

Instead of sharing a pic of the cast or creators or a poster, I want to share two pics of my favorite supporting actors – Max Mauff who plays Felix and Michael X. Sommers who plays Bug.

 

Max Mauff (Felix)

Michael X. Sommers (Bug)

 

 

 


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