I’m so pleased that my movie is setting out on its journey to increase justice and happiness!
Subject: Queer America film screenings, 6.15pm 3 November 2016
With all eyes on America’s presidential election, Out@UCL is screening a programme of short films that look at some of the variety of queer stories in America. We’re looking especially at the often marginalised voices within the LGBT+ community, including older people, QTIPOC and trans and genderqueer experiences. Stick around for the Q&A afterwards with some of the directors who, fortunately for us, are in London.
When: 6.15 – 8pm, Thursday, 3 November
Location: Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building (entrance on Gower Street)
“Faggotgirl Gets Busy In The Bathroom” will be shown
“Faggot Girl Gets Busy in The Bathroom”
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016, 03:39
World premiere: Specially commissioned for WDIYFF 2016
We’ve been showing Krissy Mahan’s work since 2012 when Faggot Girl, Mahan’s disability-rights campaigning, alter-ego superhero, first burst on to our screens. Since then, Faggot Girl has crusaded relentlessly for greater accessibility for all body types, arguing that access is a queer issue. We’re delighted to commission Faggot Girl Gets Busy in the Bathroom for this year’s festival, in which our fearless hero/ine demonstrates why public bathrooms are a crucial frontier in the fight for equality (and can also be great spots to hook up in, too).
“Like A Riot”
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016, 02.00
Krissy Mahan is back again this year with this wonderful short in which puppet Sophie Mayer hangs out with Campbell X’s puppet self. The two super heroes embark on a campaign to deal with the white, male overkill prevalent in the film industry. And what better way to incite a riot to the soundtrack of London-based punk band Big Joanie?”
( WWDIYFF 2016 program notes )
“Like A Riot” 2m
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016
“Like anyone who grew up with the Muppets and Fraggle Rock, I have always wanted to have a puppet self. And of course I want my puppet self to hang out with Campbell X’s puppet self. Krissy Mahan has made it happen!” Dr. Sophie Mayer
( SQIFF 2016 program notes )
Who could have guessed how surreal things would actually become when I first put “As Surreal As It Gets” on my website 15 year ago? I am glad that I have a body of work that stands in opposition to the status quo, and hopefully uses joy and goodwill to challenge white mainstream complacency in the face of such deadly threats to vulnerable people.
Here’s a rundown of some of my activities this summer, and some festivals coming up in the fall. (In reverse order of things happening.)
I was able to catch my friend Saul in Philadelphia, and he let me record him and Veronica talking about Informe-SIDA. They tell the story of how their HIV/AIDS information service began — in Texas, where consensual gay male sex was illegal, and there were no health services in Spanish. That is just the kind of history that I try to make sure doesn’t get lost. I hope someone will make an even bigger/better record of their important and lifesaving work. I started Dykeumentary as a way to make a record of people, especially my queer friends, in their own words, and owned by them.
I am working on my first commissioned movie! Wotever DIY Film Festival, based in London, asked me to make a Faggotgirl short to play at their 2016 festival, happening the DIY Space For London September 3-4, 2016 — an accessible venue! I’m flattered and I am happy that I have made a movie that addresses the issue of bathrooms AND accessibility. Everyone has bathrooms on the brain because of the hateful North Carolina HB2 bill, and I figured while we are thinking about bodies in bathtrooms, why not use the political will of this moment to make sure truly ALL bodies enjoy the privacy and accessibility of public restrooms?
This weekend,“Faggotgirl Does(n’t Do) The MTA” showed at GAZE International LGBT Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland, as an example of Wotever DIY films. The WDIYFF has been doing an outstanding (and international) job of promoting DIY film, and I am very appreciative of their work. I’m happy that something I made showed in Ireland, because both sides of my family emigrated (unhappily) to America from Ireland in the 20th century, as Roman Catholics from the British-controlled northern counties. I hope they are all having a good laugh and a drink that their great/granddaughter is poking fun at oppressive abuses of power.
There was also this big lezbo camping fest, LFEST, that i absolutely MUST go to one day, and Theresa Heath curated the film tent. She showed “The Genesis of Butch and Femme” and reported that the audience laughed at all the appropriate places!! Triumph!
AND “Until Justice Rolls” was shown in Scotland as part of “Queers In The City” curated by SQIFF. “A selection of shorts looking at the relationship of LGBTQ+ people to cities. In depicting anonymous cruising, lamenting gentrification, showing cities as a backdrop to loneliness and personal pain, and creating comedy subversion of urban imagery, these films recognise the unique place of queers in the city space. Featuring work by both international and local artists plus a filmmaker Q&A”
“Until Justice Rolls” was an Honorable Mention at the Superhero Film Festival, but other than that, I’ve been rejected from 23 film festivals. Becky and Ellen laugh at me every time I am sad to be rejected, and now that its happened so many times, I understand what they were saying.
Honoring police as grand marshals defies spirit of 2016 Philadelphia parade (petition)
As members of Philadelphia’s queer and transgender communities, we are writing in response to the decision by Philly Pride Presents to host GOAL (the Gay Officer Action League) as one of the grand marshals for this year’s Pride Parade. We are deeply concerned about the message this decision sends about which LGBTQ lives matter and the impact this will have on accessibility and safety at the Pride event for the members of our community most harmed by police violence. We urge the staff and volunteers of Philly Pride Presents to rescind their decision to make GOAL one of the grand marshals this year.
We believe that the honoring of GOAL is antithetical to the spirit and history of Pride, which grew out of the commemoration of the Stonewall riot — a riot against police violence — started by black and brown trans women and drag queens, who were then and continue to be the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.
This choice is not only grossly ironic. It also participates in a revision of history that erases queer and trans resistance to state violence as well as the ways in which the majority of queer and trans people have had to literally fight for survival in a system that has used every mechanism, including and particularly policing, to marginalize and harm us.
It is our understanding that GOAL grew out of a desire to recruit LGBTQ individuals to the police force. We are aware that institutionalized and interpersonal workplace transphobia, homophobia, and racism harm LGBTQ police officers. We support all queer and trans people in their struggle for freedom from violence and oppression. However, we refute the notion that LGBTQ cops’ ability to be out on the job is a measure of our movement’s progress, when the police, as an institution, continue to carry out racist and transphobic violence.
Just last month, the Boston Pride Parade revoked the invitation for an openly gay police officer to serve as a grand marshal after it was discovered that the officer had written racist messages online shaming poor residents of Boston. As civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
In the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which affirms the value of black life and fights anti-black racism and police violence, choosing GOAL as the grand marshals for 2016 is a move that is at best privileged and isolated, and at worst directly undermines this critical work. It indicates a disturbing lack of awareness for the existence of marginalized queer and trans people of color and ignores both the symbolic and practical consequences of such a decision.
The Pride festival at Penn’s Landing is already financially inaccessible to many due to its entrance fee, but to literally place the police (gay or not) at the front of the parade through the gayborhood into the Pride celebration creates an environment that is unwelcoming and even unsafe for many members of our community. Additionally, it creates yet another barrier to accessing the critical resources available at Pride, such as free condoms, HIV testing, case managers, and information on community organizations for those who need them the most — including LGBTQ youth.
So, as the theme of this year’s Pride celebration is, “Are You Connected?” we ask the organizers of Philly Pride Presents: What connections do you value? For at least the second year in a row, the marshals and friends of the parade have been chosen from the same pool of people, primarily centered in Center City and City Hall. Yet Philadelphia does not lack for inspiring leaders who are creating a new vision for the future. We are fortunate to have LGBTQ communities full of people and organizations doing transformative work to improve the lives of LGBTQ people, to create more space for marginalized voices, and to work towards a world with greater freedom from violence for us all.
It is for these reasons that we cannot condone Philly Pride Presents’ celebration of an institution that continually targets queer and trans people of color with deadly state violence. Instead, as stated above, we urge the staff and volunteers of Philly Pride Presents to rescind this decision, as well as listen to and engage with members of our communities who are working to dismantle the root causes of violence and create a new future for queer and trans liberation.
Dean Spade is an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law and the author of “Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.”
This talk was organized by the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside. May 12, 2016
Hi everyone who reads this!
This spring I’ve joined up with Put People First, grassroots organizers in Philadelphia (who are Pennsylvania state-wide) and I’m happy to be chipping in with their Media and Communications team. I am working with them on a year-long project to document the work of PPF and to support the Healthcare For All campaign.
I’ve been working very hard on a remake of Todd Haynes’ film “Carol.” I hope it will premier in London this summer, and so I haven’t made it available yet.
I’m working on a couple new screenplays. I am moving on from Fisher/Price people and into puppets or marionettes, I think.
My movie “Until Justice Rolls” will be showing in Glasgow, Scotland soon. It will be in the curated program “Queers In The City.”
I was so glad to attend this event sponsored by The Leeway Foundation. I was so happy to hear from five accomplished filmmakers, especially since they are and are making films about Black, Asian, Trans, and Middle Eastern women! How great is that!?
Leeway Foundation and Scribe Video Center present Smaller Screen, Greater Impact: The How and Why of the Web Series. Over the past several years, web series have become a viable alternative for filmmakers to share their stories. As this format creates new ways for aspiring and established artists to reach new audiences and have increased control of their voice, what new hurdles do they create? Join us as we take a look at webisodes on a larger screen (some for the first time ever!) and hear from the creators about writing, shooting, fundraising, and what they’ve learned throughout the process.
The panel features Hye Yun Park creator and star of Hey Yun; Jen Richards, writer, producer, and star of Her Story; Sara Zia Ebrahimi (LTA ’14, ACG ’11, ’09) writer and director of Bailout, activist; Tayarisha Poe (ACG ‘15,’ 14) writer and director of Selah and the Spades: an Overture; And activist, Sharron Cooks will speak about the media representation of transgender women. Moderated by Laura Deutsch (ACG ’10), Director of Education & Production at PhillyCAM.
Hello all, and I hope you are enjoying this mild winter as much as I am.
Here’s Mom looking badass in 1955.(Click it and it rotates correctly, I don’t know why it is doing this.)
As some of you know, I’ve moved home to take care of my mother as she battles PSP – Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. According to the CDC, this disease is rare. However, in South Jersey, it is so common in older women that almost everyone I talk with has a grandmother or aunt who has/had it. Infuriating and expected, in a post-industrial wasteland poisoned by thorium, mercury, lead and asbestos. Camden will never gentrify because no white middle-class family would move here. It is neurologic birth defect ground zero (I was also born with a neurological abnormality in my brain stem.) Our sister-city-in-murder-rates, Flint, MI is a sorrowful example that poor, Black-majority cities are just allowed to die.
So it is difficult to focus on making movies during this time of intense eldercare. I have been writing screenplays and fiddling around with a remake of “Carol” when I have a few moments to myself. I also signed up for Film Freeway and so have been sending my videos to festivals for consideration. I am most excited for a project about my childhood, when we learned my best friend’s sister was a lesbian.
It has been exciting to see all the action figures of women in the news lately. I am glad that Faggotgirl has some Super Friends. I hope they have superpowers, and are not just to be looked at and dressed up. More later!
I’m very excited about the positive responses my movies have been receiving. It’s a compliment and it is an inspiration to make more. I have some new equipment and I’m so curious and excited about telling wacky stories with new tools.
Gender Reel 2015
I’ve screened movies at GenderReel every year it’s existed – that feels really cool especially since GenderReel has been growing, and gaining more recognition every year. My movie “1987, Summer” is part of this year’s traveling festival. The only screening left in 2015 is in Houston, Texas. I have a special place in my heart for the film community in Texas. At AGLIFF‘s “My Gay Movie” in 2004, “Faggotgirl Does Austin” won “The Weirdest Movie Jenn Garrison Had Ever Seen.” I treasure that award.
Scottish Queer Film Festival: Queer Women In Love
“This November and December, SQIFF is taking part in BFI Love with two programmes of films and events. Queer Women in Love is a diverse and exciting selection of films by and about lesbian, bisexual, and queer women with events across the UK. I Do? considers queerness and marriage marking the one year anniversary of changes to the marriage law in Scotland.”
BFI/Scottish Queer Film Festival’s Women in Love: The Virgin Machine
November 10, 2015
The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Scotland
In this early film by director Monika Treut, wannabe writer and journalist Dorothee leaves Germany for San Francisco searching for her long-lost mother and some insights into the ailment known as love. Encounters with male impersonator Ramona, charming bohemian Dominique, and purveyor of lesbian erotica, Susie Sexpert, result in liberating adventures in sexual self-discovery. When Dorothee surfaces a little dazzled on the wilder shores of the city’s lesbian community, she has discovered her sexuality…and left her illusions of romance behind.
Screening with short films Fingers by Sandra Alland and 1987, Summer by Krissy Mahan. Fingers features a British Sign Language (BSL) poetry performance by Alison Smith about love, longing, and the sexiness of touch. 1987, Summer is about a a baby dyke who has landed in a gay resort town during the AIDS crisis. She plays softball, goes clubbing, sleeps with lots of women, and learns about who she is and what she wants.
Part of BFI Love, in partnership with Plusnet bfi.org.uk/love
It is such an honor, and so humbling, that my movie will be screening on World AIDS Day 2015, because it is about me and my friends trying to figure out the world as gay men were dying around us. We were kind of blaming ourselves AND feeling guilty AND trying to not get AIDS AND trying to figure out a political response AND trying to be young, gender-non-conforming people when we had no analysis of gender or trans issues or sexism generally. We did all of that badly, I am sad to say. But I want to talk about that, and see how far we all still have to go on those issues, including a comprehensive response to AIDS.
Max is a too-cool-for-school young lesbian woman stressing over the fact she hasn’t had sex for ten months. After first dismissing hippy, excessive drinker of tea Ely, Max goes on a date with her, leading to a long-term mutual infatuation and a ‘will they, won’t they’ romantic trajectory. A collaboration between Guinevere Turner (The Watermelon Woman, Itty Bitty Titty Committee) and Rose Troche, Go Fish features a supporting cast of lesbian waifs and strays, including Ely’s sex addict roommate Daria and Max’s roommate Kia, whose girlfriend Evy has been kicked out her home by her homophobic mum.
Screening with short films Dyketactics and Summer, 1987. Dyketactics by Barbara Hammer is a sensuous, bold look at women’s desire and sexuality from a seminal lesbian filmmaker. Summer, 1987 by Krissy Mahan is set in summer in the late 1980s when a baby dyke has landed in a gay resort town during the AIDS crisis. She plays softball, goes clubbing, sleeps with lots of women, and learns about who she is and what she wants.
Free. Donations will be taken for World AIDS Day.
Part of SQIFF presents: Queer Women in Love, a season of films by and about lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. Part of BFI LOVE, in partnership with Plusnet bfi.org.uk/love.
BFI/Scottish Queer Film Festival: Queer Women In Shorts
December 15, 2015
The Royal Vauxhall Taver, London, England
Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) in collaboration with Wotever DIY Film Festival and Bar Wotever presents a selection of shorts from SQIFF’s Queer Women in Love season, featuring films by and about lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. The line-up includes a range of styles and ideas relating to the theme of love from Barbara Hammer’s innovative 1970s lesbian experiment Dyketactics to Ami Nashimoto’s vegan, gluten-free date nightmare-comedy Dinner For Two, via queer filmmaking legend Cheryl Dunye’s very first film, Janine, and activist Krissy Mahan’s 1980s-set gay beach town dramedy, 1987, Summer.
With an introduction from SQIFF’s Helen Wright.
This is how accessibility, and information about it, is done well!
Tyneside Cinema is accessible for wheelchairs. Each of the Tyneside’s Cinema’s screens have power assisted doors and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users. If you specifically require tickets for the wheelchair spaces available in our auditoria, you can contact Box Office on 0845 217 9909. There is high contrast signage throughout the building, complete with braille. Tyneside also uses the Phonic infrared headset system to provide amplified sound in their screens. Headsets are available for this service from the Box Office on the ground floor and Tyneside Bar on the third floor.
There is a lot of interest these days about “vanishing queer spaces.” In 2010 I was part of a team that was fighting for the survival of The Starlite Lounge, the only Black-owned, non-discriminating, gay-friendly bar in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. A documentary about this bar is making the festival circuit this year, and it will be playing in Scotland this month. I have questions about the filmmakers’ process in making it.
Why did they make this film? Who has been able to see it? Why isn’t this video widely available for free, immediately?
I used to go to this bar because it was fun and had really nice people there. Also, it reminded me of the bars I’m used to, because it functioned as a senior center during the afternoon, like the bars in Gloucester City do. My grandmother ran the Kit Kat Tap Room back in the day, and a person could find child care, a used car, or someone to do a favor for you at a tavern like that.
I heard about the Starlite losing their lease during one of the evenings I was there drinking. The Starlite Lounge owners, regulars and members of the Audre Lorde Project’s Safe Outside The System developed a response. The Starlite Lounge was a S.O.S. Safe Space– The S.O.S. Collective organizes and educates local businesses and community organizations on how to stop violence without relying on law enforcement.
During those days while some of us were fighting to keep the space open, the directors of “We Came To Sweat” were trying to get good shots for their film.
Wortzel and Kunath gathered the Starlite community’s stories, and are selling those compelling stories to festival audiences. The Starlite community is priced out of their own history, their own story isn’t available in their own neighborhood. I have been trying to watch their completed documentary (finished years after the fact) and can’t find it except for at festival screenings. The NYC screening was not held in Crown Heights. How can Crown Heights residents watch this film? Have the Starlite regulars been present at screenings to tell their history themselves, or have the white directors flown to festival screenings, and talked “for” the customers of this traditionally Black bar?
Brookyn had the highest percentage of enslaved people of African descent per capita in New York State. After slavery was ended, people of African descent were only legally allowed to live (not own any property) near the area that became Crown Heights. Through the years this area suffered unbelievable civic neglect. So when white filmmakers gentrify this particular neighborhood, it is eliminating the only place where Black people have ever been even allowed to subsist in Brooklyn. White filmmakers are NOT just the “the next wave of immigrants,” no matter how good their intentions are. What is the filmmakers relationship to this historical reality?
In this Vice article online, the (white) director stated that they had never heard about the Starlite Lounge until they wanted to move to an apartment in the historically black neighborhood, Crown Heights. The Starlite had already learned they would lose their lease. Was a reaction of the filmmakers “wow this would make a great documentary!”
What improvements have been made to the neighborhood, and to the state of filmmaking in the neighborhood, as a result of the film? Even if a project seems valuable, if white filmmakers are making documentaries in racist ways, white filmmakers are supporting white supremacy.
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