From vintage porn to Lesbian Visibility celebrations, everything to get you through the next two weeks

Our recommendations for what’s up and what’s on, beginning Apr. 8

Hi, hello! It is I, your friendly neighbourhood queer culture vulture, back with another eclectic slate of delightful events for your pandemic amusement and edification. This week, we’re all over the map, as usual, both literally and figuratively—books, music, theatre, lectures, podcasts, films and more, all under one heading: Queer Culture Catch-Up. 

Need to take a break from your murder podcasts?

You Made Me Queer

You Made Me Queer podcast

Credit: Courtesy You Made Me Queer

Try a straightforward accusatory podcast. You Made Me Queer, created and hosted by writer and radio producer Trevor Campbell, invites well-known culture queers (it’s a double dip!) to come on the podcast and talk about what “made them” queer. You’ll snicker, you’ll reminisce, you’ll be that one critical step closer to finding your root and, for about an hour, you’ll forget your troubles as you listen to Campbell explore the beginnings of queer identities that make us just that much more interesting than straight people.

Ready to go queerspotting?

Lesbian Visibility Week, Apr. 26 

Holy hopping homos, we have so many things for you to look at and enjoy it might take a whole week. While I can’t say for sure that all of these cultural producers identify as “lesbian,” the U.K.-based Lesbian Visibility Week website includes people who identify as queer women, dykes and non-binary lesbians, and is specifically inclusive of trans women. (I wish I didn’t have to say that last part, but trans women have been taking such egregious crap from so-called “lesbian feminists” recently.) 

In celebration of Lesbian Visibility Week, let me recommend some new work coming up: We just got Shira Spector’s brilliant, wild, chaotic-but-in-the-best-way graphic memoir Red Rock Baby Candy, and Lauren Hough’s absolutely piercing (both “so funny it pierces your armour” and “so well written you’ll sigh like someone punctured you”) essay collection Leaving Isn’t The Hardest Thing (follow her on Twitter for book event news). The Outsports podcast has a special Lesbian Visibility episode, and there’s an online youth-centred event hosted by a Massachusetts organization. You’ve got BUTCH Voices hosting a community gathering, along with a special workshop on Stone identity and sexuality led by one of my favourite people, Koja Adeyoha. Cap off your week of wonder with an introduction to a fantastical imagined landscape of Mexican lesbian history, based on archival footage that forms Carina Guzmán (Islandia)’s project Museo de Machistán. Still want more? Check out this 2013 interview: Cyreé Jarelle Johnson has a lot to say about femme invisibility, Black femmes and ableism. Then watch this video of Johnson giving a talk on reproductive freedom (too short, but a great appetizer to get you into Johnson’s work).

 

History may have its eyes on us, but do you have your eyes on history?

Lemebel

Lemebel

Credit: Courtesy Solita Producciones

Chilean queer artist and activist Pedro Lemebel loved blood, fire, drama and spectacle—so much so that he encouraged his friend and collaborator, Joanna Reposi Garibaldi, to keep filming him, even as he slid into the long dark of death. The resulting artistic documentary, Lemebel, now streaming on Ovid.tv, is an intimate portrait of a playful, dedicated disruptor who fought to raise awareness of queerness, the AIDS crisis and the Chilean movement for LGBTQ2S people’s justice, and it will tenderize your heart.

Options for your queer musical mood?

“Airplane” by Janette King, Unravel by Serafin LaRiviere

Montreal, living up to its reputation as the place where artists can still afford to make art and live above ground, brings us two splendid new-music entries this week. Check out feelings-y, funk-inspired work from Janette King, who just released the new single “Airplane” and has an album, What We Lost, coming in June. In good news for jazz fans, Serafin LaRiviere released a new album, Unravel—the artist’s first in a long, dry decade. We, the thirsty, are watered (drenched, honestly) in LaRiviere’s gilded, exceptionally flexible voice. If you want a good cry, start with LaRiviere’s ode to chosen family, “Mom.”

Drag queeries? Erotic geography? Settler colonialism? Yes, yes, no (but we’re stuck with it, so let’s learn, people). 

Drag Diasporas: Indigenous Artistry, Settler Colonialism, and Queer and Trans Performance on Stolen Land

Ryan Persadie's Drag Diasporas

Credit: Courtesy Ryan Persadie

Drag academic Ryan Persadie is presenting a second part to what (we all hope) will become a series! Drag Diasporas: Indigenous Artistry, Settler Colonialism, and Queer and Trans Performance on Stolen Land reconvenes on Apr. 24 (register for free via the link) to explore the settler gaze, the de-colonial gays, performance, consent and speaking truth to power. Revel in that sublime peak experience of queerness: Really fucking pretty people saying really fucking smart things.

We love a throwback, but who’s ready for some really, really vintage porn?

El Satario

El Satario, a porn film that’s more than a hundred years old, conjures questions and rumors: Who made it? Where? How did it survive so long? Catch a screening and stay for the discussion on May 6 with Latin American cinema scholars Andrea Cuarterolo, Carolina Cappa and Leonardo Gomes—or just enjoy the free antique porn, where a satyr disturbs the playtime of a group of women, courtesy of our friends at The ArQuives.

ICYMI

Tongues Untied

Tongues Untied

Credit: Courtesy PBS

I remember sitting an inch from the tiny black and white television in the basement of my parents’ house at midnight in 1991, the volume barely perceptible even to my 16-year-old ears, watching Marlon Riggs’ film Tongues Untied on PBS, and how exciting and extraordinary it was to see this poetic, sexy, complex depiction of Black gay men’s love on screen (even if it was a tiny screen). You can watch it now (probably on a larger screen and with the volume at a normal level) on Kanopy, available free with many library cards—and by golly, you should. It’s a damn masterpiece. 


That’s the roundup for this time, friends, neighbours and visiting guest stars. Be kind, stay curious, help someone find a vaccine appointment. I’ll see you next week. Got a hot tip about new LGBT2Q+ work? Drop an email to info@xtramagazine.com or DM me, I am ready for your news.

S Bear Bergman

S. Bear Bergman is a writer, educator and advice columnist. His ninth book, Special Topics In Being A Human, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in the fall of 2021.

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