The Summer House

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 7 Comments

The Larsens are a picture perfect family from the German upper-middle class. They have everything that means comfort and should mean happiness. Business success, a stylish, light-flooded home and a full scholarship for their daughter to study in England. However, the head of the family, Markus, an architect, lives a secret, bisexual double life as his wife Christine and their eleven-year-old daughter Elisabeth drown in unendurable loneliness.

Markus realizes that he has a strong yearning for one of his daughter’s school friends, Johannes, 12, also the son of his tax penalty-bedeviled business partner, Christopher. He succeeds in getting closer to Johannes and binds the boy to himself with ever-increasing intensity. His wife is desperately aware of the emotional distance of her husband, but only her daughter Elizabeth, reacting to the sexually laden atmosphere, sees through the lies and secrets that she instinctively knows to be an growing, disruptive threat to the entire family. As Markus loses control of the situation and in a final moment of strength, pushes Johannes away, the action nevertheless moves them all remorselessly into the abyss.

Turn Off the Light

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Budding trans pop star Kim Petras has been teasing something spooky for the past few weeks with cryptic photos, and now we know why: at midnight on October 1, she dropped a banging Halloween mixtape, Turn Off the Light, Vo1. 1.

The eight-track project is a departure for Petras, whose bright and bouncy escapist pop gets twisted on tracks like “Tell Me It’s a Nightmare,” “TRANSylvania” and the title track, which features none other than Halloween queen Elvira — yes, fucking Elvira! Turn Off the Light sounds like the soundtrack to a campy 80s horror film — Thriller from a femme perspective.

It’s darker and sexier than anything Petras has released, and also features her first time singing in German (her native language) on standout “In the Next Life,” giving Petras her “Scheiße” moment on a track that fuses her pop sensibility with pounding techno.

Petras — who is currently on tour with Troye Sivan — said about the mixtape that she loves to “get stoned and listen to it in full.” It’s a new side of Petras, whose music so far has been “very bright and bubblegum, which I love…but I love all kinds of music and I have different sides to me. And I just feel like this is the way that I’m showing people that I’m not just extremely sugary, even though it has it’s really sugary moments.” You can listen to the full album for free on Spotify.

Gay Life flourished in Berlin before the Nazis snuffed it out

milkboys History & People, News & Articles 6 Comments

Last year, close to 13 million people visited Berlin, twice the number of annual visitors recorded 10 years previously. The city is positively bursting at the seams. Not many years ago, a vast number of Berlin apartments stood empty; these days, a pervasive housing shortage threatens to get worse. Berlin is in. But Berlin is also a projection surface for dreams and desires, a promise of a different, freer, better life.

Now, this Berlin enthusiasm is nothing new. Close to a century ago – as the Weimar Republic was nearing its end – Berlin was already a vibrant metropolis the likes of which could not be found anywhere else in the world.

“The city looks to me like a scintillating gem,” the American dancer and singer Josephine Baker observed.  “These big coffee shops are like ocean steamers, and the orchestras are their machines that resound all over the place, keeping it in motion. The music is everywhere.”

Visitors both German and foreign, such as the two English writers W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, felt almost magically attracted by Berlin – by the city’s great size, by its rhythm, but most of all by its gay scene. “Berlin,” Auden remarked, “is a dream for pederasts.” And Isherwood, years afterward, expressed the city’s fascination most succinctly: “To Christopher,” he wrote, “Berlin meant boys.” Everything seemed possible; everything was possible.

As the capital city of the German Empire (the Second Reich, dissolved in 1919), Berlin was already the home of a multibranched, many-sided queer subculture. In the 1920s, Berlin could offer more than a hundred cafés, bars, and taverns that were mainly frequented by queer people of all stripes.

The writer Emil Szittya remembered a visit to a transvestite bar named “Mikado”: “At the piano sat the Herr Baron Sattlergrün, who however preferred to be called ‘Baroness.’” Another legendary spot was Silhouette, a small, permanently smoke-filled pub that did a thriving business well into the wee hours of the morning. While the guests ate chicken soup, a pale young man, wearing woman’s clothes and accompanied by a blind pianist, would sing melancholy songs; Marlene Dietrich and the composer Friedrich Hollaender were two of Silhouette’s regular customers.

In the evening hours, certain parts of the Tiergarten (the large park in the middle of the city) were turned into gay playgrounds; moreover, there were veritable gay brothels, camouflaged as bathhouses or massage parlors, where men could meet and have sex.

Read on…

Periodical Political Post *71

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Queer News

Other News

Periodical Political Post *70

milkboys News & Articles 5 Comments

Queer News

Other News

Austria deems Teenage Boy not gay enough to deserve Asylum

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Austrian officials rejected an Afghan gay teenage asylum seeker because aggression isn’t ‘expected from a homosexual’, according to the report written on him by the responsible officials. The official found no grounds for fear of persecution for the 18-year-old, according to the Falter Newspaper. Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and can be punishable by death.

The assessment contained many concerns. It reportedly stated that, because the teenager got into a fight with roommates in his accommodation, he had ‘potential for aggression’. This ‘wouldn’t be expected from a homosexual’.

The report also noted: ‘The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual. Astonishingly, the report used having only a few friends and spending time alone against him. The assessment noted: ‘Aren’t homosexuals rather social?’

The 18-year-old also noted he kissed straight men. The official rejected this, saying that no straight guy would allow this to happen and would have beaten him. The Falter reported that the man came to Austria as a minor and is appealing against the decision.

This comes days after it was revealed an Iranian asylum seeker was rejected because he couldn’t explain what the six colours of the Pride flag stand for.

According to the Federal Office for Aliens and Asylum (BFA), not knowing the meaning behind the global LGBTI flag was reason enough to block his asylum request. Luckily, Austrian LGBTI group ‘Queer Base’ were able to support him through the process, and he has now been given asylum in the country.

Kim Petras, Modern Pop Princess

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In her debut music video, I don’t want it at all, German trans pop star Kim Petras sings, “I want all my clothes designer, I want someone else to buy ’em.” The video also features spoiled poster girl Paris Hilton.

“It’s just a sugar-baby anthem,” Petras said. “It’s very tongue-in-cheek. … It’s a fantasy song about if my bratty side came out and had a ball.” It may sound like a tribute to rampant materialism, but the song is actually anything but superficial. Rather, it’s an ode to teenage girl fantasy — something Petras, now 25, missed out on back then.

“I wanted to kill myself as a kid,” she candidly admits. “I wasn’t popular in school, I got bullied pretty hard … but I’m talented and I’m good at music, and that’s always how I spent my time — in my room, making music.”

At 16, Petras was the youngest person in the European Union to undergo gender-affirmation surgery (she started hormone therapy at 12). “I feel like my whole teen life was taken up by fighting for that — fighting to get surgery and fighting to get hormone therapy,” she says.

Since the surgery is usually prohibited until a teen reaches 18, Petras had to convince a medical team to make an exception in her case. “My parents really educated me that not everybody’s as lucky as me, to transition early,” Petras says. She’s thrilled, “I get to help others who are not as lucky,” and is determined to remain a trans ambassador. “The great thing about my music career is that, really, people find out about me without knowing [my history] and it’s really just about the music … but at the same time, I’ll always fight for the transgender community.”

She also isn’t willing to be judged by her gender. “That somebody is female or male, it doesn’t define them … and if somebody’s transgender, it doesn’t define them,” she says.

Her life has really always been about music. Growing up, Petras remembers her mom playing Miles Davis and Billie Holiday records. As a teen, she recalls watching a Carole King documentary and becoming “really obsessed with songwriting.” Petras had a hit single, Last Forever, in her native Germany by the time she was 16. She’s been making music for over half her life and has written over 300 original songs, leading Petras to joke that her first full-length album will really be more like her “greatest hits.”

One can certainly see shades of pop princesses past in her edgy but perfectly polished, side-ponytail sporting, bubble gum-popping aesthetic.

“I grew up with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera,” Petras explains. “And I really love everything early-Madonna.” After coming to Los Angeles at 19, Petras says her early success in Germany didn’t open doors stateside and she ended up broke and “slept on studio couches for years.” But these days, the years of blood, sweat, and tears are starting to pay off and her career is shifting into high gear. She has collaborated with artists like Charlie XCX, JoJo, Baby E, and Lil Aaron. She records on her own label, has been featured on RISE (Spotify’s artist development program), and has been streamed over 30 million times on the platform.

With her new hit single and video, Heart to Break, climbing the charts, a full-length album in the works, and a tour with Troye Sivan this fall —  Petras doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. “I’m so, so ecstatic to be doing what I’m doing,” she says. “I’ve been working up to this my whole life, like since I was 12 years old, I was on the way here — so now I’m going to enjoy it.”