Periodical Political Post *74

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Violet Vixen

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Like many other kids Leo is a big fan of car racing. When he was looking for racing shows on Netflix one day he found something very different though: RuPaul’s Drag Race. “Oh my god, I need to do this!” he thought and so he did.

Fast forward to today and he has just won an award celebrating young people in his hometown. For his own drag. He is from Corby, a town in the county of Northamptonshire, England and is now known as Violet Vixen on his YouTube channel

Every year, the town celebrates young people at the Spirit of Corby Awards. After receiving the award, 12-year-old Leo said he hoped to inspire people to be themselves. “I feel shocked and really proud,” he told BBC.

Headspace

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For some not affected by it, it’s probably hard to visualise the type of discomfort and small acts of discrimination transgender people face on a daily basis.

Public bathrooms are an easy one to identify because of the months-long controversy surrounding them, but the potential danger also extends to places like locker rooms and doctors’ offices. In the short film Headspace, trans individuals think through day-to-day obstacles that can arise.

Periodical Political Post *73

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The Non-Binary Band Gaylord fights Nazis with Black Metal

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Unfortunately, black metal — the genre of metal known for heavy distortion, fast tempos and growled vocals — has a bit of an image problem. A lot of the best-known bands, like Burzum, are known for being murderous white supremacists. But thankfully, there’s been a backlash growing.

Recently, the band Neckbeard Deathcamp went viral for song titles like “Incel Warfare” and “The Fetishization of Asian Women Despite a Demand for a Pure White Race.” But they’re not alone, and the metal band Gaylord is making what it calls an “enby black metal assault” (enby stands for N.B., as in non-binary or genderqueer).

In a new interview with Noisey, the lead creator behind the metal band Gaylord stepped out of anonymity. It turns out Gaylord is the project of Richard Weeks, a non-binary person known for their label, Blackened Death Records, and other bands Olivia Neutered John and Suicide Wraith.

“I knew when I was a young teenager that I didn’t fit in my skin very well. I always felt like I was meant to be born a woman. And now, at 36 years old, I am only discovering the right words to describe who I am,” Weeks says. “I identify now as non-binary. I had no idea this term even existed when I was a kid. I just felt … different.”

Gaylord often uses humour in their songs, even though Weeks takes the music and politics very seriously. We particularly like the lyrics of “Summoning Krieg Facebook Legions”:

“We rule this kingdom / Glorious unchained white race / Only listen to NSBM [National Socialist Black Metal] / And J-pop from my Japanese animes.”

Weeks says, “I think that there are multiple angles to tackle fascism and hatred. You have the ‘serious’ bands like Dawn Ray’d and Underdark writing very serious songs about destroying fascism — which is great. What you have with Neckbeard Deathcamp and Gaylord is a different approach. There is a bit of comedy rolled in — absurd comedy. I mean, I don’t think we’ll ever get to drown Richard Spencer in Baja Blast, but seeing that man get punched so hard he spiralled into the land of obscurity is equally as lovely.”

You can buy Gaylord’s album for any price you choose over at Bandcamp or listen to it on Spotify.

No Love (Like First Love)

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Nearly eight years ago, a timid 12-year-old walked onto the audition stage of Britain’s Got Talent and stunned the nation by belting out his cover of ‘Feeling Good’. Now 19-years-old, Ronan Parke is back with his comeback single, No Love (Like First Love), and it’s impressive.

The new single has all the hallmarks of a successful release, but no-one saw just how good it would be. The teenager’s voice has matured a lot since his first steps in the industry, but the youthful power is still very much there, and it is glorious in No Love (Like First Love).

Periodical Political Post *68

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Will Albus Dumbledore be gay on the big Screen after all?

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In January, David Yates, director of the Harry Potter spinoff sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, said his film will “not explicitly” show the homosexuality of Albus Dumbledore, the crossover character from the original Harry Potter book series who appears as his younger self. News that the upcoming film wouldn’t definitely make Dumbledore gay made some queer fans very upset.

But now Jude Law, the actor playing Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts, has hinted that future films might reveal Dumbledore’s sexuality. Of course, considering there’s five more films left in the Fantastic Beasts series, it’s unclear when this Jude Law gay prediction might ever prove true.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Law says, “As with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you; he’s multifaceted.” He continues, “What you’ve got to remember is this is only the second Fantastic Beasts film in a series, and what’s brilliant about J.K. Rowling’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time.”

Law adds, “You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally, which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.” Law adds that his film’s character doesn’t even have any scenes with Grindelwald, the evil wizard who we know Dumbledore eventually develops feelings for.

In October 2007, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, revealed she had long envisioned Dumbledore as gay. According to Rowling, Dumbledore — headmaster of the series’ wizarding school, Hogwarts — hadn’t been explicitly gay in the books because his love for his wizarding associate Grindelwald ended so tragically. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a duel to stop him from becoming a magical Hitler, basically.

Since his one romantic attraction had ended tragically, Rowling claims, Dumbledore lived a solitary life for the rest of his days, free of any outward romantic or sexual attractions.

Queer fans have long felt divided about Rowling’s claim. While some were happy to have a major character in a massively popular fantasy book series be gay, others claim Rowling “queer-baited” queer fans by claiming Dumbledore is gay without providing anything explicit to back that up.

After all, is it really queer representation if a character is never actually shown to be queer, only said to be so offhandedly by his or her creator? Especially considering that Rowling pulled the same stunt on several other characters, making them bi-curious, black and otherwise diverse after the fact.