Cops at Pride

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It took half a century, but this LGBT Pride month, the New York police department finally apologized for the infamous 1969 raid on the Stonewall gay bar. Some queer New Yorkers had a simple response: apology not accepted.

“It was a symbolic PR stunt,” said Colin P Ashley, a local queer black activist. “The NYPD is still an oppressive force in so many lives.” Ashley is part of Reclaim Pride, a coalition that wants more than a 50-year-late apology. The group wants police removed from Pride altogether.

Queer and trans activists across the US are engaging in “cops out of Pride” efforts this month, with protests and alternative “cop-free” events that seek to recognize the ongoing police mistreatment of LGBT people. These groups are pushing back against corporate-sponsored parades that embrace police in the name of “inclusion” and “unity” – and return to the radical and riotous roots of the movement.

“Police have often been a force of terror for queer and trans communities,” said Malkia Devich Cyril, a queer activist and leader in the group Movement for Black Lives, who said they won’t be attending San Francisco Pride due to the way police and corporations have co-opted it.

“The efforts to remove policing from Pride are really efforts to ensure safety for the communities that are there. It’s a protective act. It’s an act of resistance,” said Cyril, whose mother was a member of the Black Panthers. “It’s an act that attempts to restore some measure of safety to our rights to organize.”

Read on…

YouTuber Daniel Howell came out

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Daniel Howell, a YouTuber from the UK with 6.5 million subscribers came out in a video titled Basically I’m gay. “We live in a heteronormative world,” the 27-year-old says. “What this means is that most people are presumed to be straight so, if you’re not, at some point you have to come out. So yep: I’m here, I’m queer and don’t worry, I’m still filled with existential fear.”

In the 45-minute video, Howell goes on to explain his coming out journey, why he has decided to do so now, and just what queerness means to him.

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Periodical Political Post *103

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Lasting Marks

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The story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain was told by the police, the prosecution and the tabloid press — but not by those in the dock.

Lasting Marks is the story of a group of men, brought together through their shared sexual desires, and the vice investigation (named ‘Operation Spanner’) that followed when the police acquired a video tape of these acts being performed, Lyne delves into a somewhat forgotten, historic case in this informative and engaging film.

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Just Charlie

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In middle England, Charlie is a kid with a bright future as a football player, which his rather pushy father Paul is thrilled about. But as puberty dawns, Charlie is beginning to understand something that’s not easy to express: inside, Charlie is a girl stuck in a boy’s body. Her mother Sue and older sister Eve do their best to help, but Paul can’t cope. And neither can Charlie’s best pal Tommy.

The screenplay never simplifies this situation, pulling the audience right into Charlie’s circle of friends and family, which gently confronts us about our reactions on a variety of levels. Meanwhile, Rebekah Fortune directs scenes with an attention to the characters, which internalises the issue while drawing out earthy emotions and some edgy humour. It’s also a rare film that touches honestly on such a range of prejudice, from the subtle (“let’s wait to tell people”) to verbal bullying to hideous physical violence.

The point of the story is that Charlie is still the same person her family and friends have always loved. So the problems are coming from them, not her, as they fight against their own reactions to the fact that she is being true to who she is. It’s a simple point made with bracing authenticity, challenging the viewer to look inside and see that Charlie’s “revelation” is no different than what any of us have to do as we grow up and demand that people accept us for who we are.

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this sensitive British drama tackles a hugely important topic head on, never talking down to the audience. It’s a bold film that encourages the viewer to understand the truth that a trans person is not changing who they are. The film is a cry for compassion that recognises how difficult it can be to overcome outside pressure and do the right thing.

via Shadows on the Wall