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We Once Were Tide

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Set on the Isle of Wight, the film tells the story of Anthony and Kyle, and their last night together as Kyle moves away leaving Anthony to look after his terminally ill mother. Poetic in nature, the film is concerned with exploring the intimate and often unspoken moment in which we give something special away.

Periodical Political Post *80

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Listen

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In time for Transgender Awareness Week, activist Jake Graf unveiled a powerful new short film this week highlighting the struggles of everyday life for trans kids. Listen shows numerous trans teens and the hardships they face, such as bullying, isolation, and more. Read more…

Periodical Political Post *79

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Scotland to introduce world first queer curriculum in schools

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Scottish ids in are about to get some new lessons about queer people and historical events. Scotland has become the first country to mandate LGBTQ-centred curriculum be taught in its schools. Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney told parliament that the new education initiative will start immediately.

Schools will “teach themes like queer terminology and identities, tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, prejudice in relation to the queer community and promoting awareness of the history of queer equalities and movements.”

“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for queer equality,” Swinney said in a press statement. “I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum. Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.”

The Scottish government launched an LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group before making the decision. The group reported back with 33 recommendations and the government has said they will implement them all.

William Beckford

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Few men attained greater celebrity during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries than William Beckford (1760—1844), the wealthiest man in England.

With enormous wealth as his Aladdin’s lamp, he decided to make his Arabian dreams come true. By the time he died at the venerable age of 84, he had built the loftiest domestic residence in the world, had assembled a virtual harem of boys, had his own militia to protect his Fonthill estate of 6,000 acres, had written the first Oriental-Gothic horror novel in English literature, and had become the most scandalous connoisseur of hedonism in the modern world. His society bemusedly tolerated most eccentrics — even nouveau riche ones — but they chose to ostracize this remarkable personality, dubbing him “The Fool of Fonthill.”

Beckford’s father, twice Lord Mayor of London, was the richest man in England, with extensive holdings in the cloth industry, property, government bonds, and sugar plantations. As a result, Beckford received a brilliant education, and was widely learned in French, Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, philosophy, law, literature and physics by the age of 17.

His private piano teacher was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — at least that is the legend, too romantic to be discouraged. He was being brought up as an empire builder, but his father died when Beckford was only ten, leaving him with no political ambition, and a millionaire’s taste for pleasure

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Butterfly

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ITV drama Butterfly is a three-part series which follows the uneasy transition of 11-year-old Maxine, who no longer identifies as a boy and wants to transition. This realisation, however, isn’t something which has spawned overnight.

Maxine’s estranged parents, Vicky and Stephen, both believed his desire to dress in pink and wear earrings was a mere ‘phase’ before puberty comes around. The situation has increasingly taken a toll on their marriage, with Stephen violently lashing out over Maxine’s feminine behaviour.

While Butterfly is partially about Max becoming Maxine, it more predominantly, and successfully, taps into how this issue affects the entire family. A standout scene between Vicky and Stephen as they bicker over the right way to handle Maxine’s feelings perfectly illustrates how their confusion has turned into anguish — unknowing of whether major steps, like delaying puberty through medication, is the right call for someone who’s barely started secondary school.

It’s a difficult issue to communicate through a mainstream drama because the situation isn’t as common, or relatable, as something more widespread like having a gay child (which is defiantly addressed here via baffled grandparents). It therefore falls to the struggles of the parents to become the show’s understandable jumping-on point for many — which, through the excellent performances and thoughtful writing, is easily the biggest achievement here.

Butterfly, however, is less successful when it comes to connecting to Maxine herself. While there’s touching moments, like explaining to her mum how she wants to ‘feel like I belong’ in the right bathrooms at school, these are offset by extreme behaviour which feels like it’s prioritising shocks above all else. The sudden switch to Maxine deciding to cut herself, stopping her mum going on a date with another man, felt particularly ill-judged and cheap.

It’s also hard to connect when we rarely see Maxine enjoying private time to explore becoming herself. Aside from the occasional pose in the mirror and cut short Kylie Minogue dance, we aren’t shown a comfortable, fun Maxine where she’s free to be her true identity. Her sister, Lily, however is very likeable as the supporting sibling who helps celebrate Maxine on the playground, despite the smirks from school bullies.

While Butterfly doesn’t always hit the right notes, it’s undeniably a thoughtful and challenging drama of the likes which rarely hits mainstream TV. The remaining episodes will decide how the show will be remembered, but for now, this will be an important lifeline for many families and individuals experiencing the same issues.

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