October 21st, 2008



A s people may be gathering from my comparative silence, I am having a wonderful time in Liverpool in spite of having almost new voice as a result of five hours on a Virgin train breathing Richard Branson's third-rate canned air. Somehow I managed nonetheless to perform at the screening of Gwen Haworth's wonderful She's a Boy I Knew where we started off talking about the film and ended up talking about Bindel and allied matters. I was showing off a bit, I fear, but I guess that is what a superstar special guest is supposed to do.

On Saturday night, we watched Were The World Mine which was the sort of likable froth you always want as the opener for an LGBT film festival, but was also the sort of comparatively low-budget film which ends up shaming a quite specific Hollywood product. Like Were the World Mine, Hollywood's Get Over It is about a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, but that is all that the Hollywood film is about whereas the small cheap indy film is about tolerance and diversity and authenticity and the struggle for gay marriage. In spite of the differences in budget, the indy film has its own rather spectacular look in terms of costumes and makeup, where the Hollywood film is unimaginative and anodyne. The Hollywood film has very dull music, where the indy is bold and operatic even if sometimes wobbly in actual quality. The indy has a lot of attractive unknwons, whereas the Hollywood film has both Kirsten Dunst and Martin Short (which is probably the best definition of the term 'Win Some Lose Some' that I could possibly come up with). Any chance you get to see Were the World Mine should be taken - not a great or even an especially good film, but one which will send you from the cinema singing in your heart the look of some very pretty boys and gorgeous women.

On Sunday we saw How Do I Look a rather disappointing follow-up to Paris is Burning which left me feeling that I had been told so much about these people in the first film and was being allowed so little sense of who any of them actually were in the new one. One of the House Mothers, Jenny Balenciaga, mentioned being a lesbian, and yet we never got any sense of why this was any kind of big deal in the world of voguing and balls - I more or less wanted to know why it was worth mentioning and how she felt about living in a queer world where her sexuality was remarkable.In the afternoon, we'd seen Viver which I wrote about back in April and which is just as good now...

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Oh, and apparently Ben Summerskill has announced that he will not negotiate with a gun to his head.

I've always found that that is a very good time to negotiate, myself...I don't think that I will be making the call to him, because I might lose my temper. Stonewall can exclude and ignore trans people for a decade, and yet, when we actually start making such a fuss that they have to be aware of the fact, they complain about our manners. An organization named after one of OUR riots complains about our manners?!