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2 Girls, 1 Podcast ep#14 talks with lesbian werewolf author Allison Moon

This episode we talk with author and educator Allison Moon, author of a sci fi lesbian werewolf romance Lunatic Fringe and then make her comment on the Mars Hill vandalism, primary elections and QDoc. […]


QDoc Sunday film review: ‘Put This on the Map’

Put This on the Map is a documentary featuring 26 different LGBTQ youth living in East King County.  In the film the youth speak about what it means to be LGBTQ and discuss both gender expression and sexual orientation.  One of the things I enjoyed most about the film was that youth from across the LGBTQ spectrum were included.  We get to hear from youth that identify as trans, gender queer, bisexual, lesbian and gay.  They talk about their experiences with bullying, their families, coming out, school, friends, their relationships, and their hopes for the future.

The film offers good basic information but is a little too after school special-esque.  It doesn’t really delve into any specific topic as the experiences of so many youth are touched on.

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QDoc Saturday Film Review – I Am

I am is filmmaker Sonali Gulati’s coming out letter to her mother.  Eleven years after her mother’s death, Sonali explores the possibilities of how her mother might have reacted to her sexuality by returning to her childhood home in New Delhi and gathering the coming out stories of Indian queers and their parents.

Some might think a film of coming out stories from a country which only decriminalized homosexuality in 2009 would be intolerably grim.  But the film includes many heartfelt interviews with Indian parents philosophizing on parental acceptance, the meaning of unconditional love and the process of letting your children become who they are. Some of these parents showed real bravery to stick by their kids and to change their own expectations.  They’ve challenged the expectations of their extended families and a society that is very focused on heterosexual marriage.  Many are clearly still struggling with it, but there is a lot of love in this film.

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QDoc Saturday Film Review – On These Shoulders We Stand

Last night I took a friend who was visiting from New York to the airport.  We got in a great philosophical conversation about whether gay rights are the inevitable result of a free society.  At this point in history, it’s possible to view gay marriage and other advances as “just a matter of time”.  The truth is there are people who faced police brutality, unemployment, societal rejection, and death to make this conversation even possible.  There are people who still face these horrors, but that’s another film…

On These Shoulders We Stand puts us across the living room from a fabulous cross-section of the activists of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  There’s Ivy Bottini, founder and president of NOW New York.  She was sacked when the term “Lesbian Menace” was coined.

There’s Dale Reynolds, the Hollywood leading man who founded Gay Actors RAP to fight homophobia in the film industry.  Then there’s Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church who helped organize the first Pride Parade in L.A. a year after Stonewall.

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QDoc Saturday film review: ‘The Adonis Factor’

It's hard to be pretty when being pretty makes you hard.

The Adonis Factor, a film by Christopher Hines, is a look into the objectification and beautification inherent in the gay male world. Hines also brought us the movie, The Butch Factor. Both films discuss social and personal roles and image in gay culture. However, The Adonis Factor focuses more on beauty and image expectation.

I love queer documentary. I forget how narrow my perspective can be as a lesbian, and I’m always thrilled to find new beautiful pathways, and dark alleys in which to peek. I do kind of feel, that when I opened the door on this documentary, all that stood before me were boring pant suits. The emotional standpoint attempts to create empathy towards muscle ridden gay men, and remind us all that “beauty is a curse”. I can understand that breaking your back to reach a social expectation is grueling, but I’m not so sure sitting and watching an entire documentary on this one issue is eye opening.

I found the perspective narrow. Midway through, I got a sense that these men felt their pressure to work out and starve themselves was exclusive to them. There was an attitude that maybe straight people and other queer communities don’t have it quite as rough with pressure to be perfect. I did find some of the interviews to be interesting, but I couldn’t help that “I’ll give you something to cry about” feeling welling up inside me like an angry demon ready to devastate some carbs.

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Interview with Hole drummer and ‘Hit So Hard’ subject Patty Schemel

Patty Schemel

I won’t say that I’m always particularly verbally eloquent but I was a little aghast at my rambling questions posed to Hole drummer and subject of QDoc Friday night film Hit So Hard Patty Schemel. I wasn’t necessarily nervous, but I can’t deny that Hole’s 1994 album Live Through This was second only to Team Dresch as the most played tape on my Freshman year walkman. And despite any verbosity on my part it was great to hear Schemel’s take on the documentary, and I’ve included the uncut audio below, in addition to the written interview. For a brush up on the film you can read the earlier post reviewing Hit So Hard.

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qPDX: How was it coming out publicly as a musician in the 90s? Any contrast to being out personally?

Patty: I didn’t have any concerns about it. I was out with my peers and in my band. In my band it was a safe place to do that.

q: Any public backlash?

P: None that I knew about. It was a good experience. I got a lot of kids that would say thanks for coming out.

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Q Doc Sunday night film review: Becoming Chaz

Becoming Chaz - Chaz Bono and Jennifer Elia
Becoming Chaz - Chaz Bono and Jennifer Elia

Becoming Chaz - Chaz Bono and partner Jennifer Elia

Mostly famous as the daughter of Sonny and Cher, Becoming Chaz is the story of Chastity Bono’s transition to becoming Chaz Bono, more specifically, Bono’s decision to have top surgery and to come out publicly as a transman. In the process, we see Chaz deal with the difficulties in his relationship to partner Jenny, navigate the murky waters of his relationship to his mother, Cher, and take on the task of tackling the media by coming out publicly as trans. Becoming Chaz, while containing fascinating footage of the added impact of fame and publicity on a transition, is sadly a rather uninspired documentary film that feels oddly dated.

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QDoc Friday film review: ‘The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye’

Nothing says I love you, like surgically adopting your lover's face.

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye is a film by Marie Losier chronicling the relationship of Genesis P-Orridge and his wife Lady Jaye. Genesis took part in forming Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and kickstarting the industrial movement. Lady Jaye was his love and collaborator. Epic romance and art were among their accomplishments… so was looking alike. Man, if you think you and your partner are codependent, check these two out! They met in a fetish dungeon, and spent years having plastic surgery to look more like one another. Basically, their one-ification was their gay baby.

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QDoc Friday night film review: ‘Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel’

Patty Schemel with Hole, for Rolling Stone in the 1995 issue where she came out. From L Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Schemel, Melissa Auf der Maur

For any rock fan who was a teen of the 90s Seattle grunge reigned supreme and Hole was its seat of feminine power. The seminal grrl grunge group was fronted but the unmistakable, if not always likeable, Courtney Love, wife and baby momma to the most well known grunge persoanlity of all time,, the late Kurt Cobain, frontman for Nirvana. But as big a personality as Love was, all the little baby dykes had eyes only for the lady behind the drums. Patty Schemel was a kick ass ginger drummer with heart, and she was gay.

She was also a drug addict, alcoholic, friend, and now wife and mother. Five years ago, at the beginning of her new sober life, she came across archival footage taken during Hole’s 1995 world tour and thought to digitize the memories. Instead, it became, Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel a documentary of her amazing journey.

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QDoc opening night film review: ‘Arias with a Twist: The Docufantasy’

Scene from the stage production of 'Arias with a Twist'

The dream of the 80s is alive in Joey Arias, or so it seems from the waxing nostalgic at the beginning of Arias with a Twist:The Docufantasy, Q Doc’s opening night documentary that follows Arias in his latest performance, a collaboration with classically trained puppeteer Basil Twist.

The first 20 minutes of interviews with Arias’ 80s hipster pals is  tender, and I certainly sympathize with the sadness over the commodification of performance art, queerness and weirdness that has come about with the likes of Lady Gaga etc. Indeed, Joey Arias was already a brilliant Gaga-esque diva before Stephanie Germanotta was a glint in her parents eyes.

But as cute and tender as it is, it starts to get a bit tiresome. Luckily, the film moves on pretty quickly to its introduction of collaborator Basil Twist.

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