Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tom Atwood: Queer Heroes; Baby Jane Parody; Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race

Tom Atwood: Queer Heroes

I think the only thing I love more than books is good art. The world can be such a dismal place, but art makes it so much better. You can lose yourself in a good work of art almost the same way you can in a book.

Here's a story about Tom Atwood and a series he did about Queer Heroes:

Photographer Tom Atwood’s second book is a feast for the eyes, propping up LGBTQ heroes who break the mold. Over the course of fifteen years, he documented these intriguing and eccentric personalities in their own homes for Kings & Queens in Their Castles.

You can check it out here. I love all the photos shown. It's interesting to see Jim McGreevey after all this time. I'll never forget the day he made the announcement that he was a gay American when he was Governor of New Jersey. I didn't see that one coming. I'd seen him in person at a parade in Lambertville, NJ a few months earlier and he looked like the typical straight married man.

Baby Jane Parody

It's no secret that there's a generation of gay men who are devoted to the cult classic Bette Davis/Joan Crawford movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I had one baby boomer friend once who could quote the film almost line for line.

Here's a story about a parody of the film that was done a while ago.

Rolling Stone has unearthed a 20-year-old short film by David LaChapelle that is shockingly relevant to today. It’s a Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? parody reimagined with Courtney Love and Madonna impersonators.

The grotesque film was shot back in 1996, when both women were at peak points in their careers. Courtney was rock-and-roll’s “it” girl and a raging mess, and Madonna was right on the cusp of clinching icon status and wasn’t about to let anyone get in her way. The two couldn’t have been more different, or more similar.

You can check that out here.

Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race

They tried to turn this story into something depressing and political, but I don't like that kind of shoddy journalism. Don't tell me how to feel or think. I'd rather look at RuPaul's Drag Race as a means of good entertainment that people enjoy watching. And, it shows a side to gay culture a lot of people don't normally get a chance to see.

With that said, here are 8 reasons to celebrate the 9th season of RuPaul's Drag Race.

Queer children typically don’t have queer parents, so we only pass down our stories when we can find each other. Since the AIDS crisis decimated a generation of queer men, it became even harder to link us to our rich, vibrant past. Ru helps maintain that connection by teaching the children about living legends like John Waters, cultural documents like Paris Is Burning and significant events like the Stonewall Riots. The queer community has traveled a long, hard road, and Drag Race honors the people who got us here. 

You can check this out here. I'd also like to mention that not all of us identify as "queer," but we still enjoy watching RuPaul's Drag Race from time to time.  And that's a celebration of diversity in itself.

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