What to watch:
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is going digital this year with an 11-day virtual event starting August 13. The festival opens with a guerilla-style documentary titled Pier Kids, directed by Elegance Bratton, that centres Black queer resourcefulness and resilience. The film follows the life of Black trans woman Crystal LaBeija and other homeless queer and trans youth of colour who hang out at the Christopher Street Pier in New York City.
The festival includes 60 films by Canadian and international artists, including Jen Rainin’s Ahead of the Curve, about the founding of lesbian magazine Curve; and John Eames’ March for Dignity, about a group of LGBTQ2 activists trying to conduct the first Pride march in Tbilisi, Georgia. In addition to movie screenings, the festival includes virtual visits from filmmakers, local performing artists, virtual parties and post-screening Q&As.
What to read:
Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner
Adrienne Kisner, award-winning author of Dear Rachel Meadow, is releasing her latest novel, Six Angry Girls, on August 18. The book follows a group of high school queer girls ready to smash the patriarchy while also getting into the universities of their dreams. LGBTQ2 representation is sprinkled throughout the novel with bi, trans and lesbian characters and moments of queer discovery. Raina Petree and Millie Goodwin are struggling with senior year and family life before meeting each other and recruiting four other “angry girls” to take on their last year of high school.
What to listen to:
“Hot” by Yavin
Boston-based queer artist and singer Yavin released his new single, “Hot,” on August 12, and it’s available to stream now. The pop song explores the fantasy of crushing on someone way out of your league but having the confidence to approach them anyway. The song was inspired by Yavin’s personal experience feeling out of place around attractive men in queer nightclubs and lacking the confidence to talk to them. “Hot” is also a satirical commentary on beauty standards in the queer community because, in the singer’s words, “We should all be able to feel hot, and no space should ever make us feel otherwise!”
What to look at:
The first pan-African virtual Pride event is happening this month, organised entirely by volunteers via Zoom. Following the theme “Our stories, our voices, our Pride,” Pride Afrique will be a three-day live “storytelling experience,” running from August 14 to 16. It will tackle current LGBTQ and intersex issues in Africa, and acknowledge queer icons and history. Some of the confirmed participants include the former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae; the first out former NBA player, John Amaechi; and South Africa’s Jabu Pereira, director of queer advocacy group Iranti.
The event will also highlight diverse personal stories and feature content from individuals and organisations in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, touching on themes including gender transgression, queer parenting and inter-faith queer revolutions.