It’s Inside Out season again. That wonderful time of year just before summer hits when a bunch of gays don’t mind packing into theatres across the city to see some of the best in queer cinema. Okay, it’s also about the parties and sometimes getting to see two people of the same gender having hot sex on a giant screen, but I digress.
There are some fantastic films at this year’s fest, and I encourage you to check out our previews for a snapshot of some of the finest. But there’s one film in particular, simple and silly as it is, that struck me as extra special: a documentary called Meet the Glamcocks. It’s a story about a wacky bunch of gays who join forces at the Burning Man festival to build Glamcocks – a high-energy homo hangout and camp for gay men and women to meet, dance, party and travel to another universe with the help of various barbiturates.
It’s not the best movie at the festival. Yet it emphasizes the most important aspect of Inside Out: celebrating being an outsider. The massive 10-day event showcases what makes being an outsider so great. It erects a huge freak flag, right up beside the rainbow version we’ve all become used to.
Even with Inside Out’s hard-hitting and often disturbing documentaries about the struggles of gay people across the planet (see Valentine Road, Taboo Yardies and Born This Way), viewers usually leave the screenings with a sense of deep, fierce pride. There are inspiring films that make us want to fight. These are balanced with lighter reminders of gay history – films about Divine, Peaches and Buck Angel. But the main point still stands: being an outsider is the best way to be.
Also on this month is a new play at Buddies, Of a Monstrous Child. It’s a show about Gaga, and its glamorous cast is on our cover. The play explores the cultural icons that influenced Mother Monster and her rise to fame. At the end of the day, it’s a freak parade, showcasing a small army of outcasts who captured our imaginations and made it big.
Finally, there’s me: former editor of Fab (RIP) and now arts editor at Xtra. Over the past few weeks while transitioning into my new role, I often felt like an outcast. Though most of us work in the same office, it’s a different world at Xtra -but one that I’ve landed in quickly, with solid and heavy feet. Within my first couple weeks, everything came full circle and I was reminded once again how good it feels to live on the outside looking in. Xtra‘s been doing what it does for decades and is proud of its outsider real estate. The paper has watchtowers across the country looking in on, and keeping readers aware of, what’s going on at the periphery and in the centre.
With Xtra‘s new and expanded arts section, I hope to add a few more watchtowers, but with fresh neon paint jobs, some comfy stools and a bar in each one. The city has a lot of talented queer men and women, and I look forward to shining a spotlight on them to celebrate their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent – inside out.