Buffy Sainte-Marie joins The 519 Virtual Gala on Oct. 25.
Buffy Sainte-Marie joins The 519 Virtual Gala on Oct. 25. Credit: Matt Barnes; Francesca Roh/Xtra
Arts & Entertainment
3 min

4 LGBTQ2 happenings to wind you up or down in the week ahead

What to watch, read, listen to, or look at: Oct. 22

What to watch:
The 56th Chicago International Film Festival

Trans seven-year-old Sasha is the subject of the French doc "Little Girl."

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival is happening online from Oct. 14 to 25. As a part of the festival’s “Out-Look” LGBTQ2 programming, there will be three films from Mexico, France and the U.S. that centre trans identity and sexuality. The French film Little Girl (Petite Fille), directed by Sébastien Lifshitz, will have its North American premiere at the festival. The feature-length documentary follows a seven-year-old trans girl named Sasha who lives in a small town in northeastern France. Her parents have accepted their child’s chosen gender and the doc follows the family as they navigate an, at times, uncomprehending world. The fest also features the world premiere of the documentary Mama Gloria, directed by Luchina Fisher, that explores the life of Chicago’s Black trans icon Gloria Allen. Also playing is the Mexican film Things We Dare Not Do (Cosas Que No Hacemos), directed by Bruno Santamaria, about a 16 year old named Ñoño who defies the gender norms of their society.

The Chicago International Film Festival’s “Out-Look” streamed programming will be available anywhere in the U.S., but a select few films are geoblocked and limited to the midwest. The films are streaming now through Oct. 25 and tickets are available on the festival’s website.

What to read:
Memorial: A Novel by Bryan Washington

Bryan Washington, the Houston-based author of the novel Lot, is releasing his latest book Memorial: A Novel on Oct. 27. Touching on complex themes like race, sexuality, betrayal, grief, family and gentrification, the novel is told through alternating POVs between two lovers, Mike and Benson. The couple is struggling to salvage their relationship as their five year anniversary approaches. Mike’s father, who lives in Japan, is dying, and Mike travels to visit him at the same time as his mother arrives for a visit. Benson is suddenly left living with his partner’s mother alone in their apartment. The couple is forced to reflect on whether love is truly enough when a relationship isn’t working out.

Memorial: A Novel by Bryan Washington will be available for purchase on Amazon in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 27.

What to listen to:
“The End of the Line” by Marcus Connolly

Manchester-based singer Marcus Connolly.
Manchester-based singer Marcus Connolly. Credit: Ben Wescott

Manchester-based bisexual alternative pop singer Marcus Connolly is releasing his latest single, “The End of the Line,” on Oct. 23. The gender fluid singer’s last album Digital Dreamland included songs like “It’s Marcus” exploring the topic of escapist culture. The main theme of his upcoming mixtape, Fresh Hell—expected in early 2021—is facing harsh realities. “The End of the Line,” the new album’s third single, explores how artistic creators are willingly submitting their lives to technology and social media. Connolly’s music spans a variety of genres, but his new work has a harder and more aggressive sound.

“The End of the Line” by Marcus Connolly will be available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify on Oct. 23.

What to look at:
The 519 Virtual Annual Gala

The 519, a community centre in downtown Toronto that serves LGBTQ2S clients, is hosting a virtual gala in support of its vital services on Oct. 25. The event will feature musical performances and appearances from acclaimed celebrities such as Elton John, Margaret Atwood, k.d. lang, Patti LuPone, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Alan Cumming, Louise Pitre, Carole Pope, Molly Johnson and Billy Newton Davis,  among others. The 519’s Green Space Festival fundraiser during Pride was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, so the centre has high hopes for this event honouring philanthropist Salah Bachir’s 65th birthday.

The 519 Virtual Annual Gala will be streaming on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. EST and tickets for the event are available on the centre’s website.