Trans Dance Artist Sean Dorsey’s ‘Boys In Trouble’ Is An Urgent Commentary On Contemporary Masculinity: WATCH

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The Sean Dorsey Dance Company  today announced its 15th anniversary home season – a return engagement of its acclaimed dance work, Boys in Trouble at Z Space (March 14-16) – along with a 20-city U.S. tour, a full-length documentary, the 18th annual ‘Fresh Meat Festival” of transgender and queer performance (June 20-22, San Francisco), and other celebratory achievements to mark the modern dance company’s 15th anniversary.

Over the last 15 years, Dorsey,​ the award-winning transgender dancer, choreographer, writer and activist and his highly-regarded dance company ​have had a profound impact on the performing arts landscape. Recognized as the nation’s first transgender choreographer, Dorsey has left an indelible mark in modern dance for the creation and staging of powerful, deeply human dances and his tireless, trailblazing activism.

Towleroad spoke to Dorsey about his upcoming show.

TLRD: Tell me a bit about Boys in Trouble and how it’s evolved.

Sean Dorsey: Boys in Trouble is a full-bodied, high-velocity takedown of toxic masculinity. The show is a mixture of gorgeous full-throttle dance, theater, raw emotion and exquisite queer partnering. Sean Dorsey Dance is known for our signature fusion of dance and theater, and for making modern dance that people can actually UNDERSTAND and relate to. 

We’re an all-queer company, and I’m transgender: the show puts a trans and queer lens onto themes like gender, body shame, violence, Black queer love, whiteness and posturing. We engage in a LOT of humor onstage, like our sendup of all things “macho” and an irreverent take on “butch” queerness.

I made this work in response to this moment in America. Contemporary American masculinity is profoundly unhealthy – for all of us, including (even especially) LGBTQ people. We’re not immune from the brutal pressures of gender and masculinity, whether cis or trans or nonbinary; bi, lesbian, gay or queer. We inherit and perpetuate these toxic models of how to perform gender.

Like all my dances, I created the show while working closely with trans and LGBTQ communities: I spent a couple of years traveling the US and meeting up with folks, holding community forums, and teaching trans-supportive dance workshops. All the themes that arose in those rooms and conversations inspired the final show onstage.

Right now, we’re on a 20-city international tour of BOYS IN TROUBLE, bringing us from Stockholm to Los Angeles to Atlanta to Maui. And the audience response is extraordinary, just extraordinary. People tell us they are moved so deeply, and really see themselves and their experience in the work.

The show itself is a total marathon physically and emotionally to perform – it’s 90 minutes of sweaty, sweaty dancing and vulnerability.

What’s been the most significant change (or changes) you’ve seen since beginning your dance company 15 years ago?

I grew up never seeing a single person like me in dance. I never knew or heard of a single transgender modern dance choreographer, dancer, teacher, anything. So it was a lot of lonely years of making my own path without peers, without a mentor.

Young people today can’t imagine what it was like only 15 or 20 years ago for trans people. So one of the biggest changes I’ve seen is in culture: there are so many out and proud gender-nonconforming, trans and non-binary artists and activists receiving a level of recognition and support – which is beautiful! 15 years ago that was unthinkable.

And 15 years ago, almost no one was putting transgender artists on the nation’s stages. That’s one of the main reasons I founded my nonprofit Fresh Meat Productions in 2002: while I myself struggled against the transphobic glass ceiling, I saw other trans artists around me struggling too. 

I wanted to create a movement of trans artists – and a vehicle for us to work together and lift each other up in solidarity. All these years later, I’m so proud that under my artistic direction, Fresh Meat Productions has commissioned, presented and paid over 500 transgender, gender-nonconforming and queer artists. Sean Dorsey Dance is Fresh Meat’s resident company, and one of our signature events is the annual June FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL of trans and queer performance, which centers trans/gender-nonconforming/queer artists of color.

What sort of headwinds did you face as the first [openly] trans artist in your profession?

From the beginning, I have had to work 10 times as hard and prove myself twice as much just to get in the door. Because there was no one else like me, cisgender presenters and dance critics had no context to understand me and my work. Just because I was trans, they’d dismiss me and assume I was a “drag artist” without ever bothering to see my work or realize that I actually made professional concert dances that had won me many awards.

When I went to dance school in my 20s, I started choreographing. From the beginning, my work was openly queer, and featured my trans body with elements of story and text and theater. Early on, I got called into the Director’s office and was chastised for making people “uncomfortable” with my work; later the director withheld my graduation certificate.

I have had to endure dance “critics” writing “reviews” that focused not on my choreography, but instead scrutinized my transgender body: writing about how I have wide hips, how my reconstructed nipples are larger than cis men’s nipples, just crazy stuff.

And because virtually all dance studios/spaces have zero trans awareness, there is almost never a bathroom or changing room that trans and gender-nonconforming people can legally or safely use. This keeps us out of dance spaces, and this keeps us from dancing.

I’ve toured to 30 cities, but still today I am at risk because in some cities, as a transgender person I can’t pee legally or safely in an airport, restaurant or even backstage itself.

Today, trans artists are still challenged by the fact that everyone with power and decision-making control in the dance field is cisgender. Cisgender leaders have yet to step up and call the continued total exclusion of gender-nonconforming bodies, voices and leadership in dance the CRISIS that it is. My program TRANSform Dance names and responds to this crisis with education, engagement and advocacy. 

I feel so, so blessed to be living the life I want to lead, making the art I am passionate about, teaching dance to trans and gender-nonconforming folks, and supporting other artists. We have a long way to go, but I count my blessings every day. I love my life.

Watch the clip to Boys in Trouble below.

Photos by: Lydia Daniller

The post Trans Dance Artist Sean Dorsey’s ‘Boys In Trouble’ Is An Urgent Commentary On Contemporary Masculinity: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Justin Bieber, Brian Kenny, Beyonce Sneezes, ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin Remembered, and More: HOT LINKS

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FRIDAY FUNNY Beyonce sneezes.

CRIKEY! Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin would’ve turned 57 today. Today’s Google Doodle is in his honor.

“Today’s Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognised as the most extensive of any conservationist,” Terri Irwin, the wife of Steve, wrote reports Mashable.

“We are so proud that his legacy lives on, as that was his greatest wish. He once said, ‘I don’t care if I’m remembered, as long as my message is remembered.’” 

Irwin died after being stung in the heart by a venomous sting ray while shooting the documentary Ocean’s Deadliest in 2006. He was 44.

ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN But this valiant LGBT crusader is on a 600 mile crusade–by foot–to persuade the Methodist Church to allow same sex marriage.

The Knox reports: Helen Ryde is a devout, gay United Methodist on a 600-mile personal prayer journey.  Her trip across four states comes days before United Methodists from around the world consider if their denomination should allow same-sex weddings and LGBTQ clergy. Ryde’s traveling from her western North Carolina home to St. Louis, Missouri, where she’ll attend the UMC 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, which is Saturday-Tuesday. On Tuesday, Ryde stood on the white-columned porch of East Knox County’s 160-year-old Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church to pray a short, impassioned prayer and leave a ‘letter of love.’”

ON THE RACKS Kenneth in the 212 has the latest round up on LGBTQ printed matter from around the country including the hot Gay Times cover below.

BELIEB IN YOURSELF Justin Bieber looks to be in great spirits while heading out in the Big Apple, according to Just Jared. This is only a week after talking about his depression. “He was joined by wife Hailey Bieber for that outing, who stayed warm in a long peach coat with white sneakers and colorful laces.”

FOOTBALL HOOKER INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution that stemmed from the Orchids of Asia bus, reports DListed. “That bust is part of a greater sting on massage parlors that are really a front for a human trafficking ring that stretched from China to Florida. A warrant was issued for his arrest with Florida state attorneys and will also be sent to his house in Massachusetts. Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr says there is video evidence of Bob involved in sex acts on two occasions, and, uh, I’ll just take his word for it — and also will be looking for Candid Camera the next time I go for a massage. Bob owns a house at the Breakers in Palm Beach, and he would get a driver to take him the 20 miles up to Jupiter for his ‘spa retreat,’” according to the police report.”

“Human trafficking is horrific, and these women working in the massage parlor went through fucking hell with manipulation…but this is such an avoidable thing for a fucking billionaire – especially one who visited Meek Mill in prison and seemed like an OK guy despite wearing this heinous chain:”

IS THE POLICE NARRATIVE ABOUT JUSSIE SMOLLET kosher? Clebitchy reports his legal team’s doubts: “Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” Smollett’s legal team said in the statement. “The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr. Smollett is a young manof impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”

CATURDAY ON FRIDAY From our friend at Shakesville.

COVER STAR Brian Kenney is ripped.

View this post on Instagram

HOOSIER DADDY

A post shared by BRIAN P. KENNY (@briankennny) on

The post Justin Bieber, Brian Kenny, Beyonce Sneezes, ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin Remembered, and More: HOT LINKS appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with solicitation of prostitution, per Florida police. What we know so far:

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An arrest warrant has been issued for the highly visible NFL figurehead.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting a prostitute, according to police officials in Jupiter, Florida. He’s now wanted by police only weeks after his team won its sixth Super Bowl.

The charges are part of a wide-scale prostitution bust in the southeastern Florida town. Kraft was one of 25 individuals to be observed by police at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, one of five local institutions under police surveillance for several months. An arrest warrant for the for the longtime Patriots owner, who was reportedly twice caught on camera involved in sex acts at the massage parlor, is expected to be issued Monday. If convicted, he’ll face up to 120 days in jail.

That warrant will be sent to his permanent residence in Massachusetts, and he’ll have the opportunity to either turn himself in or send a lawyer as his representative. Kraft denied the charges in a brief statement released by his legal counsel Friday.

“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

What happens to Kraft now?

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder hinted at a major name in a Tuesday press conference detailing his department’s investigation into a human trafficking ring. That name was Kraft, who owns property in nearby Palm Beach and allegedly had his chauffeur drive him to the spa for the acts that eventually led to his charges. Snyder’s task force has made 165 arrests in a case the sheriff says “go[es] from here to New York to China, in Florida from here to Orange County … I think it’s very safe to say without any hyperbole that this is the tip of the iceberg.”

“They were cooking on the back steps of the business. These women were sleeping in massage parlors, on the massage tables and had no access to transportation,” said Synder, who noted victims averaged eight clients a day. “If you do the math, that is about 1,500 men a year, with no days off.”

Kraft’s solicitation charge typically results in a diversionary program regarding the dangers of prostitution before the charges are then dropped. However, the Patriots owner’s high profile suggests his upcoming arrest could be anything but standard. Even if officials clear his record in south Florida, he’ll still have to deal with the NFL.

What will the NFL do?

Kraft’s role in a sex trafficking ring, even a minor one with potentially no knowledge of the ring itself, is certain to bring down heavy discipline from a league that has been eager to clean up its image. Friday’s charges are a clear violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, and will likely lead to a suspension and significant fine.

If that happens, it would make Kraft the first owner to be disciplined since Jim Irsay was arrested under suspicion of DUI and drug possession in 2014. While the Colts owner was given a year of probation from a local judge after pleading guilty to the charges, he was also suspended by the NFL for six games and fined $500,000 for his transgression.

The NFL says it is monitoring the situation.

This story will be updated as details emerge.


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Patriots are biggest winners in NFL’s compensatory draft picks

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The Patriots, Cardinals, and Washington all earned an extra four picks in this year’s draft.

The 2019 NFL Draft order is officially set, and the New England Patriots just got a bit richer. The two teams that finished the 2018 season at Super Bowl 53 were each granted a pair of compensatory third-round picks to add an extra bow to superlative seasons. Only the Patriots will get to keep both of those picks, though.

One of the two third-round picks for the Rams belongs to the Jaguars. Los Angeles traded the rights to its earliest compensatory pick to Jacksonville for Dante Fowler, Jr. in October, so the Jaguars will get the No. 98 overall selection

The league awarded its annual spread of compensatory picks Friday, awarding bonus selections to teams negatively affected by free agency last spring. These extra 32 picks finalized this year’s draft order, bringing the festivities up to 254 picks and giving the Cardinals the opportunity to bookend the draft and take Mr. Irrelevant with the final selection.

Arizona, New England and Washington were each awarded the maximum four extra selections after losing several free agents last spring. The Rams, Vikings, and Bengals all gleaned three additional selections from the league’s proprietary compensatory formula.

Here’s the full list of extra picks to be awarded at the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Round 3, pick 96: Washington
  • Round 3, Pick 97: Patriots
  • Round 3, pick 98: Rams (belongs to the Jaguars)
  • Round 3, pick 99: Rams
  • Round 3, pick 100: Panthers
  • Round 3, pick 101: Patriots
  • Round 3, pick 201: Ravens
  • Round 4, pick 135: Colts
  • Round 4, pick 136: Cowboys
  • Round 4, pick 137: Falcons
  • Round 4, pick 138: Eagles
  • Round 5, pick 171: Giants
  • Round 5, pick 172: Falcons
  • Round 5, pick 173: Washington
  • Round 6, pick 205: Patriots
  • Round 6, pick 206: Washington
  • Round 6, pick 207: Cardinals
  • Round 6, pick 208: Eagles
  • Round 6, pick 209: Vikings
  • Round 6, pick 210: Bengals
  • Round 6, pick 211: Bengals
  • Round 6, pick 212: 49ers
  • Round 6, pick 213: Bengals
  • Round 6, pick 214: Chiefs
  • Round 7, pick 247: Vikings
  • Round 7, pick 248: Cardinals
  • Round 7, pick 249: Cardinals
  • Round 7, pick 250: Vikings
  • Round 7, pick 251: Rams
  • Round 7, pick 252: Patriots
  • Round 7, pick 253: Washington
  • Round 7, pick 254: Cardinals

Explain compensatory picks to me, please.

Compensatory picks are the league’s way of restoring a little bit of competitive balance when teams lose more in free agency than they take in. Officials award these bonus selections at the end of the third through seventh rounds based on the disparity between players who left a team in free agency and those who signed. In total, 32 picks are awarded each year, with teams suffering the greatest losses earning bonus picks at the end of Day 2.

While the NFL’s formula for awarding these picks isn’t public, it values players based primarily on their salary with their new team. If a team loses a player who goes on to sign a deal for $10 million annually and replaces him with a low-cost veteran making $1 million per year, that team would likely be in line for a third-round compensatory selection. This gives teams a low-cost way to rebuild after free agent losses — though the compensatory picks don’t kick in until the following season.

In 2018, 10 players signed contracts with new teams that averaged at least $12 million per season. But while the Vikings lost two such players — Case Keenum and Sam Bradford — they also signed Kirk Cousins at $28 million annually, which reduced the team’s spread to three selections, all in the sixth round or later.

Meanwhile, the Patriots lost Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler to outside bidders while making Adrian Clayborn’s two-year, $10 million deal their biggest free agent acquisition. As a result, they’ve earned the biggest draft boost of any team, with a pair of extra third rounders and picks in the sixth and seventh rounds as recompense.


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5 dream trades we want to see this NFL offseason

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We’ve got the perfect landing spots for players like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and Derek Carr.

The Los Angeles Rams didn’t win the Super Bowl, but they came as close. The 2018 runner-ups had a remarkable season, and it was built on a strong, youthful core and several big-name additions through free agency and trades. The Rams went all-out.

Trades are often pipe dreams for fans, but they’re happening more frequently in the NFL. Hot off the Rams’ success, you can expect teams to make splashy moves on the trade market this offseason.

There are a lot of potential trades that make sense — perhaps Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.? — but rather than talk about what trades we think are going to happen, we’re going to talk about the ones we WANT to happen.

Odell Beckham Jr. to the 49ers

The 49ers and Giants aren’t out-of-division rivals to the extent of, say, the Cowboys, but the 49ers have some history with the Giants that make the team a natural enemy of San Francisco’s fans. That’s only a small part of why I, a 49ers fan, would love to have Beckham (the January 2012 NFC Championship Game still haunts me).

He is a fit for essentially any offense in the NFL, and Kyle Shanahan would love to have him on hand for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019. Beckham would help them be competitive immediately, too. The team has both the cap space and draft capital to make a deal for him, and decent supporting receivers that could flourish with Beckham covered by multiple defensive backs in Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and tight end George Kittle. — James Brady

Antonio Brown to the Cardinals; Patrick Peterson to the Steelers

The Cardinals’ eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback isn’t looking for a trade anymore. Peterson even apologized to Arizona fans for asking for one in the first place. But if the team’s inability to get wins was the reason for his frustration in 2018, he should probably buckle up for more losing in 2019. So let’s give him his escape and send him to a contender that could use a boundary cornerback to start opposite Joe Haden.

As compensation, the Steelers could send Brown to the Cardinals. The receiver can get a ton of targets in Kliff Kingsbury’s presumably pass-happy offense and give Josh Rosen another much-needed weapon.

If the Cardinals and Steelers wait until after June 1 to make this swap, Pittsburgh would save more than $15 million in cap space and absorb $11.25 million of Peterson’s salary. That’d make the money of the trade even enough that both teams could afford the deal. Let’s do it. — Adam Stites

Derek Carr to the Jaguars

I’m not as interested in what this means for the Jaguars — buying low on a quarterback who was an MVP candidate in 2016 — as what it means for the Raiders. Jon Gruden’s first year in Oakland was defined by his willingness to tear down an existing team and ship away its stars build a franchise in his image. And trading away Carr means that imagine could be west cost supervillain.

Imagine, Gruden — a noted quarterback connoisseur — searching through 2019’s NFL Draft prospects before settling on his franchise building block with the No. 4 pick. A dynamic dual-threat quarterback who can potentially run a 4.3-second 40-yard-dash. A former Heisman winner, perhaps.

That’s right, what better way for his Raiders to leave the city of Oakland than by stealing away its baseball team’s 2018 first-round draft pick. Shipping away Carr allows Gruden and team owner Mark Davis to give the franchise’s former home one last giant middle finger by drafting Kyler Murray, the player who could have been the Athletics’ cornerstone centerfielder. And it all starts with finding Carr a good home — like with a Jacksonville team with a powerful enough defense to cover up his recent shortcomings. — Christian D’Andrea

Josh Rosen to the Buccaneers (but really, anywhere)

Like ships passing in the night, Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury have, regretfully, never gotten a chance to couple up as a QB-coach duo. That could — nay, should — end in a few months. They deserve to have a chance, to see what kind of magic they can work together.

That’d also mean the Cardinals would have to jettison the quarterback they used a first-round pick on last year. Josh Rosen’s rookie season was slightly above the Nathan Peterman line: He completed just 55.2 percent of his passes and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 11:14. Blame the Cardinals for most of that, though. Their offense didn’t do Rosen any favors, ranking last in about every metric that matters.

The best thing for Rosen would be to get a fresh start, and what better place than with a former Cardinals head coach — and one who has a history of developing quarterbacks? With Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay, Rosen would get a chance to hone his skills while not being under pressure to start right away. He’d also be comfortable with the Bucs’ offensive coordinator: Byron Leftwich, who took over the same position with the Cardinals midway through the season when Mike McCoy was fired

Not only that, but Rosen would be valuable insurance in case Jameis Winston still can’t put it all together. Then the Bucs could see, up close, another young quarterback and decide if they want to move on from Winston after 2019.

Really, though, Rosen can land anywhere else as far as I’m concerned. Just stop being the roadblock that keeps Kyler and Kliff from being together. — Sarah Hardy

Leonard Williams to the Falcons

The Jets and the Falcons are two teams that are kind of on different ends of spectrum. Both teams have a quarterback they believe in, but the Jets aren’t as close to competing for a championship as the Falcons are. New York could acquire more draft picks for the 2019 and 2020 drafts by sending away one of their only valuable pieces not named Sam Darnold or Jamal Adams.

Leonard Williams falls into that category. Williams hasn’t turned into the dominant defensive tackle that the Jets expected when they selected him sixth overall in 2015, but he’s still a solid player. Currently, he might be more useful to a team like Atlanta that’s one solid defensive tackle away from having one of the best units in the league.

Grady Jarrett, Leonard Williams, and Deadrin Senat would instantly be a fantastic trio of defensive linemen — and the Jets could get something in return for him if they aren’t interested in extending his contract. — Charles McDonald


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Who Will Win at This Year’s Oscars? A Preview and Predictions

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Who will win the 91st annual Oscars?

To describe this 91st Oscar season as “cataclysmic” might sound hyperbolic, but if you’ve been paying attention you’ll forgive the D-R-A-M-A in that adjective. The year has been chalk full of embarrassing Academy missteps like not properly vetting Kevin Hart as their announced host, and the dumb “popular movie” category they floated and were ridiculed for.

All year long the current leadership of the Academy has shown a distressing lack of respect for Hollywood artists and a complete lack of understanding about why people even watch the Oscars in the first place (Hint: it isn’t for the late night TV comic hosts, who people can watch any night of the week if they want: It’s for the movies, the celebrity glamour, the tradition, and the funny, endearing, or teary speeches). All of their idiotic announcements (no songs other than Lady Gaga’s to be performed, not all categories to be broadcast live, last year’s acting winners not invited to present) have been walked back after public disgust or industry outrage.

In short we’re going into Oscar night with the assumption that the current leaders literally have no idea what they’re doing…

The damage that the Oscars have done to their own brand this year is substantial but we won’t know if this is ‘meteor, meet dinosaurs!’ serious until the 91st Annual Academy Awards play out on Sunday night on ABC. Will it be utter chaos or just like any other ceremony…?

What we do know at this writing!
We have the list of presenters which includes the usual assortment of current stars, odd choices, and, weirdly, only one classic movie presence (Barbra Streisand). Off-movie celebrities like Serena Williams and Chef Jose Andres will be introducing each Best Picture nominee, and all the Original Songs will be performed by their original performers or writers with the exception of Black Panther’s “All the Stars” (no announcement on who is singing it yet) and “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns which will be sung by Bette Midler. Queen will also perform, presumably a medley of their hits, with Adam Lambert in tow. The show will go hostless — the delightful rumor that Whoopi Goldberg will be the surprise host has been debunked by the ladies of The View.

Who might win? We’ll take the categories in the order they were presented at the last ceremony just to have an order though they always switch up the order from year to year. Fair warning: this year is more confusing than usual so take this all with a grain of salt. Ready?

Why isn’t Richard E Grant the frontrunner? It’s mystifying!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Win: Mahershala Ali has cleaned up all season for his leading role (Category Fraud alert!) in Green Book but is he really all that convincing as a gay man? We say no, though your mileage may vary. Plus he won just two years ago for a better performance (Moonlight) so why is this happening? Why?!
Should Win: Richard E Grant wipes the floor with the Supporting Actor competition with this fully developed alcoholic streetwise character. “Jack Hock, big cock” is his introduction and he never stops being hilarious, touching, and unpredictable throughout a great queer film Can You Ever Forgive Me?

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Will Win: People love Christian Bale’s chameleonic weight gains and losses so his transformation into Dick Cheney should do the trick. Though with makeup effects this good — they made his neck larger and you’d never know he wasn’t balding — one wonders why Bale puts himself through so much harmful yo-yoing in his physique for these parts he takes.
Should Win: The hard-to-describe Swedish movie Border (well worth watching) which has some of the best makeup effects you’ll ever see… and which you won’t be able to unsee, fair warning.

What’s your favourite costume in Black Panther? (Besides any of Michael B Jordan’s shirtless looks that is)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Will Win/Should Win: A total nail-biter. It’s either going to be Sandy Powell’s incredible work on the palace tragicomedy The Favourite, mixing period silhouettes with ultra modern textiles and techniques and an amazingly rangy color palette (considering the heavy use of blacks and whites) or Ruth E Carter’s futuristic creative work on Black Panther imagining a technologically advanced hidden African society. We’re rooting for Black Panther primarily because Carter has never won despite incredible work and the very cool Powell (imagine a costume designing version of Tilda Swinton) already has three Oscars, famously starting her third winning speech 9 years ago with a flippant “I already have two of these.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Will Win: We suspect this is a tight race between two blockbuster docs, the mountain climbing Free Solo and the biography RBG. Given RBG’s iconic nature and the current political resistance climate we think RBG has the edge to win.
Should Win: Abstain as we haven’t yet seen all five.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Will Win: Going out on a limb here to say that this is where First Man fans rally for that underappreciated historical drama about the moon landing. But this could just as easily go to the any of the other nominees: Roma, Black Panther, A Quiet Place, or Bohemian Rhapsody
Should Win: First Man

BEST SOUND MIXING
Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody probably has this one sewn up, primarily for providing the joy of that soundwall of Queen hits. Queen is a great band but that doesn’t mean we should be throwing statues at a bad movie about them!
Should Win: Roma and First Man both have incredible soundscapes and if they want to honor a music drama for the win, A Star is Born‘s mix is a lot more challenging and compelling than reliving Queen’s greatest hits collection.

Tapestries! Flowers! Paintings! There’s so much to gawk at in The Favourite

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Will Win: The Favourite. Oscar voters love royalty porn and palaces, so why not? The film is a work of art. Those tapestries alone!
Should Win: The Favourite but we wouldn’t be mad if Roma‘s immersive take on Mexico City in 1970 or Black Panther‘s imaginative Wakanda took it, instead.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Will Win: Mexico’s Roma, hands down, though Poland’s Cold War would have easily won in a non Netflix/Roma dominant year.
Should Win: Japan’s Shoplifters. Rent it. You’ll weep. But really this is a great category this year. Lebanon’s Capernaum is also riveting

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Will Win: Tough call as there hasn’t been a clear frontrunner as there too often is in each and every acting race. It’s either going to be Regina King’s warmth and fortitude as a distraught mother in If Beale Street Could Talk or Rachel Weisz’s lacerating quips and heartbreak in The Favourite.
Should Win: We’re rooting for Regina since Rachel has a leading role (Category Fraud alert!) but that said, Rachel is fan-tas-tic in The Favourite

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Will Win: Weekends for a wild guess, though Pixar’s Bao is the most widely seen.
Should Win: Abstain. Haven’t yet seen them all.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Should Win: Isle of Dogs and Spider-Verse are both grand imaginative entertainments.

I Captain America. F*** you, Thanos.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Will Win: First Man. Lately the winner in this category has been the film with the lowest gross (in a category that regularly nominated blockbusters). Funny, right? And that moon landing is just sublime filmmaking.
Should Win: Avengers: Infinity War. But for whatever reason superhero movies almost never win. Spider-Man 2 (2004) is literally the only superhero film that’s ever won this Oscar (competitively speaking – Superman got a special Oscar in 1978)

BEST FILM EDITING
Will Win: This category is sometimes an Oscar bellwether as to what will win Best Picture. If it goes to Green Book, expect that to take the prize. If it goes to Bohemian Rhapsody or Vice, there may be other factors at work like the challenge of turning a troubled production into a blockbuster or “Most” Editing respectively. We’re guessing Vice but it’ll be close either way.
Should Win: Either of the two that look like they have no shot at it: the confrontational BlacKkKlansman with it crosscut conversations with classic cinema, or The Favourite, with its merciless comic precision and its soulful and strange dissolves.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Will Win: We have a suspicion that Period. End of Sentence, currently streaming on Netflix, which is about an upstart factory producing tampons for women in rural India might take it. It’s the rare non-depressing Doc short nominee.
Should Win: …but we’re rooting for End Game, also streaming on Netflix. This emotionally charged short is about end-of-life care and new ways of looking at and making peace with death. It’s from two-time Oscar winning gay documentarian Rob Epstein (of The Times of Harvey Milk, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, and The Celluloid Closet fame)

The Favourite isn’t the only lesbian drama nominated this year. The short film Marguerite is a moving picture of love lost but never forgotten.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Will Win: We’re guessing either Detainment or Skin
Should Win: Marguerite, the lone live-action short nominee this year that is not a traumatically violent story involving little boys (weird trend alert!). It’s a drama about an aging woman who realizes her nurse is a lesbian, which then prompts her to remember her own lost love.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman because it’s a chance to finally give Spike Lee a competitive Oscar and the film and screenplay are damn good, too.
Should Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me? a screenplay from the great writer Nicole Holofcener (who usually directs her own screenplays – but not this time), and Tony winner Jeff Whitty (of Avenue Q fame).

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Will Win: Another tough call. If Green Book wins this, we expect it to take Best Picture, too. And that’s what we’re currently thinking.
Should Win: The Favourite

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Will Win: Roma
Should Win: Cold War, that other gloriously shot black & white foreign movie in the mix this year.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Will Win: Black Panther
Should Win: It’s a strong category this year since Isle of Dogs, Mary Poppins Returns, If Beale Street Could Talk, and BlacKkKlansman would also make fine winners. In fact both Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman already won Grammys (in separate categories) recently.

I just wanted to take another look at these two…

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Will / Should Win: If Lady Gaga doesn’t take this for “Shallow” there will be (gay) riots. You may recall that I am obsessed with this movie and remain unashamedly in its corner. Early prediction: the performance of “Shallow” will be the highlight of the ceremony, unless someone like Glenn Close gives a pitch perfect quotable speech.

BEST DIRECTOR
Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón for his personal and artistic triumph, Roma.
Should Win: Tough call but we’d probably vote for Spike Lee and BlacKkKlansman, since Cuarón already has a directing Oscar and Lee famously doesn’t. Yorgos Lanthimos, the iconoclastic director behind The Favourite (and The Lobster and Dogtooth and Killing of a Sacred Deer) would also be a sound choice.

Queen will perform at the 91st Academy Awards, with Adam Lambert doing the Freddie Mercury duties

BEST ACTOR
Will Win: Rami Malek has this wrapped up. During your Oscar party you should have your guests lipsync to Queen hits during commercial break. Whoever does the best job should get a toy Oscar as a party favor because apparently spirited lipsynching is enough to win an Oscar now? [sigh]
Should Win: Bradley Cooper hands down. That his raw soulful lived in performance as a troubled rock star falling in love isn’t picking up trophies is bewildering. Plus he does his own singing and songwriting. Rami Malek could never.

BEST ACTRESS
Will Win/Should Win: Glenn Close in The Wife. Yes, there’s a chance that Olivia Colman upsets Close’s long-denied coronation with her hilarious and moving work as Queen Anne in The Favourite but we think Hollywood will realize it’s time to honor Close’s career with the trophy she’s been long denied. This is her seventh nomination and it’s not a pity nomination: she’s spectacular in the movie and I’m proud to have been quoted on one of the earliest posters, saying so. She’s now the most nominated actress of all time to have never won. At least until Sunday.

Statistically ROMA has a great shot at the win, but Oscar has long preferred men’s stories (and never rewarded a foreign film as “Best Picture”) so GREEN BOOK could win.

BEST PICTURE
Will Win: Who knows? Our crystal balls are so cloudy. The precursor awards have been as tumultuous as the Academy’s constant walked back press releases about their show. Roma won the Directors Guild Award, Black Panther took the Screen Actors Guild Award, Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book owned the Globes, Roma nabbed the Critics Choice, Green Book won the Producers Guild Award, and then Roma and The Favourite cleaned up at BAFTA. Plus the Oscars use a “preferential” ballot for Best Picture (which they don’t use on the other categories) which means you can win the top prize even if you didn’t get the most #1 votes (provided you have a lot of #2 and #3 votes), as long as another film doesn’t win outright with too many #1 votes on the first count to have to go down the list — look, it’s complicated! (They basically have to rank the nominees.)

In the end we think it’s going to either Roma or Green Book, which both appear to be beloved in Hollywood and will surely get a lot of #1 through #3 votes, but Black Panther wouldn’t be surprising if no film dominates on first count because nobody hates Black Panther. Hesistant prediction: Green Book.
Should Win: The Favourite.

Rachel Weisz demonstrating how we’ll probably be feeling on Oscar night.

HOW DUMB WILL THESE PREDICTIONS LOOK ON SUNDAY NIGHT?
We’ve predicted a ‘spread the wealth’ kind of night with all the Best Picture nominees winning at least one Oscar like so: Roma and Green Book (3 each), Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice, and Black Panther (2 each), and The Favourite, A Star is Born, and BlacKkKlansman (1 each). The wild cards are definitely Roma and The Favourite. They each have ten nominations and it’s easy to see scenarios wherein they pick up a lot more than we’ve predicted here, maybe as high as 5 Oscars each!

HAPPY OSCAR WATCHING, ALL!

The post Who Will Win at This Year’s Oscars? A Preview and Predictions appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Thirst Trap Abe Lincoln Statue Goes Viral

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On Wednesday, a Twitter user reminded the internet that there’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the L.A. federal courthouse “where he’s a shirtless young stud suggestively tugging at his waistband like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.”

The statue of the young 16th president, by James Lee Hansen, has made quite a splash.

One Twitter user remarked, “Amongst the lawyers at the courthouse it’s considered good luck to tweak Honest Abe’s nipples.”

Others called up the Wayne’s World “Baberaham Lincoln” quote, suggested he get “emancipated out of those shorts,” nicknamed him “Honest Abs” and wondered when he’d be giving “The Gettysburg Undress.”

Boing Boing dug up an old L.A. Times article from 1941 on the sculpture:

“I don’t know,” Hansen replied, “I’ve only done one piece of sculpture in my life.”

He was interested, however, and checked up—only to find that the contest, under way for several months, closed for the model entries in a week. Hansen got a supply of plaster and made a small figure of Lincoln.

Like the other contestants, he submitted it anonymously to the Fine Arts Section of the Federal Works Agency.

No one was more surprised than Hansen when he was notified his entry has won $7,200 and a commission to do the Lincoln statue. Within a year it was fashioned from Indiana limestone.

The pose shows Lincoln as a young man, wearing only a pair of jeans, with the thumb of one hand hooked in the band of the garment and with a book in the other hand.

Hansen shrugged off observations to the effect that his job had been criticized because Lincoln is shown without a shirt or shoes.

“Well, from a sculpturing standpoint, it’s better to show the body without any clothes,” he explained. “That’s why I left ’em off.”

The post Thirst Trap Abe Lincoln Statue Goes Viral appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Seth Meyers’ ‘White Savior’ Movie Trailer Is Hysterical: WATCH

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The Green Book has taken a lot of heat and backlash for perpetuating the “white savior” complex in films. The “white savior” is a popular trope inserted in many films dealing with race that offers up a white character that becomes the lens and often reluctant hero of films that ostensibly has a Black protagonist.

If you still don’t get it, watch the video below.

The post Seth Meyers’ ‘White Savior’ Movie Trailer Is Hysterical: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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CA Federal Judge Rules Twin Son Of Gay Married Couple Has Been An American Citizen Since Birth

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A federal judge in California has ruled on a highly contentious immigration case that sets a new precedent and will elicit a sigh of relief for gay married couples everywhere.

At issue was the fact that although both twins were born to the same surrogate, because sperm from each of the men was used to inseminate each egg separately, then the one child whose father is Israeli, was shockingly not considered an American citizen.

“The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a U.S. citizen, said NBC News. While, “Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad Dvash-Banks, an Israeli citizen.”

“The State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks because U.S. law does not require a child to show a biological relationship with their parents if their parents were married at the time of their birth, District Judge John F. Walter found,” according to the AP.

The post CA Federal Judge Rules Twin Son Of Gay Married Couple Has Been An American Citizen Since Birth appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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