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MQH Now is all about you and what you’re doing to make queer history in your own community. We’re featuring one monthly creator, and we’re be looking at queer artists, activists, educators, inventors—anyone making history right now!
If you’re doing something amazing and want to be featured, this is your chance! You can find more info and apply on our website.
Not only was the film the first of Mexican cinema to be supportive of queer or trans struggles, it also presented audiences with an understanding of the sexual and physical violence faced by trans women and sex workers. Read the full article here. You can watch the movie on Youtube.
It’s great that a film with a gay protagonist has created this much support and this much conversation. The problem is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the conversation we’re having. In the marketing of this film – and the numerous think-pieces written about it – you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was the first film about LGBTQ+ teens to have existed, ever. And it’s not. Not even close. Yes, Love, Simon is a step forward as it is *takes a deep breath* the first LGBTQ+ teen romcom released by a major studio, but that’s quite a niche accolade. It’s important and great and it’s a good thing it exists, but it’s not as groundbreaking as the hype would have you believe.
And that’s a good thing! It’s great that there are loads of LGBTQ+ teen films out there already; it’s just important that, when talking about the progress we are making with Love, Simon, we don’t ignore them. For one thing, it erases the queer filmmakers who have been doing the work and creating these stories for decades, when big studios wouldn’t have dreamed of picking them up.
What’s your favorite queer teen movie? Read the full thing here.
The French film BPM (Beats Per Minute), about ACT UP Paris in 1992, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year and has been a hit among the HIV community (and others) stateside, where it is still being released. But, alas, the movie won’t be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Debra Chasnoff, a documentary filmmaker who was the first woman to thank her female partner when accepting an Oscar, died recently of breast cancer. She was 60 and is survived by her wife, Nancy Otto, and two sons.
Chasnoff won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for her 1991 film Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment. She thanked her then-partner, Kim Klausner, at the 1992 Oscars and said she couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.
She also worked on a number of documentaries related to LGBTQ issues:
She and Klauser collaborated on the 1985 film Choosing Children, profiling “six pioneering lesbian families who were among the first to have children after coming out,” Mombian notes. Of all her films, it is the one “that may have had the greatest impact on LGBTQ families,” according to the site. “People would come to the screenings and you could see these little light bulbs going on over their heads, saying, ‘Oh, my God, I could have a child if I wanted to?’” Chasnoff told Mombian in 2010. In 2000’s That’s a Family, she depicted children from a variety of family structures — being raised by LGBT parents, parents of different races or religions, single parents, or grandparents.
She and Helen Cohen directed 1996’s It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in Schools, which Mombian calls “one of the first resources for educators wishing to better support LGBTQ students and those with LGBTQ parents.” Ten years later, she followed it with an updated anniversary edition, It’s STILL Elementary. Her 2003 film Let’s Get Real addresses bullying in schools, including anti-LGBT bullying, and 2009’s Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up deals with the negative effect of gender stereotypes on students.
One Wedding and … a Revolution, a short documentary from 2004, chronicles the brief period that year when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom declared same-sex marriage legal and numerous same-sex couples married in the city. The short features the wedding of longtime lesbian activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the first couple to marry after the mayor’s action. In 2008, after Martin’s death, Chasnoff made Celebrating the Life of Del Martin.
Chasnoff had been working on a documentary about her experiences with breast cancer, which her family will finish in her honor. Rest in peace and power, and thank you for everything.
Released in France, where it won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the film BPM (Beats Per Minute) follows ACT UP Paris in 1992.
POZ spoke with Robin Campillo, the movie’s director and cowriter, who was a member of the AIDS activist group, and two of the film’s stars, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (who plays Sean, an HIV-positive activist) and Arnaud Valois (Nathan, Sean’s HIV-negative lover of sorts).