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Summer of Pride: movies, books, podcasts

Literature, poetry, TV shows and podcasts to follow for Pride Month 2020

Literature, poetry, TV shows and podcasts to follow for Pride Month 2020  

What to read, watch and listen to if you want to be an informed ally this Pride month. Plus recommendations for teens and children to introduce them to the LGBTQ+ community

Over 50 years ago, on a late June night, Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera — two trans women — were on the frontlines of the Stonewall Riots (a series of demonstrations in response to a police raid on a gay bar) in New York City. This started off the fight for LGBTQ+ rights across the world. While the memory of the event has manifested itself into ‘Pride Month’ and celebratory parades, it would serve us well to remember its political roots, too.

Even at a time when queerness was unspeakable, the LGBTQ+ community has deployed the arts to express themselves and have ended up changing minds and garnering allies. I’ve found that while the rest of the world might not have understood anything about me, there were still books, movies and music that helped me find my place in the world. Along with poets, performers and public figures from the community, I list recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. Our selections reflect the multiple ways that sexuality and gender intersect with discourses around class, caste, creed, and even nationality. We’ve also thrown in a few suggestions for children and young adults (13+, in bold italics) because prejudices are learned behaviour, we must not forget.

Joshua Muyiwa

Joshua Muyiwa   | Photo Credit: Suhas Entur

Joshua Muyiwa

Poet-performer, writer and columnist, Bengaluru

Read

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, which is a wonderful, intimate, sensual contemplation on the colour blue and so much more.

Audre Lorde’s The Black Unicorn for reminding us that we hold multiple positions in the world and each of those is essential to our wholeness.

Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems for their fantastic ability to go beyond bodily pleasure while staying rooted in it.

Summer of Pride: movies, books, podcasts

Watch

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Under the garb of an action cartoon series, it handles the complexity of young queer love and friendship with dexterity.

Bob’s Burgers doesn’t deal directly with queerness but handles budding teenage crushes, romances and obsessions with heartbreaking kindness.

RuPaul’s Drag Race has been claiming to bring families together since its inception over a decade ago, and you’ve got more than 12 seasons to confirm that claim.

Listen

I love disco from the 70s/80s, artists like Sylvester with his hit track ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’, Donna Summer, Gladys Knight and such. It reminds me of the exuberance of my community.

Akhil Katyal

Akhil Katyal  

Akhil Katyal

Poet, Delhi.The writer of three collections: Like Blood on the Bitten Tongue, How Many Countries Does the Indus Cross and Night Charge Extra

Read

Agha Shahid Ali’s The Veiled Suite. He can be sharp and sensitive without being self-indulgent.

Jericho Brown’s The Tradition for the wonderful ways he ties together his blackness and his gayness.

Rajiv Mohabir’s The Taxidermist’s Cut for wrangling together Bhojpuri, English as well as LGBTQ+ identity and the history of indentured labour as an Indo-Caribbean poet into his works.

Watch

Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris Is Burning, on the gay subculture of the 80s that has become a cornerstone.

Prateek Vats’ first fiction feature film, Eeb Allay Ooo! (written by Shubham), about the monkey chasers of Lutyens’ Delhi.

The Vaudeville Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Adrian Noble. British actor David Suchet played Lady Bracknell, making the hidden worlds bubbling underneath the play more visible.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Adrian Noble with David Suchet as Lady Bracknell

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Adrian Noble with David Suchet as Lady Bracknell  

Listen

The Dream Journey: A Journey of Musical Discovery Across Pakistan on YouTube. For their deft handling of themes like love, loss and longing.

Durga Gawde

Durga Gawde   | Photo Credit: Abheet Gidwani

Durga Gawde

Gender-fluid artist and performer, Bengaluru

Read

Devdutt Pattanaik’s Shikhandi And Other Tales They Don’t Tell You delves into our myths to show us that queer people have always found space in our society.

Watch

Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, a biographical romantic film that traces the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery.

Summer of Pride: movies, books, podcasts

Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Super Deluxe starring Vijay Sethupathi. It shows the wonderful relationship between child and parent that isn’t based on superficial changes.

Netflix’s Queer Eye for bringing pure joy.

Listen

Kiran Gandhi aka Madame Gandhi, an Indian-American electronic music artiste and drummer, for her efforts at creating spaces for feminine and non-binary voices. On SoundCloud.

Moulee C

Moulee C  

Moulee C

Founder of Queer Chennai Chronicles, festival director and curator of Queer Lit Fest and workplace diversity, equity and inclusion strategist. Chennai.

Read

Artist and poet Gireesh’s Vidupattavai. It plays with poetry and prose to tell stories of queer lives in a contemporary context.

Su Samuthiram’s Vadamalli, though written by a cis-gendered man, shines a positive light on trans issues.

Mella Vilakum Pani Thirai, the first collection of Tamil short fiction by cis-gendered persons curated by transwoman performer and writer, Living Smile Vidya.

Watch

Christian Faure’s Un Amour à Taire (A Love to Hide) shows gay love under the Nazi regime in a tender fashion. I find myself returning to this film.

Summer of Pride: movies, books, podcasts

Matthew Warchus’ Pride tackles heavy themes with a light touch and works as a lesson that ultimate victory is when all marginalised movements work together for change.

Visible: Out on Television is a documentary series that highlights the timelines of queer characters on American TV. It works as an interesting exercise to map our own trajectory of representation in the media.

Listen

Welcome to Night Vale is not necessarily a queer-specific podcast, but everything that happens in this fictional world is spooky, queer and weird

Priya Gangwani

Priya Gangwani  

Priya Gangwani

Queer activist, Delhi

Read

Neel Mukherjee’s A Life Apart, a brilliant book that tells the hauntingly beautiful story of a young boy from Calcutta who goes to study at Oxford. While discovering his sexuality, he lets his life spiral out of control.

Parvati Sharma’s The Dead Camel and Other Stories of Love is a fantastic collection of same-sex short stories in the Indian context.

Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex a must, must-read.

Summer of Pride: movies, books, podcasts

Watch

On Netflix, Mae Martin’s Feel Good, which has great humour and politics; Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette for brilliantly turning comedy on its head. For young adults, there’s The Half of It, a wonderful queer take on a high-school romance and The Hockey Girls, which is a refreshing take on girls playing sports.

Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which is breathtakingly beautiful and works with the female gaze.

OML’s YouTube Channel has some fantastic queer web-series for young adults.

Listen

Gender Question, a weekly podcast by Dhamini Ratnam that speaks to the blindspots around gender and sexuality by looking at issues in the news. LGBT Stories documents the lived experiences of persons from across the spectrum..

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 3:57:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/books-movies-podcasts-and-tv-shows-by-and-about-the-lgbtqi-community-for-pride-month-2020/article31812798.ece

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