Saturday, March 31, 2012

Repost: Paris Is Burning

Last night I watched a documentary called Paris Is Burning. I originally saw this in the theatre in 1990. I think it was part of the Vancouver International Film Festival. At that point, I’d only been in Vancouver a year. I’d seen my first full-flight drag queen. I was totally in love with the West End but it would be another two years before I moved down there.

The movie is about drag queens and transsexuals in New York. It’s a very depressing film, even more depressing when you do some research and find out that most of the people in the film are dead. Mostly AIDS related deaths.

One of the people in the film died before the filming was complete. There is very little comment in the film about it. She was my favourite of all the people in the film and she was strangled to death in a sleazy motel (where no one noticed her dead body for four days.

Venus Xtravaganza

I want to believe that we have come a long way since this movie was made. I want to believe that the world is all cool and groovy about the alternative sexualities. After all, Eddie Izzard is a multimillionaire. Ellen has her own talk show. Gay characters appear on prime time telly with regularity. I want to believe that gay or transgendered people do not have to feel marginalized any more. Then I read comments on the message board for Alexis Arquette where people are arguing about which pronoun she’s entitled to use.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

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