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NYC Pride

Well, it’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I met in Tompkins Park for my first NYC Drag March. I was shamefully under dressed and naive about the powerful impact it would have on me.  Nor could I have guessed that three years later I would return to screen the film and march again -properly adorned in a rubber wig – on the same night gay marriage was legalized in New York State.   And now here we are, another two years later, with DOMA and Prop 8 overturned on the eve of what is sure to be another extra celebratory Pride in NYC. In honour of all these achievements, and tonight’s sure to be splendid Drag March to the Stonewall Inn, I share with you the 2008 Drag March scene from Beyond Gay.   It’s one of my all time favorite memories and most definitely one of  my favorite scenes in the film. My love and gratitude to Gilbert Baker, Hucklefaery ken, and all the other drag marchers, have a fabulous Pride, and Thank-You, Thank -You, Thank-You for memories I will cherish always. I will be in Victoria BC for the inaugural Reel Queer Film Festival this weekend, sharing the whole film with with our LGBT family on Vancouver Island Sunday night.  Have a great weekend, Happy Canada Day and Happy Pride!

Places We’d Like to Go- Tel Aviv Pride!

Our film covered a lot of ground in a short time but people always ask us why we didn’t go here or didn’t go there. With so many events happening at the same time it was difficult to make choices and in the end we followed our beloved protagonist Ken and told his story of activism and pride.

We still wish we could have covered more and maybe if we do a sequel we will. In the meantime, here’s some recent footage from Pride in Tel Aviv, Isreal, which just happened today.

Story courtesy our friends at GuySpy.com and senior editor Danny Hilton

Enjoy!

Tel Aviv Pride 2013, in Videos

Tel Aviv, the most liberal city in the Middle-East (and some say, the world), celebrated Pride today, with a parade through the city streets and a huge beach party. Numbers for this year’s pride have surpassed all previous years with around 100,000 people taking part, including an estimated 20,000 foreigners.

I was at Tel Aviv Pride last year, and I can honestly say this is one of the best Prides in the world! The people are friendly and welcoming, the guys are fun, friendly and hot! Here’s a selection of videos from today, and links to our Tel Aviv Gay Guide:

Travel Guyd: Tel Aviv, (Part 1): Background, local gay population, the gay beach

Travel Guyd: Tel Aviv (Part 2): Gay nightlife and cruising

Travel Guyd: Tel Aviv (Part 3) Culture, hotels and eating out

Here’s a great video of today’s Pride Parade:

Here’s a video of the gay Hilton Beach yesterday (named after me of course). Just check out those hotties!

Another video from today, with a very gay-friendly message from the US Ambassador:

Gayfest 2013, Reel Queer Cinema and more.

It’s been interesting watching the changing attitudes towards LGBT rights in recent years. We’ve had many successes, and then been disappointed with half measures and violent attacks. The Boy Scouts of America lifted their ban on gay youth, but failed to do the same with their employment practices that still explicitly exclude “avowed homosexuals.” The blood donation ban on gay men in Canada was lifted, but only to those who have been celibate for five years. No such stipulation applies to straight donors. And in Moscow our friends Nikolai and Yury staged another brave and important Pride event, that resulted in assaults and detainments. By the looks of it, I think things are more difficult for them now, than when we participated in Pride 2008. Yury’s powerful video of this years events can be seen in the video below.

But to offset all the disappointing moments of the struggle for a more equal society, are all the exciting ways we are able to help make positive change in the world. It’s rewarding to know that Beyond Gay continues to provide inspiration to Pride organizers and film festival programmers and they in turn make the effort to share the film and its message with their communities.

This June we are thrilled to be participating in some great festivals near and far. The Canadian Embassy in Romania is sponsoring our screening at Gayfest in Bucharest. I have to say I am honoured, and a little amazed it came together, to be honest. The organizers of this festival have put together a really amazing program of events, and I love their artwork! The screening of Beyond Gay  is on June 6th.

Ireland’s National Lesbian and Gay Federation and Rainbow Europe are presenting the film for Dublin Pride at the Irish Film Institute on June 28th.  Dublin is celebrating 30 years of Pride this year, so Beyond Gay sure to hit home with audiences there.  Closer to home, the our friends at the Victoria Film Festival, has teamed up with Victoria Pride and Out In Schools to launch the first ever Reel Queer Film Festival on Vancouver Island.  As in Dublin the screening of Beyond Gay is set to kick off Pride in Victoria. Thanks to all these great organizations for supporting the film. See you at the movies!

International Day Against Homophobia

 

Today marks the 9th annual International Day Against Homophobia, the anniversary of the date 23 years ago that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.  In Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson made a surprise visit to the annual Qmunity breakfast fundraiser and made an official proclamation of the event, and I am reminded how fortunate we are here in Lotus Land.  My own member of parliament and one of the LGBT heroes of Beyond Gay, Libby Davies, also made an official statement.  It’s refreshing to know our politicians aren’t afraid to show their support, as news rolls in from activists in Russia and Georgia of violence and protests at events in those countries.  Even more troubling is the fact that IDAHO’s official website was hacked by homophobes and forced to shut down.

But as Spring unfolds at home, requests for Beyond Gay to screen are coming in. Every opportunity to screen the film is a great one but I can’t tell you where just yet because their programs are still in the works. Think Vancouver Island, the UK and Eastern Europe.  Thanks to all the Prides and Queer Film Festivals for your continued support and I will announce places and dates soon. As usual June is going to be another big month for the film.

See you at the movies!