Michigan City PRIDE Fest isn’t just a party, it’s where you find your tribe.
The inspiration to start OUT in Michigan City came from a Religious Freedom Restoration Act protest march that I attended in Indianapolis in the spring of 2015. When I arrived I experienced first hand what a close nit LGBTQ community Indy had. The love and support in the air was so palpable you could almost touch it. I started to wonder why we could not have that kind of love and support in Michigan City and the rest of the Region.
Fast forward to January, 2018 when a group of people came together to form the committee for what would be the first annual Michigan City PRIDE Festival. It was my honor and privilege to serve on this committee. They say that nothing worth doing is ever easy. They were right, we worked hard and making this event happen took over my life as well as the lives of the other committee members. PFLAG, the host of the event, this publication, and drag entertainers Welcome to the Other Side, volunteers, and local businesses would all come together to make Michigan City PRIDE Fest a success. What a success it was. The committee expected maybe 400 people to attend and 2000 showed up.
As is turned out we filled a need, the community was hungry for a PRIDE festival and it was an amazing day. For the first time the LGBTQ community and our allies came together in Michigan City and in the region the love and support in the air was just as palpable as it was that day in Indianapolis. We made people happy and it was worth the blood, sweat, and tears we all poured into the event. 2019 festival saw 3000 people and now we are gearing up to do in again for 2020.
OUT in Michigan City was asked to help with the social media campaign this year and of course we jumped at the chance. This year is a little different though and I blame the toxic political climate and the up coming election. I’ve gotten messages on how straight people need a PRIDE event or why even have PRIDE in this day and age. Someone said that PRIDE should be reserved for the accomplishments in ones life not celebrating who they choose to have sex with, which is NOT what PRIDE is about. Despite the progress that the LGBTQ community has made in the last 10 years, coming out can be hard and in some cases life treating. Sometimes someone has to hide who they are to protect themselves both mentally and physically. Michigan City PRIDE Fest isn’t just an all ages drag show, food, entertainment, and vendors. Michigan City PRIDE Fest is a safe space you can come, let your hair down, or maybe put it up. It’s a place you can be yourself, even if it’s for just one day. It’s a place where you can find the resources you need for support, in a safe environment. It’s a place where you can find your tribe. Please join us on June 20, 2020 at the Guy Forman Amphitheater in Washington Park and feel the love.
If you need a safe space before June 20th then you as well as everyone is welcome to attend PFLAG monthly meeting the first Wednesday of every month at the Holdcraft Performing Arts Center, 1200 Spring Street, Michigan City starting at 6:30 pm.
On Sunday June 2nd, in Michigan City’s historic Uptown Arts District the Northwest Indiana Gay Straight Coalition hosted a Jazz Brunch to help raise money for Michigan City’s 2nd annual Michigan City PRIDE Fest. For those who are not familiar with the NWIGSC it is a fairly new non-profit formed just a few years ago that according to the groups website is “A community based organization-fostering policies, initiatives and activities that create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ community in Northwest Indiana.” The charity brunch was attended by Indiana State Senator Mike Bohacek (R), who co-authored Indiana’s newly passed hate crimes bill and guest speaker Matt Nosanchuk, former Associate Director of Public Engagement of the Obama White House. Jazz music was provided by the Bill Boris Trio.
In his opening remarks Mr. Nosanchuk commented on the 50th anniversary on The Stonewall Riots, marking the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. “The memory of Stonewall and what it represents led to the emergence of the first Pride Parade in New York on its first anniversary.” Michigan City has become the leader in Northwest Indiana for its inclusion of the LGBTQ community as it sees more and more former members of Chicago’s LGBTQ community leave the city to pursue a life in the “Region.” Michigan City gives new and life long residents the appeal of living on Lake Michigan, but without the inflated cost of living that you find in Chicago, yet living here allows easy access to everything Chicago has to offer.
As its already large LGBTQ community grows, Michigan City is now one of the many smaller cities around the nation that hosts its own PRIDE festival and was the first city in the Region to do so. Historically the LGBTQ population here has been large but under represented and far from organized, but recent years have seen organizations like PFLAG open a chapter here. PFLAG offers support to families and members of the LGBTQ community and is also a sponsor of Michigan City PRIDE Fest. As important as PFLAG is to offer support to the community at large, organizations like NWIGSC are just as important because they will be advocating real change in the laws that concern the LGBTQ community as well as pushing for real policy change locally and in Indianapolis, policy change that will have a lasting effect on this community.
Addressing the audience Michael Jefvert, who is a member of NWIGSC board, commented that when he was originally from Indiana and upon graduation from college promptly left the state. He along with hundreds of other young adults that just happen to identify as LGBTQ leave the state because they do not feel accepted in the city or town that they grew up in. How many talented and creative people who just happen to identify as LGBT or Q has Michigan City and the surrounding communities lost because of laws or policies that promote and foster old prejudices? Prejudices that make people feel excluded in their own hometown. Prejudices that can lead to violence against members of a marginalized community.
Organizations like the Northwest Indiana Gay-Straight Coalition and PFLAG are needed and those organizations are on the front lines of bringing real change and real understanding so that maybe one day we won’t lose talented, smart, and creative young members of our community to cities like Chicago, New York, or Indianapolis.
As 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots our community reflects on the progress that we’ve made and the progress we have yet to make. As more and more conservative states enact so called “religious freedom” laws, which are largely created to give businesses a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community grass roots organizations like the Northwest Indiana Gay-Straight Coalition will have the backs of the LGBTQ community they represent and the ears of the policy makers who make the laws that have a lasting affect on all of us.
Today the BBC made broadcasting history by announcing that the first female lead has been cast in the long running sci-fi series “Doctor Who.”
Former “Broadchurch” star, Jodie Whittaker will be taking the keys of the T.A.R.D.I.S. (The Doctor’s Time Machine/space ship) from current Doctor Peter Capaldi in this years Christmas special.
“Doctor Who” first aired on the BBC in 1963 and has since found a world wide following. “Doctor Who” is a show about a time traveling alien from the planet Gallifrey. The character was originally played by actor William Hartnell from 1963 until 1966. When an actor ‘retires’ from the series the doctor ‘regenerates’ into a new incarnation of the character played by a different actor. All the actors that have played The Doctor have been male up until todays announcement from the BBC. Casting the new Doctor has been so top secret that Jodie Whittaker could not even talk about it with her family. When Ms. Whittaker discussed the fact that she was up for a new role she had to use the code word “Clooney” so no one could connect her part to “Doctor Who.”
“Doctor Who” has been pushing social boundaries since the shows revival in 2005 with the introduction of Captain Jack Harkness a bi-sexual immortal played by out gay actor John Barrowman. Barrowman went on to play the role in the spin off series “Torchwood.” In the latest season of the long running show The Doctor was joined by his new companion Bill Potts played by Pearl Mackie. Bill was the the first companion to ever came out as a lesbian.
Reaction on social media has been mixed. Some Twitter users are accusing the BBC of being too politically correct by casting a female lead and swearing off the show while others who have never watched “Doctor Who” indicate that they will be tuning in for the first time. Casting a female lead in “Doctor Who” has always been on the table since Tom Baker, the fourth and longest serving doctor, hinted in a BBC interview in 1981 that a woman may have been cast as his replacement.
The Doctor Who Christmas special will air on BBC America on Christmas Day and can also be watched on iTunes. Past seasons of the long running program can been watched on Amazon Prime. Watch the Doctor Who Teaser Trailer with Jodie Whittaker here.
“Silver Eye”, is the first album from vocalist Allison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, collectively known as Goldfrapp, since 2013’s “Tales of Us”. In a word it is a return in many ways to aspects of the duos past works. It is a definitely a departure from the the duos past two albums, 2010s Olivia Newton-John/ Abba tinged “Head First”, and the electro folk drenched “Tales of Us”, from 2013.
“Sliver Eye” starts out with the single, “Anymore”. This electronic gem with a nice base beat certainly is a good choice making all Golddfrapp fans wake up after listening to the groups last offering. We then get into “Systemagic,” kicking it into a higher gear with total electronic emersion of synth base and glitter reminiscent of our artists “Super Nature” days. “Tigerman,” is next, slowly droning on like something off the groups debut album “Felt Mountain,” only with teeth. We are then taken into the life affirming “Become the One.” The song plays on with distorted synth relish where one can’t help but to think of Depeche Mode and something from their “Sounds of the Universe” album.
The album then slows down a bit going into “Faux Suede Drifter.” The song lyrically looking like the end of a relationship or perhaps the start of something torturous, but sounding like something that would be on the sound track of the worlds end. Slow and haunting synths take us on a confusing somewhat disturbing journey between light and darkness. The listener is then treated to the equally chilling “Zodiac Black,” telling us that, “there is magic in the water.” The song phases in and out of a sonic soundscapes in a dream haze sounding as though “Hounds of Love” era Kate Bush may have been an inspiration.
“The Beast that Never was,” takes the listener back to the slower edges of the groups “Black Cherry” and “Supernature” albums. The tune blips along like a heart monitor and at any moment the lister will think the song will open up and become more grandiose, but alas this disappointingly does not transpire. Although the end of the song ends in a flourish of synthesizer bliss the group, for the most part, keeps the lid on this offering unfortunately letting it simmer but never boil. We get more of the same with “Everything is Never Enough“, talking about excess and how we view our lives. The motto here seems to be the more we advance the more we become singular entities living not a life but a life in front of a computer screen, “…watching nature on my screen saver…in a wasteland.” Again, there is a a build in the middle to the song where one would think it will go up a notch into something faster and stronger, but unfortunately once again falls short.
“Moon in Your Mouth,” gets us into soundtrack music type territory with epic sweeping vocals and instrumentation giving us that much needed yes finally! factor that were missing from the two previous tracks. The album ends with “Ocean,” aptly named because of its electro orchestral vastness making one think of what opera might sound like living in a “Blade Runner” universe.
In all this album is not bad. It does however leave the listener at times wanting more. “Silver Eye” is no doubt a amalgam of Goldfrapps’ 17 years of past work. It is worth picking up for any fan of the group whether you like their slower-tempoed fare or more of their mirror ball elctro-disco sound. This album has multiple personalities and there is something here for everyone.
“Ghost in the Shell” opened this weekend and is the live action version of the anime (for those of you who do not speak pop culture, anime refers to a Japanese cartoon usually for adults but there are some geared towards children), movie of the same name and Japanese manga (comic book) written and illustrated by Masamene Shirow. To put it in an understandable terms for those of us who are not into post-apocalyptic Japanese futurism, its like if the movies “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix” had a bastard child.
The movie stars Scarlett Johansson as “the Major” a sort of riot police
officer working for the government agency “Section 9” but funded by Hanka Robotics Corperation. The Major is a human brain that has been transplanted in a robot body. She can turn invisible, log into a computer networks, and has “enhanced” abilities, yet she has no memory of her past life or when her gray matter was transplanted into a department store mannequin. The major leads her team of augmented humans such as her partner Batou who, after the loss of his sight, receives prosthetic eyes that can see through things as well as using the spectrum of sight previously only available to dogs or sea life living at the bottom of the ocean.
The movie itself is visually stunning and that is probably the single most redeeming quality of the film. Johansson acting falls flat, and being somewhat familiar the character of the Major the casting called for more of a gritty performance. In a way it seemed hard for Johansson to move the plot forward without the rest to the Avengers along to carry her. The movie itself is true to the source material and I think the fans of the manga and the original anime will be pleased overall.
The plot finds the Major and her team looking for a killer that is murdering all the scientists who were involved the original project that created the Major and put her ghost or soul into a robotic shell. Over all the movies is a good way to kill time on a Sunday afternoon and although the special effects are amazing, especially in 3D I would save your money and wait for iTunes.
“Ghost in the Shell,” is directed by Rupert Sanders and stars Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Pilou Asbeak, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, and NgChin Han and is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
I give “Ghost in the Shell” two and a half poppers out of five.
For my first movie review for The Beacon I choose the movie about the real life adventures of gay porn ‘legend,’ Sean Paul Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, played by actor Garrett Clayton, and how he became Cobra Videos biggest ‘star.’ And let’s face it, out of all the LGBT people in the world who have done great and positive things Brent Corrigan is the most deserving of a bio-pic.
King Cobra stars Christian Slater as Brent’s movie producer/ sugar daddy, Stephen. As with his other movies Slater plays the same part, a poor mans Jack Nicholson, only this time his portrayal is little more creepy and a lot more gay. Molly Ringwald as Stephen’s sister Amy, who despite the fact that Stephen is in his mid-50s, unmarried, has camera equipment in the basement, and half naked twinks running around does not know he’s gay. I’m glad to see since director John Hughes’ death at least some of the members to the ’80s ‘brat pack’ are finding work, even if it is the equivalent of soft core gay porn. And kudos to Christian Slater for going all out in the sex scenes, rumor has it he’s been method acting that role for years.
Alicia Silverstone stars as Brent’s over protective MILF mom Janette. I was ‘clueless’ as to what happened to Silverstone’s once promising career. Now I know, it died. Janette thinks that her 17 year old son accepted a job as a movie studio intern from some guy he met on the internet and allowed him to take a bus from San Diego to Dallas Township Pennsylvania. There has not been a mom this naive since Kitty Menendez.
Rounding out the cast is Keegan Allen as Harlow Cuadra and of course James Franco as Joe Kerekes. Yes the same James Franco that recreated the 40 minutes of lost footage for the controversial Al Pacino Movie Cruising. Cruising is about a cop that has gone deep undercover in New York’s gay leather bar scene of the 1970s. The short film entitled Interior Leather Bar recreated 40 minutes of deleted and lost footage from Cruising. This includes actual sex acts on film. When I saw this I didn’t know if it was art or James Franco’s cry for help. Franco also acted as producer for King Cobra, color me shocked.
Harlow Cuadra is a paid escort, Joe Kerekes is his pimp/lover. As the couple tries to break into the adult film business Keegan develops a very unhealthy infatuation with Brent Corrigan. So unhealthy that Cuadra is constantly comparing himself to Corrigan and obsessing about Corrigan’s ‘rise to fame’ in the gay porn industry. The film starts out leading the audience to the conclusion that Joe Kerekes is somewhat ‘unstable’ but as it turns out by the end of the film we find out the it is Harlow Cuadra who is the one that is truly cray cray.
When Corrigan starts wanting to spend more of his free time playing video games and fucking his on-screen co-stars, who are around his age, than his sugar daddy Steve, things start to get a little tense between the two. Then when Corrigan realizes just how much cash Steve is bringing in and how little of it he is getting for all his ‘hard’ work thing get a lot more tense. Corrigan asks for a ‘raise’ in his percentage as the couple has dinner at a fancy restaurant. Not wanting to seem like a dirty old man that is trying to exploit an 18 year old, Steve tries to buy Corrigan off with a new Rolex watch. When that doesn’t work Corrigan refuses to make anymore films until he gets a raise. As Corrigan is still under contract and as punishment for not doing porn Corrigan is made to clean the bathroom. While Brent is cleaning Steve leaves the suburban home/state of the art porn studio to run an errand and tells Corrigan not to go anywhere. With Steve out of the house Corrigan rebels and stops cleaning the bathroom. He heads into Steve’s business office to rummage through his paper, hard copy files to see exactly how much money is being made off Corrigan’s movies, it’s a good thing that his financials were not on a password protected hard drive or else Corrigan would not have figured out just how much into six figures that Steve was making on the account of Corrigan’s ‘acting’ ability.
Upon Steve’s arrival home from running errands Corrigan already has his things packed and is going back home to his MILF…um I mean mom. Steve threatens Corrigan, telling him under contract. Corrigan then threatens Steve and tells him that his lied about his age and he is not yet 18 but 17 and that he faked his I. D. After Corrigan gets home he informs the authorities of his age and what he’s been doing for Steve these past few months. Steve’s sister finds out he’s gay and a porn producer. Corrigan’s mother finds out that she raised a ‘whore,’ her words not mine. But if the glass slipper fits….
After the dust settles and after the F. B. I. confiscates all of Steve’s computers and camera equipment, Corrigan finally turns 18 and tries to find work in the porn industry but can’t because Steve took the name ‘Brent Corrigan’ and had it copy written behind Corrigan back. No movie producer would touch him using that name and no one wanted a new unknown kid, they wanted Brent Corrigan. After a few frustrating few weeks of having every reputable gay porn producer in Southern California slamming the door on our hero, Brent calls Steve makes up with him and Steve agrees to release the copy write.
Still looking for fame and work Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes make contact with Corrigan, hoping to bring him into their fledgling porn business. Corrigan informs the couple that Steve still owns the copy write to his name, but things are being worked out the two decide to kill Steve and murder ensues.
King Cobra is released by IFC Midnight and is directed by Justin Kelly based on the book Cobra Killer and stars Garrett Clayton, Keegan Allen, Alicia Silverstone, James Franco, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald, Sean Grandillo, and Spencer Lofranco and is streaming right now on Netflix. King Cobra is an entertaining movie if you have an hour and half to kill and you want to know whats going on in James Franco’s head at any given time. I give it two and a half poppers out of five.
Britbart Tech Editor, and self described internet “supervillain” Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from conservative publication Breitbart News amid a storm of conservatory surrounding his comments on the Joe Rogan podcast Drunken Peasants. In the recently unearthed video Yiannopoulos states that “In the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men are sort of coming-of
age relationships.” Critics of Yiannopoulos claim that the statement condones pedophilia. Yiannopoulos attempted to clarify his statement by saying that he used “imprecise language” and that he finds pedophilia a “Vile and disgusting crime.”
Fall out has came quickly to the openly gay Yiannopoulos. In the last 24 hours Simon and Schuster is now refusing to publish his book, Dangerous which was due to be released in June, and the invitation to be the key note speaker at the Conservative Action Conference the convention for ultra conservatives was rescinded.
During a press conference in New York today Yianopoulos disclosed that he is a victim of sexual abuse and was abused between the ages of 13 and 16 by two men one of whom was a priest. In a prepared statement Yiannopoulos indicated he felt that he had carte blanche to talk about sexual abuse in anyway he pleased. “My experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse ‘advocacy.’ I am horrified by that impression.”
Yiannopoulos went on to take full responsibility for his statement, but at the same time accusing the mainstream press and political opportunists of trying to ruin his career, “But let’s be clear what is happening here. This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who don’t care about children. They care about destroying me and my career, and by extension my allies. These videos have been out there for more than a year. The media held this story back because they don’t care about victims, they only care about bringing me down. They will fail.”
At the end of it all Milo Yiannopoulos promised that another publisher would release his book later this year with 10 per cent of the royalties going to child sex abuse charities and he would be starting his own independently funded media company which he would use to champion free speech and focus on entertaining and educating.