By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com October 14 2011 5:50 PM ET
10. DVD: Jem and The Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series!
Whether it was the lead’s dual identity — are you pink-haired pop star Jem or alter ego Jerrica Benton? — the bullying Misfits, or the fact that the show was truly outrageous, Jem was embraced by kids who’d grow up to be truly out. This 11-DVD box set includes all 65 episodes of the 1985-1988 feminist series and extras like new cast interviews with shout-outs for the “Jem Boys.” Fun fact: Ba Nee was voiced by gay musician Sir Ari Gold!
9. BOOK: Pretty Masculine, Mike Ruiz
Celebrity photographer and The A-List: New York star Mike Ruiz has turned his lens on hunky male models for his new coffee-table book, a hyper-stylized and fantasy-fueled collection of images that tweak traditional male ideals by combining masculine stereotypes with a feminine flair. A devoted philanthropist, Ruiz will donate proceeds from the book’s sales to Gay Men’s Health Crisis. For more info visit mikeruiz.com.
8. BOOK: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook
Gay stars of Planet Green’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Brent Ridge, and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are already known for their upstate New York farm’s goat's milk cheese. Now, inspired by church community cookbooks of their childhoods, they’ve created a beautiful cookbook that includes recipes for deviled eggs with smoked trout, dandelion salad, sour cherry clafouti, bourbon roast turkey, and more. For more info visit Beekman1802.com.
7. FILM: Reel Affirmations 20
The 20th anniversary of Washington D.C.’s International LGBT Film Festival runs through October 22 and features Italian comedy Loose Cannons; An Ordinary Family, Mike Akel’s intense dramedy about a boyfriend meeting the in-laws; Pariah, Dee Rees’s lesbian teen drama; and the world premiere of Dan Lantz’s Into the Lions Den, a road trip romp starring Jesse Archer and Ronnie Kroell. For a schedule visit reelaffirmations.org.
6. TV: Miss Representation
Jennifer Newsom’s movie, which premieres October 20 as part of OWN’s Documentary Film Club, explores the media’s responsibility for the under-representation of women in positions of power. Influential women in politics, news, and entertainment such as Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Katie Couric, Geena Davis, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Gloria Steinem are among those interviewed.
5. MUSIC: With the Wild Crowd! – Live in Athens, GA, The B-52s
The very first official live album from the B-52s — Cindy Wilson and gay members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson and Keith Strickland — was recorded last February in the band’s hometown of Athens, Ga., on the 34th anniversary of their 1977 debut live performance. The lobster-rockin’ set includes high-energy hits like “Roam,” “Love Shack,” “Planet Claire,” and many songs from the group’s most recent studio album, 2008’s Funplex.
4. THEATER: I’m From Driftwood
Presented by Project Y Theatre Company, the inaugural New York New Playwright Festival includes the premiere of I’m From Driftwood, a stage adaptation of inspirational stories from the Driftwood book, which collects first-person LGBT stories from across the country. Edited by ImFromDriftwood.com founder Nathan Manske and directed by Luke Harlan, the show runs October 14 and 15. For more info visit projectytheatre.com.
3. MUSIC: Tomorrow’s World, Erasure
Have a little respect for British synth-pop icons Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, who celebrate more than 25 years together with their 14th studio album and first since 2007’s Light at the End of the World. Produced by British remix master Frankmusik, this lustrous collection includes post-breakup anthem “When I Start to (Break It All Down),” and shamelessly exuberant electro nuggets like “Be With You” and “Fill Us with Fire.”
2. FILM: Vito
Using period footage and new testimonies, this outstanding HBO documentary about GLAAD cofounder and The Celluloid Closet author Vito Russo lovingly chronicles the pioneering activist’s tireless struggle for gay rights until his AIDS-related death in 1990. The New York Film Festival presents the world premiere October 14 for two screenings, each followed by Q&As with director Jeffrey Schwarz. For more info visit filmlinc.com.
1. FILM: The Skin I Live In
Spoiler alert! There’s a wonderfully wicked transgender twist in gay filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s latest Spanish-language masterpiece, La piel que habito, which opens October 14. Antonio Banderas is awesome as an unethical plastic surgeon experimenting with skin grafts, and the gorgeous Jan Cornet and Elena Anaya portray the doctor’s captive guinea pig at two very different stages of nonconsensual sexual transformation.