There's no shortage of awards shows for music, but this year's Billboard Music Awards feels like a standout. It's a divapalooza, with performances by Rihanna, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Pink, Meghan Trainor, and Demi Lovato (Ciara, along with Ludacris, will host). Also, Madonna — nominated for Best Touring Act — will perform an homage to Prince during the Sunday night ceremony. Some have argued she's not the right choice for a Prince memorial — there was even a Change.org petition launched — but Billboarddefended its decision to book her. Get the popcorn ready. Sunday, 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on ABC.
Roisin Murphy, "Ten Miles High"
The queen of unique, electronic Irish artist Róisín Murphym is back with a new single and video. "Ten Miles High," off her forthcoming album, Take Her Up to Monto, is a slow-burner of a song, building to a crescendo that, purposefully, never quite arrives. The video is an acid trip view of the inner workings of London, with Murphy strutting in construction garb through streets, parking lots, the Underground, and, finally, a church that makes her literally drop to her knees.
A Brief History of Gay Porn
Attending a lecture on a Friday night might sound like a drag. However, this lecture happens to be a brief history of gay porn. Producer Kyle Renick will be providing a review of the industry from 1971 to 2016, with film excerpts that should keep attendees at attention. Don’t miss it Friday, 7 p.m., at the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division in New York.
Hollywood screenwriter Maisha Yearwood’s play 9 Grams tells her story of being placed in solitary confinement in Istanbul for a minor drug offense — she was treated especially harshly and subjected to invasive examinations because she is a gender-nonconforming butch lesbian. She will perform in a private, invitation-only staged reading of the play Wednesday at the New School in New York City, directed by S. Epatha Merkerson of Law & Order and Chicago Med fame. Others will have a chance to see 9 Grams July 16 at 9:30 p.m. at Pride Fest at the Tank, 151 W. 46th St. in New York. Read more about Yearwood here.
Mo Kenney, In My Dreams
Canadian lesbian singer-songwriter Mo Kenney has just released her second album, In My Dreams, in the U.S. The album details the breakup of a long-distance relationship, and it finds Kenney adding something of a classic rock vibe to her folkie sound. In My Dreams was highly acclaimed and award-nominated when it was released in Canada two years ago, and it’s been making its way around the world since. You can order the album at Stereogum and check out Kenney’s tour dates on her website. Watch the video for the first single, “Telephones,” below.
Where's the Mother? Stories From a Transgender Dad by Trevor MacDonald
The Canadian trans man behind gay parenting blog Milk Junkiesoffers readers a tender, earnest window into the journey to fatherhood he and his husband took in Where’s the Mother? Stories From a Transgender Dad. Trevor MacDonald’s memoir — available in print and e-book from TransCanada Press Tuesday — is a candid exploration of cultural questions that will be familiar to any same-sex couple raising children in a world that isn’t always welcoming.
With his accessible, humorous writing, MacDonald unapologetically (but gently) pushes back on assumptions that presume everyone who gives birth to a child must be a woman, and that only mothers can produce milk to nourish their babies. Recognizing that Where’s the Mother helps to fill a void in cultural competency around, particularly, the trans-masculine parenting experience, LGBT-inclusive birth workers organization Doula Trainings International has added the memoir to its required reading list for new doulas.
Pride season has begun! And what better way to kick it off than at Long Beach? This year, the Southern California city’s LGBT celebration has a theme of “solidarity,” which is appropriate, as it is bringing together a range of performers that includes Neon Trees, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Dej Loaf, Honey Country, Elvis Crespo, and Kristinia DeBarge. Over 80,000 folks are expected to gather for the parade and festival, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at Marina Green Park. Don’t forget your ID. And learn more at LongBeachPride.com.