One of the nation's great street festivals, Northhalsted Market Days also serves as a second (unofficial) Pride for Chicago. Kicking off Saturday and ending Sunday evening, Market Days is six blocks of un-wholesome (and wholesome, too!) fun in the city's historic Boystown. Expect lots of great performances from artists like Todrick Hall, Kimberley Locke, Martha Wash, Crystal Waters, and Ultra Naté. Check out pics of last year's event here and get more information here.
When you hear the words “director Spike Lee and producer Jordan Peele” you should already be excited, and know you’re about to get some poignant, quality content. The two have come together to make BlacKkKlansman, which promises to deliver just that. The film, set in the early 1970s, follows the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first black detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who decides to launch an investigation into the Ku Klux Klan — by getting inside it. Based on Stallworth's 2014 book, Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime, Stallworth initially established connection over the phone, and then has fellow detective and Jewish man Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) pose as him to further the investigation, with the end goal being to expose the rampant hate crimes of the KKK, and let the world know just how monstrous and vile the extremist hate group is. BlacKkKlansman comes out today. Watch the trailer here:
The Blank Minds, a pop/indie rock band helmed by trans frontman Flynn Namala, has released a new album, Becoming Him. The release is accompanied by a new music video for the band's track "Transient," which recounts Namala's transition and showcases trans bodies dancing from around the world. Proceeds from this song will go toward Point of Pride, an organization that provides gender-confirming services to trans people in need. The Blank Minds is also throwing a musical festival, Becoming Us Fest, in downtown L.A. on August 25, which will benefit Point of Pride and raise funds for chest binders for young trans men. Watch "Transient" below and buy Becoming Him on major music platforms.
In Utah, the Mormon church has an overwhelming amount of influence in state politics, particularly when it comes to LGBTQ rights. This award-winning documentary follows a brash, inexperienced gay activist and a tiny Salt Lake City law firm that joined forces to topple Utah’s gay marriage ban and pave the way to marriage equality across America. Taking on freedom of religion but also freedom from it, Church & State opens August 10.
When he was a teenager, Darnell L. Moore was doused in gasoline by three assailants, who tried to light him on fire because they thought he was gay. This is but one of the examples set forth in Moore's memoir, No Ashes in the Fire, of the dangers faced by queer people of color. In the book, Moore, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, recounts his experiences growing up in Camden, N.J., in the 80s and 90s to shine a light on systemic racism and homophobia, as well as his precarious place on their intersection. He writes, “I couldn’t write a memoir full of life stories without animating all the invisible, and not-so-hidden, forces that rendered my blackness criminal, my black manhood vile, my black queerness sinful, and my black city hood.” Find it on Amazon or a bookseller near you.
Maybe you've already said #ThankYouTroye to commemorate the pop star's five-year anniversary of coming out. If not, you might want to thank him again for his newest single, "Animal." The tune is a slow-burn take on gay desire; a theme Troye has been beautifully exploring on his forthcoming album, Bloom (out August 31). Take a listen to the romantic, passionate ode below:
This anthem to skater girls takes on the lives of young women in male-dominated spaces through the eyes of an introverted teenage skateboarder from Long Island. It is a testament to defying the rules of gender. Skate Kitchen stars Jaden Smith and is directed by Crystal Moselle, who won a Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for her debut documentary, The Wolfpack.