The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Christian bed and breakfast owner who was ordered by a lower court to serve a lesbian couple despite it being a violation of her religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court rejected the appeal Monday, thus upholding the lower court’s ruling in favor of the lesbian couple. Now, litigation will continue to determine what penalty the Christian business owner must face.
Phyllis Young, the owner of Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii, refused to rent a room in her home to Diane Cervili and Taeko Bufford in 2007 due to her religious beliefs about marriage. Cervili and Bufford sued Young over her actions and accused her of discriminating against them because of their sexuality.
Alliance Defending Freedom represented Young and argued that because she "only rented 1-3 rooms in her personal home she did not fall under the Hawaii public accommodations law that makes sexual-orientation discrimination unlawful."
The conservative law firm also pointed out that the Constitution protects Young’s right to not promote behavior that violates her faith or associate with people unwilling to respect her convictions.
However, a state court found Young in violation of Hawaii’s Civil Rights Commissions’ public accommodation law. The law applies to hospitality, entertainment, and transportation services. The law makes it "illegal to deny a person access to or to treat them unequally in a place of public accommodation" because of a person’s "religion," "sexual orientation," and "gender identity or expression."
READ ‘Frontal Assault on Religious Liberty’: Why Religious Freedom Advocates Are so Alarmed About the ‘Equality Act’
The ruling comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision involving Colorado-based Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips. Phillips refused to make a personalized cake for a gay wedding due to his religious beliefs about marriage.
The Supreme Court ruled in his favor and blasted the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for showing hostility towards Phillips’ faith. However, the high court did not address the key issue of whether business owners can claim religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.
Colorodo recently dropped a second case the commission had filed against Phillips, targeting him again after an activist tried to force him to celebrate a transgender transition. Phillips had counter-sued the commission which eventually agreed to drop the charges. More about that HERE.
Washington Post : These LGBT refugees came to Kenya seeking freedom. Now they’ve been imprisoned and abused.
“On Feb. 22, activists, reporters, and well-wishers from Kenya and all over the world gathered in a courtroom in Nairobi, hoping to witness a historic moment: the decriminalization of homosexual conduct for the first time in conservative East Africa, a region where anti-LGBT crackdowns are common, sometimes even at the behest of presidents. A judge ultimately deflated the room with a last-minute postponement of the ruling … But on that same day, 20 LGBT refugees who had come to Kenya hoping to escape repression in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo were spending their first full day in jail. Their ordeal has now lasted nearly a month, and demonstrates the difficulties LGBT people in Kenya face regardless of what happens in the courts…” (Bearak, 3/19).
Shutterstock.com March 19, 2019, LifeSiteNews — The Illinois House has passed a controversial bill requiring public school history textbooks to include “the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this state.”
Known as HB 246 , the measure passed by a comfortable 60-42 margin, largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans in opposition to the proposed legislation. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
The bill aims to amend the state’s textbook block grant program, mandating the purchase of textbooks that highlight the contributions of all groups protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
“There is nothing that prevents the teaching of the lives of historical figures including if they were known to have been homosexuals,” said Rep. Darren Bailey. “But forcing that information on five-year-olds and elementary school children is more of an effort of indoctrination than of learning history about individuals who accomplished important discoveries in science or created great works of art.”
“I also opposed this legislation because it does not provide an ‘opt-out’ option for parents who do not wish their children exposed to this kind of information for religious reasons or because their child may not be of a mature enough age to fully understand the meaning and implications of what LGBT actually is,” added Bailey.
Another Republican, Rep. Tom Morrison, objected on mostly pragmatic grounds, focusing on how the newly mandated material would unfairly burden teachers who already face difficult workloads.
“We all know that we need to have a well-educated, well-informed citizenry. We have to have that if we’re going to maintain our form of government,” said Morrison. “But we’re already failing to teach history to today’s and future generations. We’re not even covering the basics of our shared history.”
The legislation now goes to the Illinois Senate, where it is expected to pass. If signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the measure would go into effect July 1, 2020.
Some are viewing this as a mostly symbolic act, with little or no impact in the immediate future.
The legislation “only applies to textbooks purchased through the state’s textbook block grant program, which has not received any funding for the last five years, and which the State Board of Education has not requested funding for in the upcoming budget,” according to a saukvalley.com report.
A 2015 study found that 7.6% of the Japanese population—1 person in 13—identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We talk to Harima Katsuki, a psychiatrist and counselor for LGBT people, about what we know about these individuals, including the difficulties they face. Harima Katsuki Director of the Harima Mental Clinic. Earned his MD from the University of Tokyo. Director of the Japan Society of Sexual Science. He is also a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Pessimism About the Future
Sugita Mio, a Liberal Democratic Party member in the House of Representatives, made waves with her article in the August 2018 issue of Shinchō 45 in which she claimed that the LGBT community “received too much support.” Similarly controversial was Sugita’s 2015 appearance on a right-wing YouTube channel, during which she slammed as “unjustified” the use of taxes to support “unproductive” gays and lesbians, and even laughed when referring to high rates of suicide among LGBT children.
It goes without saying that suicide rates of any group should never be a laughing matter. As shown in the graph below, the transgender population is marked by a high incidence of suicide-related events. Harima attributes this to the growing discomfort experienced by transgender youth during puberty due to their changing bodies, an inability to come out to their families, which results in a sense that they do not belong anywhere and therefore feelings of isolation, and bullying at school and in the community.
“Then there is the issue of relationships,” says Harima. “For a romantic advance by a gay man or lesbian to be successful, the other party needs to be attracted to the same sex as well. Transgender people find it hard to form relationships at all, and sometimes when they do find a mate, it is only to be dumped on the grounds of realities beyond their control: They are not a ‘real’ man or woman. They cannot get married. They cannot have children. These transgender people suffer a double blow.”
It is not only external factors that can make LGBT individuals feel suicidal, he notes: Sometimes LGBT people evince harmful attitudes toward themselves.
“Take ‘internalized homophobia.’ For example, if an LGBT character on TV is portrayed as repulsive or ridiculous, LGBT viewers may internalize this message and feel that they, too, are repulsive. Some transgender individuals even take their own lives, believing that they will be reborn as a ‘real’ man or woman.”
Something that may be said about all LGBT persons, says the doctor, is that they are inclined to feel like they are not living their lives to the full. “This feeling can result in suicidal behavior. For example, a gay man with a crush on a male pop star might pretend to like a female one instead. A transgender person might pretend to like women despite actually being attracted to men, or vice versa. This may not seem like a big deal, but these people feel they are not being true to themselves—that they are not really alive. Be yourself and risk discrimination and bullying. Live a lie and feel like you don’t have a life. This dilemma makes people despair about their future.”
On a positive note, however, it is becoming easier for these people to be true to themselves, notes Harima. “Nowadays, if you simply pluck up the courage, it’s easier than ever to connect with other people like yourself online. Meeting others in a similar situation can provide a feeling of belonging and make you feel less isolated. LGBT people can also look to an increasing number of out-and-proud role models for inspiration. These role models send the message that it is possible to lead a happy life as an LGBT person. I urge LGBT individuals to be themselves, thereby doing their own bit to stop discrimination and harassment.” Well-Intentioned Outing
However, sometimes when an LGBT individual comes out to a friend, the friend might tell others, thereby “outing” the LGBT individual (disclosing his or her sexuality or gender-identity) on a scale he or she did not intend right away.
“It’s rare for a patient to come to my clinic with the specific complaint of being outed, which is actually evidence of just how common outing is. People come out for a reason: they want to get their secret off their chest or become closer to the friend. Transgender people may come out in order to be treated as the gender they identify with. Therefore, if a friend comes out to you, you should tell them that they are still the same person to you and, importantly, not tell anyone else. Asking them why they decided to come out to you in particular at this time can shed light on the situation they’re facing.”
A separate issue, says Harima, is that of coming out in the context of a romantic advance.
“Among heterosexuals, it’s common to tell your friends if someone asks you for a date. This can be a way of trying to detract from the awkwardness of the situation, or simply because we don’t know what to do. Clearly, having an LGBT individual come out to you because they are attracted to you is an even bigger deal. The gravity of the situation makes us want to share it with others, and it follows that the act of outing an LGBT individual who ‘came onto you’ is not always done out of malice. For that individual, however, the experience of being outed by someone they were attracted to is devastating and may even push them toward suicide.” Harima puts his psychiatry training to use in helping LGBT patients improve their lives. Surgery Is No Panacea
“Outing is not the only problem that can arise innocently,” continues Harima. “For example, for a transgender individual, changing one’s legal gender is the ultimate solution to the problem of being deemed to belong to one’s birth sex in the workplace. If an MtF, or male to female, transgender person is legally female, it’s easier for her to use the women’s bathrooms and changing rooms at work. In Japan, however, one must undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to change one’s legal gender. The thing is, not everyone wants surgery. The prospect is intimidating. And yet surgery is presented as a solution to a problem, which makes transgender people feel that they need to have gender reassignment. This state of affairs makes those who have not undergone gender reassignment feel like ‘frauds,’ and thus reluctant to complain to their workplaces about things like bathroom options.”
This situation can also lead to employer intolerance, warns Harima. “The reasoning becomes that ‘preoperative’ transgender people can fix all their problems with an operation. This unspoken pressure to ‘hurry up and get a sex change’ makes life difficult for those who choose not to. Gender reassignment surgery has become a solution not for transgender people themselves, but for a society that doesn’t know what to do with them. This is frightening. It’s my belief we all need to take a more laid-back attitude to the transgender community. People need to understand that if a transgender coworker, even a slightly masculine-looking one, identifies as female, then she might use the women’s bathroom. Public toilets prevent more of a hurdle, but I think this approach would work in workplaces or educational institutions in which everyone is somewhat acquainted.” Respecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
On Internet forums you will find some support for the idea expressed in Sugita Mio’s Shinchō 45 article, that is, that LGBT rights get too much attention. Pundit Ogawa Eitarō’s infamous article in the October 2018 edition of the same magazine (which ultimately spelled the end of that publication) was titled “The Government Can’t Fix Subjective Hardship.”
In it, Ogawa writes, “No hardship is so deep-rooted as that of the compulsive groper, who, upon smelling a woman’s scent in a crowded train, cannot stop himself from touching her. . . . Surely society should defend the right of these men to grope women.”
Harima stresses the need to respect sexual orientation and identity specifically. “I qualify my statement in this way for the reason that there are sexualities that infringe the rights of others, such as pedophilia, and the sexuality of individuals who are incapable of becoming aroused without inflicting violence. Public groping and rape are not acceptable between members of the opposite sex, so obviously unwanted sexual advances between persons of the same sex are unacceptable too.”
The doctor closes with a warning against prejudice. “At the same time, in the same way that we do not condemn all heterosexuals on account of a small number of heterosexuals who commit rape, we should not condemn all lesbians and gay men on account of a small number of people who commit these offences either. We accept all races and religions to the extent that they do not infringe on the rights of others. I believe that the same should apply to the spectrum of sexual orientations and identities.”
(Originally published in Japanese on February 25, 2019. Reporting and text by Kuwahara Rika of Power News. Banner photo: A rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBT pride and the LGBT movement. © TommyX/Pixta.)
March 19, 2019 ( LifeSiteNews ) — There has always been one end-game for the radical left: the silencing of dissenting voices, in particular conservative Christian voices.
The radical left is not simply interested in winning in the marketplace of ideas. It is not simply interested in changing hearts and minds. It is ultimately interested in silencing the opposition, especially all opposition that is based on a biblical worldview.
For years I have said that those who came out of the closet (meaning, radical gay activists) wanted to put us in the closet (meaning those of who identify with conservative biblical values). And for years I (and many others) have documented this, time and time again.
You might wonder how the radical left wants to silence us. How, exactly, does it want to put us in the closet?
By intimidation. By ridicule. By legal action. By expulsion. By exclusion.
Anything to avoid civil, respectful debate. Anything to avoid a genuine discussion of differences. Anything to avoid true dialogue.
Instead, those who differ with the radical left are to be demonized, stigmatized, marginalized, and silenced.
Back in 2012, the gay activist organization GLAAD launched its Commentator Accountability Project. Its purpose was to discourage media outlets from having people like me on their broadcasts. (I was one of their initial list of 36 commentators. The list has greatly expanded now .)
Again, GLAAD’s goal was not to provide useful information for the liberal media to refute our arguments. Instead, their goal was to discredit us and convince the media not to give us any platform.
In short, GLAAD’s operating principles were simple. Exclude people; don’t examine their ideas. Demonize them; don’t dialogue with them.
That’s why I said that GLAAD was not the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (their original acronym; now they’re just GLAAD). Instead, I suggested, they should be known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement.
In that same spirit, it is the radical left which seeks to block conservative speakers from college campuses, even with violent protests.
It is the radical left which seeks to shame people on their jobs and humiliate them in their schools.
As for freedom of speech and expression, that must be a one-way street.
Only the ideas of the left are worthy of dissemination. Dissenters are no better than the Taliban, than ISIS, than the Nazis, than the KKK.
That’s the way the radical left seeks to win.
And that’s why a high school student was recently suspended for posting Bible verses in her school in response to LGBTQ pride displays. The displays were perfectly welcome. The Bible verses were not.
As I said, freedom of expression only goes one way.
The student, Gabby Heisinger, explains that she was called into the principal’s office and “was asked why she posted the Bible verses. “And I said, ‘Because I wanted to spread the word of God,’” she said. “And [the principal] goes, ‘Well did you have permission?’ And I said, ‘No.’ I didn’t know you had to have permission because people do it a lot — putting Post-It notes on people’s lockers, so I just did it.” Gabby then asked the principal why any material that mentions God or Jesus, it gets removed “straight away,” while “gay pride stuff” can be put up all over school and openly discussed with no repercussions at all. Enough said.
Or consider the unrelenting attack on Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States. He is a vile person. An ugly person. A person to be shamed by visiting dignitaries and ridiculed by outspoken celebrities . And his wife, Karen, is to be vilified as well.
Why? Because he has the audacity to believe what virtually all branches of Christianity have believed for the better part of two millennia (namely, that marriage is for a man and a woman) and because his wife has the audacity to teach at a Christian school.
Such views can no longer be tolerated.
Forget about tolerance and acceptance and diversity.
Those were just code words used to win over those in the middle. They were nothing more than Trojan horses through which intolerance and exclusivity could be smuggled in.
Once in place, the real agenda now comes to light. And make no mistake about it. It is an ugly, vile agenda. (Yes, I call things like drag queens reading to toddlers ugly and vile, all the more so when one of the drag queens is a registered sex offender .)
How then should we respond to this attempt to silence us? How should we respond to attempts to intimidate us and marginalize us?
Simple. We speak out more loudly and clearly. We take our stands more firmly and boldly. And the more we are hated and slandered, the more we respond with love and truth.
The darkness will never succeed in snuffing out the light.
Taeko Bufford (L) and Diane Cervelli (R) (Lambda Legal’s YouTube channel) The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a B&B owner who refused to accommodate a lesbian couple in 2007 because she thought their relationship was “detestable.”
Last year, the Hawaii Supreme Court also rejected her appeal, which has been dragging on since the couple filed a lawsuit in 2011.
Supreme Court justices rejected Phyllis Young’s appeal, which argued that she should be allowed to turn gay couples away because of her religious beliefs, according to the Washington Post . Phyllis Young told the couple she was uncomfortable letting to lesbians
Young – who runs Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii – told the couple in 2007 when they tried to book a room that she was uncomfortable letting to lesbians . She then cancelled their booking.
The women – Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford of California – then filed a complaint to the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, who found that Young had illegally discriminated against them.
Young’s attorney, James Hochberg told the Washington Post in a statement that she is willing to rent rooms to anyone – including LGBT+ people – but that she won’t rent to romantic partners unless they are married and heterosexual.
Young allegedly told the women that she thinks homosexual relationships are “detestable” and that they “defiled the land.” “I was in disbelief, because this has never happened to me before … So now I’m facing discrimination just by being with someone I love.”
Cervelli previously opened up about being rejected from the B&B, saying Young asked her: “Are you a lesbian?”
“I answered truthfully, and the next thing out of her mouth was, ‘you can’t stay here.’” She continued: “I was in disbelief, because this has never happened to me before.
“So now I’m facing discrimination just by being with someone I love. Taeko Bufford (L) and Diane Cervelli (R) (Lambda Legal’s YouTube channel) “Some people continue to use their religious beliefs to discriminate and find ways around it. It’s really important that we are protected and we have our rights.” The couple’s attorney said LGBT+ people deserve to live life free from fear of discrimination
In a statement, counsel for the couple, Peter Renn of Lambda Legal, said that freedom of religion “does not give businesses a right to violate non-discrimination laws that protect all individuals from harm, whether on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
“The Supreme Court declined to consider carving out an exception from this basic principle when a business discriminates based on the sexual orientation of its customers. LGBT people deserve an equal right to go about their everyday life without the fear that discrimination waits for them around the corner.”
He also explained that the Masterpiece ruling of last year, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a baker who refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple, did not change that principle. “LGBT people deserve an equal right to go about their everyday life without the fear that discrimination waits for them around the corner.”
“Instead, that case was decided on fact-specific grounds of whether there was hostility to religion by the agency that initially decided the case,” Renn said. “There is no evidence of that here, and the Cervelli case was decided by a court, rather than an agency.
“The Masterpiece case also involved a freedom of expression defense, which the Supreme Court did not rule upon, and in any event, there is no freedom of expression defense at issue here in the Cervelli.”
Actress Sara Ramirez wants to make sure her donations are benefitting the bisexual community. Out bisexual actress Sara Ramirez has withdrawn a donation she made to the LGBT Community Center in New York after she said the organization failed to follow through on its pledge to use the funds to implement bisexual-based training for its staff.
“Just got a full refund from the NY LGBT Center because after a year & a half of promising my donation would create #bi+ assessments & training 4 their staff, it never happened,” Ramirez wrote in a tweet March 11.
A spokesperson for the Center acknowledged that the organization did not incorporate the trainings.
“We strive to meet donors’ expectations but unfortunately were not able to do so in this instance,” said Mary Steyer, the Center’s senior director of communications. “Given that, the most responsible course of action was to return the donor’s gift.
The actress, who came out in 2016, instead opted to shift her funds to BiNet USA, a nonprofit bisexual community organization, in order to train folks at Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United, which addresses youth homelessness with a particular focus on LGBTQ kids.
It is not clear how much money Ramirez originally donated or what kind of training will be carried out with the re-allocated funds.
BiNet USA tweeted in response to Ramirez, thanking her “for this opportunity to educate and make the world a little but [sic] better.”
Ramirez, who originally hails from Mexico, has a special connection the True Color Fund. She came out during the 2016 40 To None Summit, which was spearheaded by that organization, and she currently serves on its board of directors.
The actress’ career has included multiple roles depicting bisexual characters. She has starred as Callie Torres in “Grey’s Anatomy” and Kat Sandoval on “Madam Secretary.”
Prior to becoming known for her on-screen work, Ramirez nabbed a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her role in the Broadway musical comedy “Spamalot.”
Ramirez received the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2015.
‘You’re gay! That’s so cool!’ (Photo posed by models, via Unsplash) Whether well intentioned or not, straight people can sometimes ask gay people awkward, crass or offensive questions.
If such questions come from a genuine desire to learn more, we may be understanding. If they come from a place of bigotry or intolerance, it’s a different matter.
Either way, here’s a handful of the more common ones, along with reasons for why people should think twice before asking them.
Can you think of any others? Post your own suggestions below. 1. ‘When did you decide to be gay?’
Apparently, this still needs explaining. Imagine if someone asked you, a heterosexual, ‘When did you decide to be straight?’ You’d probably struggle for an answer.
For gay people, it’s just the same. It makes it sound like being gay is a choice, which it is not.
Perhaps the person asking actually means: ‘When did you decide to come out and embrace your sexuality?’ If that’s the case, that’s how it should be phrased, but again, asking someone ‘When did you decide to embrace your gayness?’ might not sit well with some people. We wouldn’t ask: ‘When did you decide to embrace your heterosexuality.’
Sexuality is individual and unique. It’s something that tends to dawn upon us in late childhood or early adolescence. For some people, awareness comes later, but it’s not something we choose or decide.
Sadly, there are still gay people who ‘decide’ they will try and be heterosexual in order to keep families or friends happy. It only leads to a whole heap of unhappiness . 2. ‘What do you actually do in bed?’
Or ‘How does butt sex work?’ Or ‘How do lesbians have sex?’
If we want to talk to you about our sex lives, we will bring it up in conversation. If your best friend is gay and then want some relationship or sex advice, then granted the conversation may go down this route… but let’s be honest: Often times it’s just invasive curiosity. It’s also none of your business.
If you are so curious about what gay people do in bed, there is no lack of videos online which will demonstrate. Just google it instead of putting a gay person on the spot.
Oh, and if you’re a straight guy, asking two women, ‘Can I watch?’ is also a big no-no and not amusing. 3. ‘Are you the man or the woman?’
This question shows you presume same-sex relationships can only work if they ape a heteronormative template: a template loaded with centuries of societal expectations over who does what according to gender.
Just don’t ask. Instead, question why anyone needs to be seen as the ‘man’ or ‘woman’. 4. ‘Do you know my gay cousin, John?’
Being gay doesn’t mean we know every other gay in the world. 5. ‘Do you have to be so in-your-face about it?’
Or, ‘I don’t mind gay people, but why do you have to parade about it and shove it down people’s throats?’
Being open and honest about who one loves or is attracted to does not equate to shoving it in people’s faces. As for Pride parades, demonstrating pride in one’s sexuality is important when large sections of society continue to tell you that your sexuality to be something shameful.
Reclaiming the streets – if only for one day – is empowering for anyone who feels threatened or unsafe on those streets at other times of the year. 6. How do you know if you have never been with someone of the opposite sex?’
Let’s turn that question around. How do you know you’re straight if you’ve never had sex with someone of your own sex?
How would you respond to that question? Feels a little ludicrous now, right? 7. ‘Am I cute? Would you date me if I was gay?’
For some reason, lots of straight people are really keen to be validated by people they have no sexual interest in. 8. ‘Have you heard of our Saviour? Jesus Christ?’
We know where this conversation is going, so let’s stop you right there… See also
‘I am 50 years old, gay, married, living in New York City in 2016 and still this sight, of two men or women holding hands in public, it brings me up short every single time’
Australian Conservatives candiate Greg Walsh | Picture: YouTube (ACL) A conservative politician in New South Wales, Australia, blamed trans children’s poor mental health on their ability to self-identify, rather than transphobia.
Australian Conservatives candidate Greg Walsh made the alarming comments at a forum yesterday (19 March), the Star Observer reported.
He compared trans kids who have had gender-affirmation surgery as ‘mutilated.’
Libertarian think tank the Centre for Independent Studies hosted the forum.
Also in attendance, One Nation party leader Mark Latham appeared to support Walsh’s views.
Latham said the ‘self-identification system’ is an ‘evil political program to make young people confused and rise up.’
It comes after Latham announced a One Nation NSW policy of banning self-identification. What did he say?
Walsh slammed the reports that half of trans young people aged 14 to 25 in Australia have attempted or considered suicide.
Moreover, trans youths are 10 times more likely to experience severe depression and anxiety, according to a 2017 study.
He said: ‘The argument is that this is happening because we’re such a transphobic society.
‘But if you look at how drastic the surgery is for a transgender and a person changes their mind, then they just have to realize they’ve been mutilated.’
Walsh said gender-affirmation surgery is ‘a very good justification for such a high suicide rate.’
He even suggested trans kid’s ‘issues will revolve’ simply by going through puberty. LGBTI students-turned advocates
Last month, LGBTI Australian students delivered a petition to end discrimination in schools to the Australian parliament.
‘Imagine a young person being forced to suppress their true identity for fear of being kicked out of school and humiliated in front of their peers’ the change.org petition said.
Nearly 55,000 people had signed it by the time activists presented it to parliament. See also
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) surveyed over 130,000 young people; more than 1 in 3 trans youth attempted suicide in last 12 months
Three Knife+Heart cast members | Photo: Altered Innocence Take a pinch of the The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s bawdy humour; add a dose of Stranger By the Lake’s eerie eroticism.
Mix in a campy dash of lovingly bad cliched trash, a la A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
Finally, finish with a thick layer of colorful absurdity, like the original Suspiria or a Pedro Almodóvar thriller.
The end result? Something vaguely resembling the supremely queer Knife+Heart.
In truth, this pulpy horror, helmed by French director Yann Gonzalez, is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Set in and around a 70s gay porn studio in Paris, it’s unforgettable, and not just because of the many curly-haired, angel-faced actors playing adult models who fill the screen for much of its 90 minute running time.
Indeed, one performance stands out above all others. She even upstages the dildo-switchblade-wielding, sex club-frequenting madman who drives the plot.
Yes, French actress Vanessa Paradis is utterly fascinating as the main character: adult filmmaker Anne. Not to mention painfully cool, with her bleached blonde hair and sex-worker-chic bottle green plastic trench coat.
Embarrassingly, I better knew Vanessa for her personal life until this film, and had never seen her act before. (I only heard her 1989 number one Joe le taxi for the first time this morning, too. It’s great). ‘Vanessa’s Anne is the Miranda Priestly of gay porn’
Hats off to her: in Knife+Heart, she’s electrifying. Anne is an uncompromising artist and tastemaker, the Miranda Priestly of gay porn, and really, who knew such a role could exist?
Making Anne’s context evermore specific is the fact that she’s apparently exclusively into women – while motherly and protective of her gaggle of guys.
It may all sound rather implausible, but it doesn’t feel so on screen. Besides, I’ve heard real-life stories of verbally abusive straight men calling the shots on gay male porn shoots – this scenario seems far preferable. Without the man in the leather gimp mask bumping people off, obviously… And while Anne’s a ball-buster, she exudes a pixie-faced vulnerability, squelchy with emotion throughout, after the demise of her 10-year romance with producer Lois (Kate Moran) renders her an emotional wreck.
As her love turns obsessive – part Tinkerbell, part Alex from Fatal Attraction, part Chucky from Child’s Play – you’re left wondering if she is in fact the killer. ‘There’s a plucky trans woman, an elderly lesbian bartender…’
The second-tier characters are in equal parts juicy, unique and totally relevant to 2019.
There’s a plucky trans woman; an elderly lesbian bartender; a talented fluffer who happens to be overweight; police officers suffering from extreme cases of toxic masculinity.
Many inspire the characters in Anne’s latest (utterly ridiculous) blue movie Homocidal – thus, a film-within-a-film narrative unfolds. Things get complex and meta, and while that’s interesting, it’s a slight shame some of the most random characters aren’t more fleshed out.
My only other criticism – and I’m really showing my age here – is the violence shown. Particularly one scene, which goes further than the strongest moments of sexuality and nudity.
Forgive my 30-something pearl-clutching, but it occurred during dreamlike-sequence saturated with colour. By the time I realized what I was witnessing, it was too late to look away! Otherwise, full marks.
The film opens in New York City on 15 March. This is followed by screenings in LA on 22 March, San Francisco on 29 March, Chicago on 5 April and Denver on 19 April. Additional dates to be announced. For more information visit See also:
Here’s the trailer for Sauvage – the gay prostitute film people walked out of at Cannes