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“SAME-SEX ATTRACTED”— LGBTQ+ Students at BYU

“SAME-SEX ATTRACTED”

LGBTQ+ Students at BYU

Amos Lassen

“Same-Sex Attracted” is a documentary that follows a  few LGBTQ students over an academic school year at the LDS-owned Brigham Young University (BYU). The students are lovable and face the regular day-to-day life of being a college kid and the trials that come with being queer at a Mormon institution. They struggle with with questions of faith, sexuality, gender, family, love and happiness. The students and their off-campus group Understanding Sexuality, Gender and Allyship (USGA) realize that BYU’s administration has plans to create a new, church-sanctioned GSA without the influence of other queer-led organizations that already exist. We see here the real experience of being queer at the Lord’s University from the perspective of LGBTQ students who struggle to make a positive change.

When Brigham Young University announced that the clause prohibiting “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings” would be removed from the school’s honor code, students became quite excited. But then, two weeks later, BYU students were upset to learn, as an official LDS church statement indicated, “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage, and is therefore not compatible with the principles of the Honor Code.”

This documentary directed by Maddy Purves and Zoie Young gives us one of the most comprehensive looks at the challenges LGBTQ+ students at BYU face as they deal with a strict honor code and the efforts of the student support group USGA  (Understanding Sexuality, Gender and Allyship) to gain official recognition on the campus.

Many non-Mormons in the LGBTQ+ communities  who are not just in Utah but elsewhere in the country, ask why students, who are so vulnerable to the honor code rules, would decide to remain on campus. The film shows that the honor code’s impact goes well beyond the classroom and  into the student’s housing accommodations, public behavior and appearance in the larger Provo community and the possibility that their fellow students will turn them in for behavior not considered appropriate in the rules.  

Many young Mormons hide their sexual identities but in this film, they are outspoken and candid. However, the circumstances with which they must contend are presented plainly. It is hard to imagine how anyone could defend these barriers as anything else but cruel, especially when the students sincerely hope to stay connected to their faith. On a larger scale, these conditions are inexcusable, in light of the reaffirmation of their constitutional and legal rights. Despite the directors’ attempts to have a BYU administrator on camera to explain the school’s position, no one agreed to participate.

 

Some of the strongest scenes in the film show the magnitude of interest not just among the LGBTQ+ community on the Provo campus but also their fellow students and others who are part of the church. Rooms are packed, with attendees waiting in line to enter, for meetings and public discussions. The film captures the resilience that suggests (despite the mightiest of efforts by church and university officials) that the cause will not be silenced. The film effectively shows he spirit of students and alumni who see the challenges of bringing about changes that have been unimplemented for way too long.

Because the directors are both queer, they already were a part of the LGBT community at BYU. They had already established a relationship with everybody we filmed. They participants  knew that we were risking just as much by making the film as they were by being in it. There was constant communication with them throughout the production, and it was clear that they were loved, respected and safe.  

There is a very tight-knit community and a misconnect between the culture and beliefs in Mormonism and the rest of the world when it comes to LGBT issues and identity. It is the aim of the film to close that gap.

The film looks at the history of anti-gay policies at the university, including a clip from a 1959 speech where former BYU president Ernest Wilkinson said society was loosening its standards and allowing for more “homosexual practices,” and then warned, “We can expect to have some of these verted individuals on campus.”

Students say they face embracing their sexuality, or maintaining their activity in the LDS Church and working to align their sexual preferences with its teachings. The documentary explores the crisis in identity and faith that comes from living in that environment.

Winners Announced for 1st Live TV Broadcast of 2021 Queerties on Revry

Winners Announced for 1st Live TV Broadcast of 2021 Queerties on Revry

Elliot Page, Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande, Sarah Paulson, Schitt’s Creek, The Prom& Putting On Top The Winner’s List with Bright Light Bright Light Performance and Special Awards to Angelica Ross and Billy Eichner

Los Angeles: February 25, 2021 – Free Queer TV network, Revry, was thrilled to partner with Q.Digital and Lexus for the first-ever television broadcast of Q.Digital’s Queerties, the annual award show produced by entertainment site Queerty,celebrating the best in LGBTQ culture and media this Wednesday February 24 on Revry. The show is now available to view for free On-Demand on Revry.
Elliot Page, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Sarah Paulson, Schitt’s Creek, The Prom and Putting On were top winners at this year’s award show that included an electric performance by Bright Light Bright Light. Other winners include Shangela, Trixie Mattel, Laverne Cox, the documentary Disclosure, instagram star Joaquín Bondoni and TikTok sensation Josh Helfgott, along with so much more. See Full List Below.
Hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 Miss Congeniality Heidi N. Closet and Queerty Editor-in-Chief Dan Tracer, this year, Q.Digital and Lexus presented Angelica Ross with the Groundbreaker Award and Billy Eichner will receive the MVP Award. 
The event included celebrity appearances by Nicco Annan, James Bland, Isis King, Jai Rodriguez, Cameron Esposito, Shangela, Jinkx Monsoon, BenDeLaCreme, Willam, Alaska, HBO’s Veneno star Isabel Torres, Netflix’s The Prom star Jo Ellen Pellman and many more. Fans broke records with well over 1.5 million votes in 23 categories, including Drag Royalty, Closet Door Bustdown, Favorite Podcast, Favorite Instagram and TikTok Follows, Best Documentary, and Badass of the Year, presented by Stoli. 
Queerties Winners List
BADASS
Mary Trump
Sarah Mcbride
Elliot Page
Christian Cooper
Pete Buttigieg
Raymix
Lady Gaga
Alice Wu
Lena Waithe
Steve Kornacki
DRAG ROYALTY
Raven
D’Arcy Drollinger
Shea Couleé
Jinkx Monsoon
Dina Martina
Biqtch Puddin
Jaida Essence Hall
Landon Cider
Aquaria
Peppermint
FUTURE ALL-STAR
Jimbo
Divina De Campo
Kandy Zyanide
Gigi Goode
Heidi N Closet
Baga Chipz
Rita Baga
Scarlett Bobo
Kana Warrior
Crystal Methyd
CLOSET DOOR BUSTDOWN
Zaya Wade
Justice Smith
Quinn
Nikkie De Jager
Elliot Page
Pablo Alborán
Da Brat
Niecy Nash
Ben Aldridge
Kwon Do Woon
FAVORITE INSTA FOLLOW
Roberto J. Portales
Schuyler Bailar
Leslie Jordan
Brandon Kyle Goodman
Eden
Joaquín Bondoni
James B. Whiteside
Brian Derrick
Ariana & Hannah
Chasten Buttigieg
FAVORITE TIKTOKER
Nikita Dragun
Zaire
Starr McQueen
Coyle Twins
Josh Helfgott
Nathan
Conrad Rocha
Ebony and Denise
Rob Anderson
Megan Mitchell
PODCAST
Attitudes!
Lez hang Out
Sloppy Seconds
The Bald and the Beautiful
Rear View
Savage Love
Keep It
Race Chaser
Psycho Babble
Sibling Rivalry
INNOVATOR
Isis King
Jai Rodriguez
Cameron Esposito
James Bland
Shangela
ANTHEM
Kim Petras “Malibu”
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande “Rain on Me”
Sam Smith “Diamonds”
Troye Sivan “Easy”
King Princess “Pain”
Raymix “Llámame”
Keiynan Lonsdale “Gay Street Fighter:
Ricky Martin “Simple”
Perfume Genius “Jason”
Lil Nas X “Holiday”
INDIE MUSIC VID
Rufus Wainwright “Haine”
Orville Peck “Summertime”
Isaac Dunbar “Makeup Drawer”
Tom Goss “Irreplaceable”
Trixie Mattel “Malibu”
Shea Diamond “I Am America”
Jaake Castro “Covet”
Shamir “On My Own”
Mike Taveria “Curious”
Bright Light Bright Light & Caveboy “It’s Alright, It’s Okay”
TV SERIES
We’re Here
Ratched
Hightown
Legendary
Love, Victor
Veneno
Star Trek: Discovery
Schitt’s Creek
P-Valley
Equal
DIGITAL SERIES
The First
After Forever
Smothered
Gayish 2
The Influencers
Platonic
Ding Dong I’m Gay
Putting On
These Thems
Working Out Is A Drag
STUDIO MOVIE
Uncle Frank
Happiest Season
The Half Of It
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Dating Amber
The Prom
The Old Guard
Ammonite
The Boys in the Band
Friendsgiving
INDIE MOVIE
Nevrland
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Straight Up
Rialto
The Prince
Breaking Fast
7 Minutes
And Then We Danced
Benjamin
The Surrogate
PERFORMANCE – TV
John Early “Search Party”
Jonica Gibbs “Twenties”
Nicco Annan “P Valley”
Gillian Anderson “The Crown”
Sarah Paulson “Ratched”
Samira Wiley “Equal”
Jeremy Pope “Hollywood”
Hailie Sahar “Equal”
Lola Rodríguez “Veneno”
Jedet, Daniela Santiago, & Isabel Torres “Veneno”
PERFORMANCE – DIGITAL SERIES
Mitch Hara “Smothered”
Will Branske “The First”
Jason Stuart “Smothered”
Summer Spiro “Platonic”
Gretchen Wylder “These Thems”
Tim Spencer “Ding Dong I’m Gay”
Vico Ortiz “These Thems”
Charlescurtis Sanders “The First”
Jayla Roxx “Gayish 2”
Kevin Spirtas “After Forever”
PERFORMANCE – FILM
Peter Kim “The 40-Year-Old Version”
Jim Parsons “The Boys in the Band”
Janelle Monáe “Antebellum”
Laverne Cox “Promising Young Woman”
Misha Osherovich “Freaky”
Colman Domingo “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Haaz Sleiman “Breaking Fast”
Robin de Jesús “The Boys in the Band”
Juan Pablo Espinosa “Half Brothers”
Kristen Stewart “Happiest Season”
LOCKDOWN LOL
Patti Harrison “Yearly Departed”
Cole Escola “Help! I’m Stuck”
Jack Plotnick “Disney Made a Small World”
Jinkx Monsoon & Bendelacreme “Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special”
Kate Mckinnon “SNL Weekend Update: Rudy Giuliani”
Bowen Yang “SNL Weekend Update: Chen Biao”
Fortune Feimster “Sweety & Salty”
Julio Torres “Update on His Shapes”
Simon Amstell “Secrets To A Happy Life”
Wanda Sykes “Hates the Bachelor”
DOCUMENTARY
Tiger King
Disclosure
Visible: Out On TV
Welcome to Chechnya
Howard
Born to Be
Circus of Books
Bully. Coward. Victim
Mucho Mucho Amor
The Reagans
NEXT BIG THING
Love, Victor Season 2
Respect
It’s A Sin
We’re Here Season 2
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
West Side Story
The Eternals
Pose Season 3
Legendary Season 2
The Matrix 4
GIRL, BYE
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Madison Cawthorn
Scott Baio
Lindsey Graham
Kristie Alley
Ivanka Trump
JK Rowling
Gays For Trump
Matt Gaetz
Karens
THE FUTURE IS LGBTQ
Tammy Baldwin
Martin Jenkins
Kim Jackson
Taylor Small
David Cicilline
Karine Jean-Pierre
Mondaire Jones
Brian Sims
Alex Lee
Ritchie Torres
BEST READ
David Sedaris “The Best of Me”
Eric Cervini “The Deviant’s War”
Bryan Washington “Memorial”
Edmund White “A Saint From Texas”
Thomas Jedrowski “Swimming in the Dark”
Juli Delgado Lopera “Fiebre Tropical”
Larry Kramer “The American People”
Robert Jones, Jr. “The Prophets”
Brandon Taylor “Real Life”
Vivek Shraya “The Subtweet”

About Q.Digital

As an LGBTQ owned-and-operated, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce & ANA certified business enterprise, Q.Digital is the trusted voice for news, entertainment, and travel in the LGBTQ community, reaching a highly engaged audience of more than 9.5 million per month. Q.Digital connects brands to the market through its digital properties—Queerty, the popular entertainment and pop culture site; GayCities, the travel site covering 238 destinations worldwide; and LGBTQ Nation, America’s most-followed LGBTQ news source.

Q.Digital is an indispensable resource for individuals seeking inspiration for their life’s experiences. Q.Digital enables major brands such as Hulu, Gilead, Lexus, and MasterCard to connect with an LGBTQ audience on a personal and credible level through branded content, custom video, events, and promotions. Digital programs and custom events include the Queerties (February), Pride 50 (May to July), Heroes (September), and Best of GayCities (December).

About Queerty

Queerty is the leading entertainment brand for and inspired by the LGBTQ community. It is the most-visited website in the United States LGBTQ market and the #1 website for U.S. LGBTQ Millennials. Queerty is owned and operated by Q.Digital, Inc. For more information, please visit www.queerty.com, and find @Queerty on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Lexus

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 242 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

ABOUT REVRY
Watch Queer TV 24/7 with the first LGBTQ+ digitall cable TV network. Revry offers free live TV channels and on-demand viewing of its global library featuring LGBTQ+ movies, shows, music, podcasts, news, and exclusive originals all in one place! Revry is currently available globally in over 250+ million households and devices and on seven OTT, mobile, and Desktop platforms. Revry can also be viewed on nine live and on-demand channels and Connected TVs including: The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity X1, Dell, XUMO TV, Zapping TV, STIRR, TiVo+, and as the first LGBTQ+ virtual reality channel on Littlstar (available on PlayStation devices). The company–an inaugural member of the Goldman Sachs Black and LatinX Cohort–is headquartered in Los Angeles and led by a diverse founding team who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @revrytv,Revry.tv

“The Windsor knot” by SJ Bennett— A New Series

Bennett, SJ. “The Windsor Knot: A Novel (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates, 1)”. William Morrow, 2021.

A New Series

Amos Lassen

I doubt many of us ever thought about the Queen of England as a crime-solver. She certainly has enough to do just being a queen. She has all those children and grandchildren, etc. and so many dogs to see to. Move over Mrs. Marple, here comes some royal competition. “The Windsor Knot” by SJ Bennett is the first book in a new mystery series and it is great fun.

Set in the early spring of 2016, Queen Elizabeth is ensconced at Windsor Castle just before her 90th birthday celebrations. Just as the preparations being taken care of, a guest, a young Russian pianist, is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. At first, it seems that he has strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect that foul play took place. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals until she realizes that their suspicions are taking them in the wrong direction. She is not happy as how this  is being mishandled and is worried about the morale of her castle staff so she takes it upon herself to have a look at the case. She enlists the help of her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery and they secretly begin asking questions. This does not hinder how she carries out her royal duties and so no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that Queen Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to find and bring a murderer to justice.

Here is the Queen as we never see her— she is “kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.” I must admire the composition of the character. She was anxiously looking forward to the birthday celebrations and we meet her on a special evening when she was a dine and sleep to kick off them off.  It was arranged as a favor to Charles in order to build better relations with some rich Russians for one of his pet projects that needed a  bit of help cash-wise.  Charles requested that Yuri Peyrovski and his wife and a hedge fund manager, Jay Hax, that specialized in Russian markets be invited to Windsor. The Queen also invited Sir David Attenborough, her racing manager, a novelist and her husband, a screenwriter, the British ambassador to Moscow, an Oscar-winning actress of Russian heritage, a female British architect who was building a museum in Russia, a professor of Russian literature and the Archbishop of Canterbury. There were also ballet dancers and a Russian piano player to entertain the guests. After dinner, the guests and Queen Elizabeth retired to the Crimson Drawing Room where the young pianist, Maksim Brodsky, entertained. He is young and quite good-looking. After the ballerinas performed, Brodsky played dance tunes from the thirties and furniture was moved aside and her guests danced. In fact, the Queen danced with Brodsky and before excusing herself to retire for the evening. Everything had gone quite well.

The next morning, the Queen awoke to learn that the young Russian pianist was found dead in his bedroom. Upon investigation by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police it was suspected that he had been murdered. The members of the investigating team suspected that President Vladimir Putin might have ordered this murder but the Queen who had been used to solving crimes in her youth, thought differently. It was hard for her to stay out of this crime especially because she suspected that those in charge were on the wrong track. She began her own investigation with Rozie. I certainly cannot say more about the plot but I can say that this is a fun read, especially in learning about  Queen Elizabeth II.

Revry to Host 1st Live TV Broadcast of Q.Digital’s 2021 Queerties

Revry to Host 1st Live TV Broadcast of Q.Digital’s 2021 Queerties

Hosted by Heidi N. Closet and Queerty EIC, Dan Tracer, with Bright Light Bright Light Performance, Angelica Ross and Billy Eichner Special Awards and Appearances by Nicco Annan, Shangela, Veneno star Isabel Torres, The Prom’s Jo Ellen Pelman Plus Many More

Los Angeles: February 18, 2021 – Free Queer TV network, Revry, is thrilled to partner with Q.Digital and Lexus for the first-ever television broadcast of Q.Digital’s Queerties, the annual award show produced by entertainment site Queerty, celebrating the best in LGBTQ culture and media. The awards ceremony will stream live at 6pm PST / 9pm EST on February 24 on Revry(including Revry’s third-party channels on Samsung TV Plus, Roku Channels, Xumo, Stirr, Apple TV) as well as on Queerty’s homepage, Facebook, and YouTube pages.
“We couldn’t be more excited to broadcast the Queerties this year,” shared Revry CEO and CoFounder, Damian Pelliccione. “To showcase such incredible, diverse queer talent across all our channels, over 250 million households and devices, will allow everyone to tune-in and enjoy the fantastic show Q.Digital produces!”
Hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 Miss Congeniality Heidi N. Closet and Queerty Editor-in-Chief Dan Tracer, the show will include an exciting musical performance by Bright Light Bright Light. This year, Q.Digital and Lexus will present Angelica Ross with the Groundbreaker Award, and Billy Eichner will receive the MVP Award. 
“I’ve been voting for the Queerties as a fan for years, so it’s very exciting to not only be a nominee this year but the host of the show!” said Drag Race star Heidi N. Closet. “I’m honored to help celebrate so many amazing and diverse members of our community, and the incredible work they put out during such a challenging year.”
The event will dawn a virtual red carpet with celebrity appearances by Nicco Annan, James Bland, Isis King, Jai Rodriguez, Cameron Esposito, Shangela, Jinkx Monsoon, BenDeLaCreme, Willam, Alaska, HBO’s Veneno star Isabel Torres, Netflix’s The Prom star Jo Ellen Pellman and many more.  Fans broke records with well over 1.5 million votes in 23 categories, including Drag Royalty, Closet Door Bustdown, Favorite Podcast, Favorite Instagram and TikTok Follows,  Best Documentary, and Badass of the Year, presented by Stoli. 
“Our readers are incredibly tuned-in to pop culture, so the Queerties provide a perfect outlet to make their voices heard,” said Tracer. “This year is extra exciting because the show is streaming, so voters from all around the world will get to attend for the first time!”
Rebroadcasts will also be available on Revry to watch for free On Demand.   
Queerties Talent Scheduled to Appear 
  • Angelica Ross (Pose, American Horror Story) 
  • Billy Eichner (The Lion King, American Horror Story) 
  • Heidi N. Closet (RuPaul’s Drag Race) 
  • Bright Light Bright Light (Musician) 
  • Jo Ellen Pellman (The Prom)
  • James Bland (Giants) 
  • Isis King (America’s Next Top Model) 
  • Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) 
  • Cameron Esposito (Comedian, Take My Wife) 
  • Shangela (RuPaul’s Drag Race, HBO’s We’re Here)
  • Nicco Annan (P-Valley)
  • BenDeLaCreme (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx and Dela Holiday Special) 
  • Trixie Mattel (RuPaul’s Drag Race) 
  • Katya (RuPaul’s Drag Race0
  • Kevin Spirtas (After Forever)
  • Charles Curtis (The First)
  • Isabel Torres (Veneno)
  • Jack Plotnick (Call Me Kat, Grace & Frankie)  
  • Alaska (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
  • Willam (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
  • Big Dipper (Musician, Postcast host) 
  • Blossom Brown (Actress, producer, activist) 
  • Eric Cervini (Author: The Deviants) 
  • Josh Helfgott (TikTok star) 
  • Meatball (Dragula) 
  • Megan Mitchell (News anchor, TikTok star) 
  • Michael Henry (YouTube star)
  • Ultra Naté (Singer, Music producer) 
  • Jason Stuart (Smothered) 
  • Mitch Hara (Smothered) 
  • Jason Wimberly  (Working Out is a Drag) 
  • Juan Pablo Espinosa (Half Brothers)
  • Juli Delgado Lopera (Author: Fiebre Tropical)
  • Kiki Xtravaganza (Gayish 2) 
  • Leanne Noelle Smith (The Influencers)
  • Luciana Faulhaber (The Influencers)
  • Mike Heslin (The Influencers)
  • Noam Ash (The Influencers) 
  • Cast of the digital series “Platonic”
  • Jayla Roxx (Gayish2) 
  • Gretchen Wylder (These Thems) 
  • The Angelenos (Ariana & Hannah)
  • Leigh Holmes Foster and Ellie Brigida (Hosts of Lez Hang Out podcast)
  • Rachel Mason (Filmmaker: Circus of Books) 
  • Robert Jones Jr. (Author: The Prophets) 
  • Roberto Portales (Instagram Influencer) 
  • Samantha Gracie (The Influencers)
  • Shaan Dasani (These Thems)
  • Starr McQueen (TikTok star) 
  • Summer Spiro (Platonic) 
  • Tim Spencer (Ding Dong I’m Gay)
  • Tim Zientek (The First) 
  • Vico Ortiz (These Thems)
  • Will Branske (The First)
About Q.Digital 
As an LGBTQ owned-and-operated, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce & ANA certified business enterprise, Q.Digital is the trusted voice for news, entertainment, and travel in the LGBTQ community, reaching a highly engaged audience of more than 9.5 million per month. Q.Digital connects brands to the market through its digital properties—Queerty, the popular entertainment and pop culture site; GayCities, the travel site covering 238 destinations worldwide; and LGBTQ Nation, America’s most-followed LGBTQ news source.
Q.Digital is an indispensable resource for individuals seeking inspiration for their life’s experiences. Q.Digital enables major brands such as Hulu, Gilead, Lexus, and MasterCard to connect with an LGBTQ audience on a personal and credible level through branded content, custom video, events, and promotions. Digital programs and custom events include the Queerties (February), Pride 50 (May to July), Heroes (September), and Best of GayCities (December).
About Queerty
Queerty is the leading entertainment brand for and inspired by the LGBTQ community. It is the most-visited website in the United States LGBTQ market and the #1 website for U.S. LGBTQ Millennials. Queerty is owned and operated by Q.Digital, Inc. For more information, please visit www.queerty.com, and find @Queerty on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 
About Lexus
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 242 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
ABOUT REVRY
Watch Queer TV 24/7 with the first LGBTQ+ digitall cable TV network. Revry offers free live TV channels and on-demand viewing of its global library featuring LGBTQ+ movies, shows, music, podcasts, news, and exclusive originals all in one place! Revry is currently available globally in over 250+ million households and devices and on seven OTT, mobile, and Desktop platforms. Revry can also be viewed on nine live and on-demand channels and Connected TVs including: The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity X1, Dell, XUMO TV, Zapping TV, STIRR, TiVo+, and as the first LGBTQ+ virtual reality channel on Littlstar (available on PlayStation devices). The company–an inaugural member of the Goldman Sachs Black and LatinX Cohort–is headquartered in Los Angeles and led by a diverse founding team who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @revrytv,Revry.tv

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH ON REVRY 

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH ON REVRY 

Revry Celebrates Women All Month Long With Films, Series, and Music Videos.

 Revry celebrates Women’s History Month with an entire March calendar highlighting incredible female Queer content made by and for the community.

“Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is such an important time at Revry. As a company that is co-founded by two women of color we have always made sure that we’ve highlighted and honored queer women as a part of our mission” says Revry Co-Founder Alia J. Daniels. “This March we are excited to particularly highlight titles on Revry that honor the experience of Queer women, including and especially our trans sisters who for far too long haven’t received their full shine during these moments.”

Women’s History Month on Revry begins March 1st with empowering double-features Addicted to Fresno, the crime comedy starring Aubrey Plaza, Natasha Lyonne and Judy Greer; and the historical civil rights documentary Political Animals. Throughout the month, Revry will celebrate women with new content including the new animated series My Pride: The Series, and the queer coming-of-age dramedy Gay Mean Girls premiereing on International Women’s Day March 8th..

The womxn specific channel OML on Revry will premiere three new series for audiences. On March 2, OML on Revry launches the Streamy award-nominated comedy series Twenty, which follows a lesbian couple and their ecclectic group of friends navigating careers, love, and life in their early twenties. Also premiering this month is the hilariously hot lesbian soap opera Chica Busca Chica.

In addition, March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and OML on Revry will premiere the mystery thriller Renée and the Seven Cards which centers on a bisexual fitness fanatic who must track down her missing psychic to understand an ominous tarot card reading that predicts her death. Revry will also feature a collection of originals and select programming including the award-winning romantic-comedy 2 in the Bush: A Love Story for Bisexual Health Awareness Month, the powerful documentary My Name was Januaryfor Trans Day of Visibility, and the musical-comedy Happy Playland for International Day of Happiness.

The global Queer TV network, 50% black female founded, takes this month as an opportunity for audiences to find even more free queer female entertainment playing on Revry’s Live Linear channels and On-Demand at watch.revry.tv.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH CALENDAR ON REVRY 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Addicted To Fresno – Addicted to Fresno is a raunchy, uproarious comedy about co-dependent sisters (Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne)  who work as hotel maids in Fresno, CA. When Shannon jeopardizes her fresh start by accidentally killing a hotel guest after a post-rehab relapse, Martha goes to great lengths to help her sister cover up the crime.

Girl Fight : A Muay Thai Story – For a fighter, winning and losing is everything. Prairie Rugilo recognized that fact and opened her all-female Muay Thai kickboxing gym to inspire and empower women through martial arts. Prairie and her student, DeAna must overcome their personal demons through the support of their teammates and loved ones to become the champions they were meant to be, embarking on a journey that takes them down roads they did not expect.

Political Animals – Political Animals celebrates the legendary civil rights victories of four trailblazing California state politicians: Carole Migden, Sheila Keuhl, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe. Fierce and unrelenting, these courageous women toppled a partisan majority and emerged victors to pass historic legislation for social justice and LGBT+ equality.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Twenty (OML) – 5pm PT (Episode 1&2) – Twenty follows the story of Maya, her girlfriend Catalina, and her group of eclectic friends as they navigate careers, love, and life in their early twenties. With two seasons under their belt, a streamy award nomination, Twenty examines the comedic complexities of interpersonal relationships, focusing on the stories of women and more specifically, LGBT women who are often inaccurately represented in the limelight.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Same Same – Meeting through a social networking app, three women from very different backgrounds navigate life, love and the complexities of the modern queer experience.

Wild Animal – Wild Animal is Melanie Vesey’s debut comedy special and album. Blessed with some wild times, Melanie talks about her life after being shot by her cop x-girlfriend, having a baby with a Project Runway winner, getting gay married and raising a human son despite herself being a Wild Animal.

Loss prevention – When an old-school bar owner and his unruly daughter get caught up in a cat-and-mouse game of corporate espionage, it will take brains, brawn and help from the lesser of two evils to make it out alive.

Monday, March 8, 2021 – International Women’s Day

Carly Usdin: “Ru Girl” – Debut music video for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 5 finalist, drag superstar Alaska Thunderfuck, directed and edited by Carly Usdin with cinematography by Robin Roemer. Inspired by some iconic music videos of the 90s, including “Justify My Love,” and “My Name Is.”

Gay Mean Girls – Gay Mean Girls is a Canadian coming-of-age series that follows prom committee member Lucy Ching as she seeks to understand her sexuality, charm her best friend Miranda, and fit in with the gay community. Based on a viral short film that earned over 3.5 million hits on YouTube, the project was written and directed by queer women of colour.

My Pride: The Series – My Pride is a dark fantasy web-series following a disabled lioness named Nothing. Injured as a cub and unable to demonstrate her hunting abilities, her name is a cruel reminder of what she lacks. Nothing’s life is changed forever when she’s forced out of her Pride and must survive on her own, and in doing so, discover her own special connection with her Goddesses, and learn how to heal her broken world.

Almost Adults – A platonic love story between two best friends, Cassie and Mackenzie, in their final year of college as they transition into adulthood. Mackenzie, recently out, embraces her sexuality and tries to catch up on everything she has missed during her teenage years, while Cassie ends a long term relationship with her boyfriend and discovers her life isn’t going as planned. Both struggle to keep their friendship together as they begin growing apart.

Lip Service – “Lip Service” explores the lives, loves, & lusts of lipstick lesbians in Scotland.

Septo – What happens when you realize your dreams are no longer your own? Promising triathlete, Jessica has trained her entire life and finally has a shot at the Olympics. When she meets Lua, the mysterious and confident surf instructor, Jessica realizes just how trapped she feels by her own life and her controlling father. Explore this story of love, ambition and drama in Revry’s Original Series, SEPTO.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Twenty (OML) – 5pm PT (Episode 3&4)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – Women’s Health AIDS Awareness Day

Our Love Story – Yoon-ju is a graduate student of fine arts and is working on her graduation exhibition. One day, while she is searching for materials for her project, she runs into Ji-soo at a junk shop. Watching Ji-soo in an odd place, Yoon-ju finds herself drawn to her. After their initial encounter, Yoon-ju once again runs into Ji-soo at a convenience store, and the two eventually start dating. Never having enjoyed dating men, Yoon-ju finds Ji-soo fascinating and becomes completely infatuated with her.

Submission Possible – In this Revry Original, Madison Young delves deep into sex magic rituals, herbal aphrodisiacs, cemeteries, sexy seances and spectrophilia in the hauntingly sexy city of New Orleans.

Akagire – Teenager Satsuki feels desolate. Loving her girlfriend Jun is so natural to Satsuki, but even her mother thinks that her daughter’s love for her girlfriend is “not normal.” Dating a woman but also having a relationship with a man, Satsuki’s sexuality is swaying.

2 In The Bush: A Love Story – Emily has just been dumped by her girlfriend, kicked out of her apartment, and fired from her job. Her best friend hooks her up with a new gig: personal assistant to a dominatrix. But when Emily falls for her new boss — and her new boss’s boyfriend — she must decide what risks are worth taking for love. 2 In The Bush is an unconventional romantic comedy about dungeons, a fish named Archimedes, and the many forms that love takes.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Chica & Sun (OML) – 5pm PT (4 episodes) – This hot and hilarious lesbian soap opera takes you on a wild ride through the mixed up love lives of a group of sexy Madrid lesbians including the unbelievably gorgeous Spanish TV star Celia Freijeiro. Think: The L Word meets Almodovar.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Convince Me – Convince Me is a series created with Next Gen America to give information about the voting process, so you can feel confident when showing up for the polls this November. Please watch and share. It’s so important for people to see this to understand the voting process, and why it’s so important for us to use our voice for change.

Cameron Esposito: Marriage Material – In her first special, the purveyor of fine jokes, Cameron Esposito, has some harsh truths for you. From the secrets of a women’s locker room to her stance on gun control, she gets real. And, we wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s Marriage Material.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Twenty (OML) – 5pm PT (Episode 5&6)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – St. Patricks Day

Pot Luck – New Zealand’s first lesbian web series has arrived! Three friends make a pact which turns their weekly potluck dinners into a search for love. Or not. “Pot Luck” serves up contemporary lesbian life in three great flavours: Debs, Beth, and Mel, as they negotiate friendship, family, and finding love at their weekly potluck dinners. Set in Wellington, this original comedy web series is fun, sexy, and occasionally ridiculous.

Lez Bomb – From executive producer, Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary), comes a new holiday comedy about a young woman (Writer-Director, Jenna Laurenzo) who comes home for Thanksgiving with some life changing news. Little does she know, the eccentric cast of characters that make up her extended family have their own stirring surprises. The result is a hilarious series of events forcing the family to come together in what amounts to the most unceremonious of holidays. As it turns out, there is no good time to drop the Lez Bomb.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Chica & Sun (OML) – 5pm PT (4 episodes)

Saturday, March 20, 2021 – National Happiness Day

Seeking Dolly Parton – When Charlie (Kacey Barnfield) and her partner Cerina (Anya Monzikova) decide to have a baby, they go to Cerina’s estranged ex-boyfriend Josh (Michael Worth) to help fill in the “blanks”. But when old feelings return to the surface, the new feelings are not coming in without a fight. This unique threesome must each confront  their own “closeted” emotions before allowing a new light to shine into all their lives.

Margaret Cho: Psycho – Comedian Margaret Cho performs in front of a live audience in this provocative and hilarious comedy special event, tackling off-limits issues from Boko Haram to female empowerment with her razor sharp insight and wit.

Happy Playland – Billie Haare, an anxious actress caught between her passion for stage and her parents’ dreams of the silver screens, starts a new job at a desolate indoor playground, managed by wannabe-insta-star Cris. Billie quickly develops feelings for social justice warrior, Zara, who is sadly 23 and not looking for anything serious. After a passionate moment in the ball pit, Billie and Zara both begin to question what they want. But the playland is soon to be closed – and Billie’s anxiety can only handle so much. Cris decides to intervene. Can Billie woo Zara into forever and always? Will anyone ned up happy? Will Cris’ trip to Queenstown increase her followers? Only time will tell, in the place where dreams come true, Happy Playland, The Wellington branch.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Filth – Stella, a bisexual plumber by day and go-go dancer by night, leans into her burgeoning romance with Jocelyn, a little person, while battling debilitating anxiety; meanwhile, Max juggles a stunted acting career and grapples with his unrequited love for his questionably straight roommate, Danny. Max and Stella’s lives get even more tangled when their colorful cast of friends and frenemies involve themselves in the besties’ issues, muddling the lines between friendship and romance.

Madison Rose – Madison Rose is an artist ready to make an unforgettable debut. Vocally rooted in R&B, Madison Rose effortlessly weaves electronic/pop influences and bold bass lines into her music. With a big heart and even bigger voice, she is able to balance her strength and femininity effortlessly, celebrating the power of womanhood through her music.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Twenty (OML) – 5pm PT (Episode 7&8)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Girl Knight – Isabel, a fiery redhead armed with a sword and donning an armored helmet everywhere she goes, meets Delilah, an equally disillusioned goth girl, one day in detention at school. The two girls find strength in each other, share a first kiss in a graveyard, and defy controlling family members that try and stand in the way of their newly discovered love.

Mila Jam – Mila Jam is an NYC-based transgender YouTube Sensation turned pop recording artist. She is best known for her one of a kind music videos and unforgettable stage performances. She has toured internationally with the Broadway musical “RENT;” performed alongside James Brown, Mark Ronson, Laverne Cox, Travis Wall, Jody Watley, Lady Kier (Deee-Lite) and Natasha Bedingfield. TV appearances include the BBC’s “The Lilly Allen Show,” MTV and MTV News. Mila was named Odyssey Nightlife Awards Breakthrough Artist in 2015, and she was awarded Best Video and Dance Artist at the 2013 GLAM Nightlife Awards. She is host of the original YouTube Talk Show Series, “I’m From Driftwood.”

Kappa Force – A campy superhero satire, Kappa Force is the newest Revry Original series – an intersectional queer take on college rom-coms. Welcome to State University, the premier all-american university that has everything: greek life, Division 1 sports, five kick ass sorority sisters doubling as a masked crime fighting unit keeping the campus safe from evil, and a Chipotle. This fully-formed fantasy comes complete with pop parodies of the Spice Girls, Justin Beiber, Paula Cole, Third Eye Blind and tongue-in-cheek nods to queer history.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Easy Abby – Sleeping with women comes easy to Abby. Dealing with her personal life? Not so much. Follow Abby through her trials and tribulations in the Revry Original Series.

For My Wife – A feature documentary chronicling the making of an activist. After the tragic death of her wife, Charlene Strong was thrust into the spotlight becoming a powerful voice for the equal rights of same-sex couples and their families.

Tiny Laughs – When a queer Latina architect meets a struggling Asian comic at an improv class, their instant sparks sends them on a humorous and heartwarming journey through the city of dreams.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Renee and the Seven Cards (OML) – 5pm PT (all episodes) – With mystery like Russian Doll, characters like Fleabag, and a dysfunctional romance like Feel GoodRenée centers on a controlling bisexual fitness fanatic who must track down her missing psychic to understand an ominous tarot card reading that predicts her death.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Rise of Eve – An intense examination of misogyny and sexism around the world explored through news, music, social media, personal accounts, group discussions and heated debates.

Gaze of the Beholder – Beauty lacks a clear standard, yet most of us seem to know it when we encounter it. This documentary explores our shared dance with beauty, body image and sexuality through intimate and often humorous conversations.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Twenty (OML) – 5pm PT (Episode 9&10)

Wednesday, March 31 – Transgender Day of Visibility

Her Story – Her Story is about two trans women in Los Angeles who have given up on love, when chance encounters give them hope. Violet is drawn to Allie, a reporter who approaches her for an interview. Career-driven Paige meets James, the first man she’s considered opening up to in years. Will they risk letting what they are stand in the way of being loved for who they are? This is a story of complex characters who laugh, struggle, and grow, who share strength in sisterhood, who seek and find love. Her Story depicts the unique, complicated, and very human women we see in queer communities, and explores how these women navigate the intersections of label identity and love.

Girl-Hearted – It’s quite plain to 7 year old Nori: She is a girl, because she has a girl’s heart. But her body is that of a boy… Five years ago: Each and every day mother and son argue about what appears trivial: the colours of pants and shirts suddenly matter, soon all he agrees to wear are skirts and dresses, he likes to put barrettes in his still short hair. The neighbours start gossiping. Then one day, the boy reveals his favourite dream to his mum. A wizard will turn his penis into a vagina so he could be a “real” girl … It’s that day something comes to an end. It’s that day Josephin realises that she doesn’t have a son, that he had never existed – but that there is still a kid, a daughter. It becomes clear to her that she will have to break new ground to see her daughter grow up happily.

Missed Connections – Two strangers meet and form a bond at a festival, but they forget to exchange contact info. As they search for one another and through viral posts, they navigate their careers, lives, and society’s expectations of them as Black, female, and transgender.

Onnaninaru – Miyu has dreamed of becoming a female since early childhood and undergoes the longed-for sex reassignment surgery to be able to live in society as a woman. The documentary depicts sincere discussions with family, honest talks with friends, attitude transformations amongst university faculty, the clinical psychologist’s concerns, and the resolve of the doctor. Touching humanity comes to the forefront through the six months’ coverage of Miyu’s life.

My Name Was January – When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home in New Westminster, BC, her community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives.

Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You – Rusty Tidenberg, drag-racing aficionado, shocked friends and family by coming out as trans. Followed for 8 years by filmmaker Harrod Blank (son of Les Blank), Rusty guides us through the aftermath of her transition. Interwoven with lively tales of gender non-conforming individuals on the art-car circuit, Blank’s film is a sensitive and unpredictable love letter to people who fight to be unapologetically themselves.

Bombshell – Jay, a queer transman, navigates the shark-infested waters of LA’s gay dating scene. He’s young, single, looking for fun, but when the bedroom door closes his private world becomes an arena for cis men and the questions they have. Jay is joined by his chosen family, Selena, his Angeleno best friend, Darlene, the Bostonian Hairdresser, and Penis Mascot, the cartoon caped penis personifying his id.

Our Future – Yu is about 18 when her parents separate and the disorientation 5is compounded by the experience of starting summer school.Yu doesn’t feel very comfortable in her own body; she gets into trouble for wearing tracksuit bottoms to school rather than the regulation skirt. The film follows Yu through that summer, showing her sustaining friendships with the hopeless Yoshiki, a gay boy who’s dyed his hair auburn, and the transwoman dancer Haruka.

ABOUT REVRY

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“RENT-A-PAL”— A Lonely Life

“RENT-A-PAL”

A Lonely Life

Amos Lassen

David (Brian Landis Folkins) has lived a lonely life for a long time and this is basically because he’s a caregiver for his 73-year-old-mother (Kathleen Brady), who can’t be left alone for long because her behavior can suddenly change. Even when she’s doing well, she mistakes him for his dead brother and this compounds his feelings of loss. There are days when she can’t hold a conversation at all. David just wants is somebody to talk  to. One day he sees a tape in a bargain bin— Rent-A-Pal. David decides to try it out and begins talking to a stranger on tape and answers questions. A first, he feels silly but then feels that it’s better than nothing. Slowly, something changes and he becomes more and more obsessed by the ‘friendship’ offered by Andy (Wil Wheaton), the man on the tape.

Writer/director Jon Stevenson keeps keeping us guessing as to what’s going on. Something feels odd about the tape from the get-go, but by the time we’re get hints that it might be something supernatural, David’s mental health has begun to wear away. Professional caregiver Lisa (Amy Rutledge) warns that untrained people who become caregivers by accident do not get the space that they need to take care of themselves and that this can bring about crises of their own. We begin to wonder if this is what is happening to David, or is there something else going on.

David’s life has been defined by women and this is new, dangerous territory for him. Andy awakens emotions that David doesn’t know how to handle and his anger about this begins to show.

 The film takes on the  serious themes of mental health issues, depression and loneliness.David is a nerdy and socially awkward middle-aged man who finds himself terribly alone. After having a few drinks, he plays the tape and enters into a conversation with Andy and gets a sense that he has made a new friend. Soon a dating service sets him up with a date named Lisa (Amy Rutledge). She’s a nurse and a volunteer at a nursing home and she admires David for caring for his mother. A love connection ensues and he shares this with Andy who feels that his friendship is being challenged by this. He bullies David into dropping Lisa. What happens after this is why you will have to see the film.

“The Women of Chateau Lafayette” by Stephanie Dray— Bound by Legacy

Dray, Stephanie. “The Women of Chateau Lafayette”, Berkeley, 2021.

Bound by Legacy

Amos Lassen

Based on the true story of a castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy. Stephanie Dray’s “The Women of Chateau Lafayette” is a delicious read. Here is the story of three women who protected their castle.

Adrienne Lafayette is the founding mother and her story begins in 1774 when she became the political partner of her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette in the fight for American independence. Their idealism begins a revolution in France and she is threatened by death by guillotine forcing her to renounce the man she loves in order to provide a legacy for generations to come.

Moving ahead to 1914, we meetNew York socialite Beatrice Chanler who lets nothing bother her even though her marriage is falling apart and the world is at war. After seeing the devastation in France, however, She is moved to try to convince America to fight for what’s right. Then there is French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone who does not want anything to do with war. However, as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the castle where she came of age, she discovers something that has her question  who she is, “and more importantly, who she is willing to become.”

This is a novel “about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we take from those who came before us.”

I was immediately pulled into the fascinating stories of Adrienne, Beatrice and Marthe. Beautifully told in wonderful prose, this is the story of feminine strength andcourage, humanity and women triumph. The three heroines seem to have nothing in common actually have everything in common.  Eachwoman’s life, while fighting her own battle in a different war come together over a 150 years. 

“Lola On Fire” by Rio Youers— An Emotional Thriller

 

Youers, Rio. “Lola on Fire: A Novel”,  William Morrow, 2021.

An Emotional Thriller

Amos Lassen

“Vengeance and deceit, love and bullets, secrets, and twists” come together in Rio Youers emotional thriller, “Lola On Fire”. We meet Brody Ellis who is short on both  luck and the cash to buy medications for his sister Molly.

Out of despair, he robs a convenience store, but as he is leaving, he bumps into a young woman and loses his wallet. He expected the cops to arrive soon but instead he hears from Blair Mayo–the woman he bumped into and who has his wallet. To get it back, but he must do a favor for her— steal her late mother’s diamonds from her wicked stepmom. He agrees but when  he gets to the house, he comes upon a crime scene and a security camera. Brody understands that he’s been framed. Returning home terrified, the phone rings once again and he is told that the police won’t get the incriminating video footage. Instead, Blair tells him that her father, Jimmy Latzo, a notorious mobster will avenge what has happened.

Brody and Molly set out on a journey to save their lives understanding that Brody is a pawn in a game in which an enforcer, Lola Bear who had brutally crossed paths with Jimmy Latzo twenty-six years before in also involved.

Here is a novel filled with non-stop action that keeps the reader turning pages as quickly as possible. Latzo wants his own special revenge on Brody (and his sister, Molly, by default) and brother and sister become involved in a tangle web.  This is a dark read filled with gore and I say that as a warning to the weak-of heart. Those who stick with it will clearly be able to see the differences between good and evil. A dysfunctional relationship comes into being because of manipulation and betrayal and to see everything come together is quite an experience.

“My Brother the Messiah” by Martin Vopenka—- The Near Future

Vopenka, Martin. “My Brother the Messiah”, translated by Anna Gustava Bryson, Barbican, 2021.

The Near Future

Amos Lassen

One of the books that I have been looking forward to is Czech writer Martin Vopneka’s, “My Brother the Messiah”. It is set in 2096 when Europe is suffering a drought and is badly in need of rain. Instead, it gets Eli who is born near Prague and his birth is heralded by a rainstorm. Unfortunately Eli dies young and there are questions as to whether he was ever real. His brother, Marek, is an old man now and he works hard to circulate Eli’s teachings. A young woman joins Marek’s community and the two begin an intimate relationship but the world is falling apart and intimacy is a luxury.

Vopěnka explores many pressing issues of the near future in this beautifully written yet terrifying tale of a future that may not be as distant we think.

“Why New Orleans Matters” by Tom Piazza— Looking at New Orleans

Piazza, Tom. “Why New Orleans Matters”,  Harper Perennial, 2015.

Looking at New Orleans

Amos Lassen

“Why New Orleans Matters” was republished ten years after Hurricane Katrina and is an appraisal of a city in crisis. A new afterword puts the story of New Orleans in the context of the ongoing threat to America’s coastal populations.

Since Katrina devastated the city, Americans have learned much from the resilience of the citizens yet, even as the city has regained some of strength, other regions around the country continue to be battered by hurricanes, snow and ice storms, and massive weather events like the storm Sandy, which devastated the mid-Atlantic coast seven years later. 

When first published just months after the storm, thebook washailed as a passionate and eloquent celebration of the city as both a cultural center and a home to millions of residents from varied walks of life. Piazza, a longtime New Orleans resident, gave his readers the “rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking, but also examined its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice, and explored how its people endure and transcend those conditions. Perhaps most important”. He further asked that we all, as Americans, think about  our shared responsibility to New Orleans and all the things it has shared with the world with “its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.”

In the years since its first publication, Piazza has continued to explore the story of New Orleans and its people in many ways in other ways. He revisits “Why New Orleans Matters” and, in an all-new foreword for this edition, re-examines the story of Katrina as a cautionary tale for a nation that has too often neglected both its treasures and its people. He evokes the culture and still-evolving future of the city and examines the city’s undercurrents of corruption and racism, and explains how its people endure and get beyond them. He looks at the challenges that New Orleans still faces—and reminds us that people in threatened communities across America have much to learn from New Orleans’ disaster and recovery.