Category Archives: GLBT documentary

“WHEN THE BEAT DROPS”— Bucking

“When The Beat Drops”

Bucking

Amos Lassen

When choreographer Jamal Sims learned of the underground dance movement known as ‘bucking’, he decided that it would be the subject of his first documentary as a director. That film is about a group of dancers,  and one special dancer, Big Anthony. Sims learned and explains to us that ‘bucking’ came out of female cheerleading troupes in the South and was taken over by groups of black gay men, who created this dance.  Big Anthony not only spearheaded the movement in the 1990’s in Atlanta, but he was also responsible for creating a network of competitions where the dancers could demonstrate what they do.

‘Bucking’ is flamboyant, outrageous and very showy much the way that vogueing was when it first overtook the black queer crowd in Harlem.  This kind of dancing stayed mainly underground because of the social stigma in the South of men wanting to dance like this.

Big Anthony’s own story is fascinating and touching. He suffered a setback after having been mugged in a grocery store parking lot.  Another dancer is a schoolteacher who lives in fear of being exposed as a bucking dancer and fired from his job.  Flash, another dancer, speaks openly about his struggles with his mother and her crack addition that has caused her to be incarcerated several times. We see the real and painful reality of the dancers once they leave the dance floor. It reminds us of the tough reality of all their lives away from the dance floor.

Sims takes us to the first Big Buck competition.   The standards are very high. Openly gay Sims shares his own passion for dance throughout the whole film and makes this an intriguing and important aspect of contemporary LGBT culture. The documentary uncovers an underground dance movement, bucking, which is predominant in the LGBTQ community, and which centers on a group of dancers in Atlanta, Ga., and one of the pioneers of bucking, identified as Big Anthony. “Just as vogueing was pioneered by members of the ballroom scene, bucking is thriving among displaced troupes of black gay men across the South.” Sims finds a story in the characters of his documentary, which makes this more a narrative feature than a than documentary. What we see is reality.

But this is real life, kids; not fiction. There are other edge of seat moments like when you’re placed in the midst of the first Big Buck competition, where Phi Phi battles it out with a crew from Detroit. Guess who you are rooting for until the very end.

“Beat” also turns into a historical look of the roots of bucking, even though this hyper active film never slows down to the tell the story. Bucking is a style that is fluid, sensual, and thought of as female dance. It was adopted by young, black, gay men in the South and the documentary shows the stigma that the men have internalized for wanting to perform the dance, and because of the social stereotype of the men who participate.

“LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE”— Two Men and Seventy-one  Dogs

“Life In The Doghouse”

Two Men and Seventy-one  Dogs

Amos Lassen

Ron Danta and Danny Robert Shaw are in their 60’s and live on a horse farm in North Carolina where they show horses.  However, most of their time is occupied by the menagerie of rescue dogs that would have had to face extermination.

Today they have an assortment of some 71 dogs that are organized in such a way that everything is peaceful. This began as a spontaneous reaction to the immediate after-effects of Hurricane Katrina, after the two of them had donated much-needed supplies to people who were staying in a nearby Sports Stadium. They then turned their attention to all the pets that had been abandoned in the floods. They drove their horse trucks down to the devastated area and picked up as many of the poor frightened dogs they could and brought them home and then to get another load.

This quickly developed into a full-scale dog rescue service that the two men (with the help of a small team) have run since then.  Theirs is a well-oiled operation that runs on some ideas and basic tenets that Ron and Danny insist on sticking too.  They go out of their way to save the lives of the dogs whose days are numbered and may have health issues or behavioral problems, or simply are the type that rarely gets adopted. I cant help but commend them fully as Sophie, my Jack Russell terrier that I had for 13 years was an evacuee of Katrina. I am lost without her now.

The guys’ website for the Non-Profit is Danny & Ron’s Rescue and features the dogs that they consider are adoptable, but most of their success in finding new homes for the dogs is on the Horse Jumping Circuit where they have established a remarkable following and reputation.

We learn from the documentary that they have successfully had 10,000 dogs adopted by families and new owners. Ron hopes that they can make an even bigger inroad into the 4 million pets that end up getting euthanized each year.

Both men are passionate about their work with the dogs and seem happy enough that the only place in the house that is still theirs (but not quite alone) is the king-size bed and that that is shared with a handful of dogs. The men used their pension funds in the operation and now depend on donations to survive. Their finances are constantly on Ron’s mind.  Another issue that Ron cares about greatly are what he calls ‘puppy mills’ where dogs are badly housed in small cages and expected to constantly breed to make as much money as possible.  To save money they are often inbred and the result are puppies that cannot find homes or be sold. We live in a society where not all animals are neutered or spayed, there are many unwanted litters and then the Shelters that have to deal with this.

Director Ron Davis gives us a lovely look at these two men and the film affects your emotions. Here is a documentary that touches even the coldest of souls.  It’s a love story between two exceptional gay men and their ever-growing four-legged family.

“SAN DIEGO GAY BAR HISTORY”— Looking Back

“San Diego Gay Bar History”

A Look Back

Amos Lassen

.Filmmaker Paul Detwiler looks at the history of the San Diego gay bars in his new documentary. It is a story that seems to be the same in other urban areas in the US in the recent past.

The film begins after World War II when San Diego was a major naval and military base, and even though heterosexual serviceman couldn’t wait to rush back home to their families, gay men and women were enjoying the freedom they had begun to experience away from traditional family lives and they did not want to leave the area. 

Homosexuality was illegal then and being ‘found out’ could literally ruin your lives, but between 1950’s and the 1960’s there were 25 gay bars in the City. Detwiler mixes archival footage with interviews of bar patrons and owners from that time who shared that everyone used a fake ‘bar’ name so they were not exposed, they all had a great deal of fun despite the legal restrictions.  For many people, the gay bars then were an entrance into the hidden LGBT community.

In the 1970’s gay bars were everywhere in the city but none of them were owned by gay men or women because  they were unable to obtain liquor licenses having thought of as degenerates.

In the 80s the LGBT community was devastated by the AIDS pandemic and gay bars were the only places where it was possible to raise funds for the victims and their treatments.  This is a very emotional part of the documentary in which  several AIDS survivors talk about the loss of life deeply affected the bar community and beyond.

The importance and role of the bars was evolving and part of LGBT liberation was the arrival of the internet that would affect the community. Now it sad to see the scene of the closing night of Numbers one of the City’s gay clubs being packed and mourned by the same people who did not support it until the end. After a 20-year run, it was over. The bars are part of LGBT history that might be forgotten all too soon.

“50 YEARS LEGAL”— Personal Stories

 

“50 Years Legal”

Personal Stories

Amos Lassen

“Though only an hour and a half long, the film [“50 Years Legal] is extraordinarily comprehensive, exploring its subject decade by decade and contextualizing each major development with personal stories about the changes that resulted from it.”

On the 27th of July 1967, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster passed the Sexual Offences Act 1967, that decriminalized discreet sexual relations between men over the age of 21 in England and Wales. It was still a long way from creating equality and such relations remained illegal in Scotland until 1981 and the age of consent was not equalized until 2003 – but it was pivotal and very important in that it constituted the first formal acceptance by the state that gay people might be deserving of some sympathy. Over the years since then, a lot more progress has been made, both legally and culturally. Simon Napier-Bell’s documentary looks at and celebrates this process, using interviews with key players from different generations whose own attitudes show the shift in social perspectives.

We hear of the strategies used to win public support and overcome political resistance will prove particularly useful for today’s human rights campaigners, and “it is given added context by its release in the middle of a moral panic over transgender rights, with clear parallels between the types of language and scaremongering used by opponents in each case.”

Although the nature of the 1967 legislation and the persecution that preceded it means this is primarily a film about gay and bisexual men but at that time the distinction between sexual orientation and gender had not yet been clarified and many trans women were living as gay men (including interviewee Quentin Crisp, whose acknowledgement that life as a woman would have made more sense) but that was later. Many gay men used stereotypical feminine accoutrements and mannerisms as a means of identifying themselves to others. Lesbians are somewhat sidelined and bisexual women barely even mentioned. Tensions within the LGBT community are still visible, with hints of biphobia in places and a tendency by some older gay male contributors to assume that everything is alright now and the battle has been won. A focus on transphobia towards the end of the film shows that this is not the case, and provides balance without the need for contradiction.

The contributors from different generations hints at the psychological impact of prejudice, with older contributors finding more joy in early improvements but also talking about the need to laugh at oneself. Younger contributors are focused on a different set of struggles and have the energy that’s easier to find in the younger people yet we are very aware that the confidence they have about the future comes from what had been done in the past and they acknowledge that. Peter Tatchell has something to say about each stage of the struggle. Marc Almond, shares a very personal perspective that shows the way that social change could drive personal change but sometimes at a pace that is a bit too intense for individuals. We see that the euphoria that came with liberation did not universally make coming out less frightening.

Music is celebrated here from Marc Almond to Dusty Springfield, David Bowie and Tom Robinson, whose anthem “Glad To Be Gay” is the backbone of the film. Napier-Bell situates the film in the context of wider social change and he deals with the impact of the AIDS crisis and with Margaret Thatcher’s exploitation of homophobia and the introduction of Clause 28that reminds us that progress never comes with guarantees and hostile measures can be introduced where there were none before. This is a very through documentary that is a valuable contribution to LGBT history.

“MCQUEEN”— The Iconic Alexander

“McQueen”

The Iconic Alexander

Amos Lassen

Alexander McQueen was a fashion icon and we finally get a documentary that has been fashioned in his revolutionary style like the clothes that he created. Filmmakers Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui bring us a detailed profile of a uniquely talented genius who suffered because of his dark side that ultimately took him from us.

McQueen was born into a blue-collar family in London’s East End and from an early age he was passionate about making clothes and the more unusual the better. He was an apprenticeship to a tailor in Saville Row and then went on to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to work as a pattern cutter tutor. When the Head of the new MA course in fashion design saw his portfolio she persuaded him to enroll.  That head, Bobby Nillson, saw his strong natural talent and realized that they couldn’t teach him to design and instead helped to give him help to use it.

McQueen’s Collection in his final year show was bought up in its entirety by an eccentric aristocrat who loved the avant-garde, and she (Isabella Blow) became one of McQueen’s closest friends and one of his biggest supporters. Unfortunately she took her own life just before McQueen took his.

McQueen then began his own label, and very quickly became known as the “L’Enfant terrible” and “the hooligan of English fashion”. His style was totally outrageous and he created fashion that London had never seen before. From the very beginning, it was the extravagant theatrical style of his runway shows that turned more than just heads.

Because his runway shows had almost all been recorded, the filmmakers had a lot of footage to share and allow us to be stunned by what we see.

McQueen’s genius is brilliant and a feast for the eyes. We also have equally fascinating home videos made by McQueen’s friends and that show his thought processes as well as his obsession with the darker side of life.

When he received an offer to be the Creative Director of Givenchy, one of the most conservative and rather haughty luxury French Fashion Houses, we see  McQueen and his friends being overwhelmed by the grand and ornate headquarters that they were expected to work. His first collection for Givenchy was not a success but later ones were and although his designs for them were more refined they still had all of his personal touches.  On camera he says that the huge amounts of money that Givenchy paid him finance his own label.

McQueen was openly gay from a very early age and we have interviews with most of the men he had significant relationships with. He remained on good terms with them and he was very close to his family especially his older sister Janet and his mother. Om fact, his mother’s death was a major factor in his depression and he took his own life the day after she died.

In the documentary, the clothes are the stars and it is interesting to see now how many people take credit for McQueen’s success but it was he, alone, who really is the one who made himself who he was.

He deliberately shocked and provoked the fashion industry in such a way that they are still have not really recovered. He was named British Designer of the Year for four consecutive times and he was honored by the Queen as a C.B.E. Unfortunately his dark side won out and at the age of 40, he took his own life in 2010.

“NO STRAIGHT LINES: 4 DECADES OF QUEER COMICS”— Inside the World of Queer Comics

 “No Straight Lines: 4 Decades of Queer Comics”

Inside the World of Queer Comics

Amos Lassen

There’s a huge gay underground of queer fans within the comic book world, “and those skin-tight suits, the subversive ways of approaching issues and colorful fantasy worlds have been intoxicating us and drawing us in for years”. This new documentary, “No Straight Lines”, is focused on telling the stories of the LGBT cartoonists, artists, and writers who were working to tell stories outside of the mainstream. In Do It Yourself culture, these creators made zines, mini-comics, and all sorts of do-it-yourself content to tell their stories. The culture has evolved over the last forty years to include and incorporate online tools to create webcomics and the relevance has not changed.

Writer Justin Hall and filmmaker Vivian Kleiman take five queer creatives from the Hall’s anthology of the same name to feature in the film. We meet artists Ed Luce, artist of “Wuvable Oaf”, Emeric Kennard, Ajuan Mance, Nicole Georges, and Ivan Velez, Jr.

Stay tuned for more information.

“GENDERBENDE”— Five Young People

“Genderbende”

Five Young People

Amos Lassen

“Genderbende” is about five young people who feel neither male nor female and position themselves somewhere in between. They all have their own struggles, but together they create a compelling story about acceptance. This highly emotional drama causes us to empathize very quickly with the characters who are all very brave and sweet.

The film follows the very personal stories of Dutch individuals who are not comfortable with standard gender “binarism”. They are not afraid to tell us their feelings or open their hearts to us as we follow them through their daily lives. They do not respond to labels like transgender or queer and say that they “just feel what they feel as society is harsh on them” since they do not comply to mainstream heteronormative standards.

 The film is directed by Sophie Dros who introduces us to five gender-fluid people, Lisa, Anne, Dennis, Lashawn and Selm, who are proud to be who they are. “Genderbende” plays with the curiosity, interest and incomprehension of anything outside the mainstream gender norm and asks the questions, “Isn’t everyone’s gender actually ‘fluid’? Wouldn’t it be liberating if we could break the narrow-mindedness about gender?” The five characters make us question our sometimes-rigid society and offer a moment of thought as to how male or female we are? Isn’t life about celebrating the individual and not the gender of that individual?

Gender benders subvert dual gender images and refuse to be classified by the traditional categories of male and female. Each of the five protagonists in the documentary has already taken the first step out of this convention and all are about to discover their own identity outside the norm (the norm being society). They are met with reactions that vary from total non-understanding to interest and open aversion and they waver between defiance, doubt and enthusiasm about every step that follows. Each of them manages to come a little closer to themselves. Even when the world around them – despite its curiosity – isn’t always ready to follow.

The film creates enough space to let the five different stories unfold on the narrative and visual level. While the football-playing twins Lisa and Anne seem impressively at ease with themselves, Dennis, Selm and Lashawn have to deal with the fact that other peoples’ perception of them differs from how they perceive themselves. They share these desires and contradictions with us. “Genderbende” celebrates them and their fight for a society in which gender no longer means only two juxtaposed ideals but an individual and unique construction that encompasses both.

“BLACK DIVAZ”— Six Fabulous Indigenous Drag Queens

“Black Divaz”

Six Fabulous Indigenous Drag Queens

Amos Lassen

Adrian Russell Wills was commissioned to make the documentary, “Black Divaz” as part of the 40-th anniversary celebration of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Over the course of an hour, we meet six fabulous indigenous Drag Queens as they prepare to participate in the very first Miss First Nations Drag Queen competition.

This group of men and one transwoman, from across Australia came to Darwin during Pride week lugging oversized luggage filled with outrageous costumes and enormous colorful wigs and exotic names (Nova Gina, Isla Fuk Yah, Crystal Love, Josie Baker, Jojo and Shaniqua). They are met by the two co-hosts Miss Ellaneous and Marzi Panne who are determined to make the whole event one big unforgettable party.

As each of the contestants bares their souls on camera sharing their life experiences, we learn that represent a community and cultures that are so neglected and overlooked by the rest of the LGBT community.  They are not bitter and understand that the struggle for acceptance exists in their own communities and  they also relate as well as that as they struggle for understanding and acceptance.  

Wills has captured a beautiful and affectionate portrait of the camaraderie among the talent who care more about the ‘sisterhood’ than just winning a crown.  On the final night of the competition each of them ends up with a winner’s sash of some kind and this is the perfect ending. When they are dressed up and performing onstage, we see their professionalism which at the same time comes over as both natural and authentic and these are the two qualities that are often forgotten elsewhere in a world too obsessed with “the over-glossiness (and dare we say fakeness?)  of Drag.”

“BEYOND THE OPPOSITE SEX”— Rene and Jamie

“Beyond The Opposite Sex”

Rene and Jamie

Amos Lassen

“Sex is about who you want to sleep with; gender is about who you want to sleep as,” says Dr. Bruce Hensel, co-director and executive producer of a new documentary, “Beyond the Opposite Sex”. Rene and Jamie, are two very different people who went through very different journeys since their l gender affirmation surgeries. Rene was biologically born a female and feels very strongly about wanting to be a heterosexual male who wants to be with women. Jamie was biologically born a male, was married with a woman and had a daughter as a male, left and was with men as a woman, and eventually entered into a relationship with another woman and becoming an established songwriter in Nashville. Even with their different journeys, Hensel believes that there is one fundamental thing in both of their stories: “they’re about who these people feel they are on the inside and not about who they want to sleep with.”

Rene and Jamie’s stories began in an earlier Hensel documentary in 2004, “The Opposite Sex.” Until that film no documentary had ever followed a transgender person from the moment of making the decision through the surgery before. The producer set about finding the right protagonists of his film by contacting all the surgeons in the world who did gender affirmation surgeries. After looking at 100 five-minute homemade tapes of possible candidates, Hensel and his team eventually chose Rene and Jamie. They felt that they would be open and brave, and allow a deep approach into their stories. They also were interesting and somewhat charismatic people (and quite brave).

After completing “The Opposite Sex”, Hensel and his team kept in touch with Rene and Jamie. “Beyond the Opposite Sex” picks up their stories fourteen years later and we see that their surgeries were far from the end of their journeys. Over the past fourteen years, the world has changed. When Hensel first pitched “The Opposite Sex”, very few people were aware of gender affirmation surgeries. In pitching the newer film it seemed that everybody had a teenager in school who had a number of friends who were going through it yet the prejudice is still there. I find this amazing. Furthermore, within various groups there are different attitudes. “There are some transgenders who don’t want all the surgeries; there are some who do. Also, Jamie and Rene feel very strongly that once they completed their surgery, they were not transgender – they are now a man and a woman. There are people who challenge that, and we see that in the movie. There are also people who feel that they have to be militant about it, while others feel like they just want to live their lives.

Medical advancements have continued over the years, but surgeries still remain strenuous. In the film, we see that Rene has been through nine surgeries and we understand that the physical transition from female to male is very difficult. There is still no way to create a completely natural penis. It’s much more difficult than the transition from male to female. There is no question that there will continue to be advances, many transgenders are choosing to not yet go through with the final surgery for that reason.”

This is a film that humanizes a subject that remains unfamiliar to many people to this day. Any good movie is not about an issue, it is about people that help illuminate an issue, have a social impact and can help change the path. A desire to help and effect change is also what attracts director Hensel, who is a three-time Emmy winning journalist, a doctor, and a broadcasting personality.

Rene is back at school and studying online for a Ph.D. and has a new girlfriend who has no issues with him being a trans man.His mother and siblings who put him through hell when he first started his journey are now fully supportive. His only barrier to full acceptance is with his girlfriend’s family with whom he has not shared his history with yet. 

Jaime, on the other hand, lives with Lisa her girlfriend in a very rural part of her State where they fear that all the neighbors, would want to run them out of town if they knew they were gay.  Jaime accepts that she is not the most feminine of women, which is a point of contention she has with Lisa who would like her to make more of an effort with her appearance.  She is extremely self-assured and insists that she is not a transwoman but just a woman.

Life has not worked out for either Rene or Jaime as they expected but finally becoming their true gender has certainly given them the peace and happiness they never had before.  Aside from one meeting with students to talk about his journey, neither he nor Jaime have expressed any desire for acting as advocates for future generations of trans men and women. Some might find this surprising but I must say that I found in my own case that when I reached a certain age, I just wanted to live out my days quietly.

The one main fault of the film is that it panders too much to society’s obsession with genitalia and sexual performance, and therefore something of a disservice to Jaime, Rene and their partners by making such an issue about this.  It would have been fine just to avoid it altogether.

The concept of doing a follow up on the original films was a great decision and it’s refreshing to see two extraordinary people happy that they got through their personal agonies and hells.  Any addition like this to the continuing dialogue about the journey of the trans community is a good thing.

“THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA”— A Light on Acceptance

“THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA”

A Light on Acceptance

Amos Lassen

In “The Gospel of Eureka”, love, faith and civil rights meet head on in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens try to invalidate stereotypes. “Gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show!”

Having lived in Arkansas for some seven years, I got to know Eureka Springs quite well since several times a year the town hosts gay getaway weekends. But Eureka Springs is the home of the Christ of the Ozarks statue, commissioned in 1966 by the far-right, anti-Semitic American clergyman Gerald L.K. Smith. Along with that the town is home to the Great Passion Play that retells the persecution, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also the home to Eureka Live Underground, a drag and dance bar run by a pair of flamboyant and Christian gay men. Portland documentary filmmakers, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, examine the complex and surprising relationships that come together in the town and do so with grace and style.

The film is narrated by Mx Justin Viviane Bond, and with soundtrack contributions from Sharon Van Etten and it is a personal and often comical look at how it is possible to negotiate differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership, gospel drag shows and passion plays. This is a personal and heartwarming story that will make you laugh out loud, cry within and inspire hope.

Eureka Springs has quite a long history of tall tales and crazy characters yet not many (aside from the residents) know is how diverse this little town (in ARKANSAS!!!) really is. Palmieri and Mosher went there with the idea to show how a community operates based love and acceptance. Everyone in this film is lovable (some may seem a little more absurd than others at time but it’s easy to love everyone there—well, almost everyone [no Yip, I was not referring to you]). From the drag queens to the evangelical Christians we quickly see how much respect that they have for one another.

Migration to Eureka Springs came because of the so-called healing powers the springs in the town and of those that came, most never left. Eureka has a population that is 44% LGBTQ, yet it is considered the biker and Christian capitol of Arkansas making us wonder how such a diverse population finds a way to put aside differences and live together. The answer is acceptance which is a step quite above tolerance (a word I never cared for).

Palmieri and Mosher were asked to go to Eureka Springs to cover City Ordinance 2223 which was to be voted on. The ordinance “sought to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from unfair and discrimination based on real or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual, orientation, disability and veteran status.” It just so happened that while they were there, the two men fell in love with the people of Eureka and just knew they that they wanted and needed to tell their story.

Hence we have this documentary that is about freedom of expression and freedom to be oneself. We see footage of the passion play put on by members of the community juxtaposed by gospel drag shows put on by Eureka Live, a local hot spot. Two entirely different groups of individuals express themselves in their own way over the same common theme, Jesus.

Since I have been to Eureka many times, I can vouch for the fact that this is a true and authentic look at the town and its people Even though some of the lifestyles may be different than others there is a great sense of love, light and acceptance among the members of the community and you really feel it there.

At times, the film is very funny and we see that we are all the same although some of us have fantastic wardrobes with feathers and sequins. “We are all the same. If you cut my arm I bleed the same as you. If we could just learn to look past each other’s differences it would be a much better world to live in.” It’s all about love and acceptance.

No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on in Eureka, everyone seems to believe in Jesus. (Except for Yip and the rabbi and his family. that has moved to town since the film was made and oh yes and there is another part-Jewish gnome there as well. There is a wide variety of interpretations of scripture and faith.

Both Christ of the Ozarks and the Passion Play have their fiftieth anniversaries this year of which celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and this gives us an idea of how long Christianity has been entrenched there. (There are stories of Anita Bryant’s residency in Eureka). The film follows the actors in the Passion Play with emphasis on the guy playing Jesus through their rehearsal and performance process. Though not as popular as it once was in the late 1960s, it still attracts a crowd, some true believers and others that are just curious.

On the other side of town, there are other activities. There are only 2073 residents (Yip might make that 2074). Eureka is in the northwestern corner of the state, on the border with Missouri, has a large enough number of gay residents, and allies of gays, so a vibrant drag show stays in business. Actually co-director Mosher mentioned that he sees a lot of parallels between the drag show and the Passion Play, calling the latter “Christian drag” ( since they do dress in robes). And so there are two pageants and many ways of proclaiming The Word since even the drag queens love to sing gospel.

“The Gospel of Eureka” is a beautiful celebration of love, which is supposed to be the main tenet of Christianity, after all. The filmmakers are respectful of their subjects and allow all to be heard regardless of point of view. Accordingly, Eureka Springs, despite some discord over a city ordinance that protects the LGBT residents is a place where it is fine to agree to disagree. to disagree.

There is one little story that I would like to share that is not in the movie. Before “Eureka Live” was sold to its present owners, it was just a club for everyone. One Eureka Pride weekend coincided with a weekend of straight truck drivers who like to wear women’s clothing and they were having a fashion show at Eureka Live. Now that is acceptance. I am in Boston now and I miss the South (I’m originally from New Orleans and was evacuated to Arkansas after Katrina). Try to imagine a gay Jew in Arkansas and you will understand why I left… but I have wonderful memories of Eureka Springs.