Tag Archives: lgbt

Graphic Policy Radio Gets Chatting about Flame Con! Listen On Demand!

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

This weekend is Flame Con, a two-day comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom. It features thoughtful discussions, exclusive performances, screenings, costumes, and more! This week Graphic Policy Radio chatted with Rachel from Geeks Out, the amazing organization behind this new Brooklyn-based convention.

Tickets to Flame Con are on sale now at www.flamecon.org. And our own Elana Levin’s panel will be Sunday at 2pm.

Rachel Greeman is a board member for Geeksout, a Flame Con organizer, and an obsessive cosplayer. Also, she has great hair.

We’ve also launched a survey to ask you the listeners what you’re looking for in future shows! Take the survey now.

Graphic Policy Radio Gets Chatting about Flame Con!

GP Radio pic MondayThis weekend is Flame Con, a two-day comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom. It features thoughtful discussions, exclusive performances, screenings, costumes, and more! This week Graphic Policy Radio will be chatting with Rachel from Geeks Out, the amazing organization behind this new Brooklyn-based convention.

Listen to the show LIVE tonight at 10pm ET.

Tickets to Flame Con are onsale now at http://www.flamecon.org. And our own Elana Levin’s panel will be Sunday at 2pm.

Rachel Greeman is a board member for Geeksout, a Flame Con organizer, and an obsessive cosplayer. Also, she has great hair.

Find out about this fantastic convention and Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show tonight when it airs live.

Star Trek Goes Where No Trek Has Gone Before– Explicitly LGBTQ Characters

Star+Trek+Beyond+SuluStar Trek as a franchise has often touched upon social issues via metaphor and innuendo. The show hasn’t had issues discussing hot button topics or being rather progressive in some of its views, such as being credited for the “first interracial kiss.” However, in the 50 years of the franchise, the series has never had an out LGBTQ character, until today.

In the Herald Sun, it was revealed that Helmsman Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho, is shown in Star Trek Beyond as not just having a daughter, but also in a same-sex relationship. Director Justin Lin said the decision to make Sulu gay was a nod by writer Simon Pegg towards George Takei who originally played the character and came out in 2005.

The inclusion of LGBTQ characters in the Star Trek world hasn’t been an easy one.

In 1987 series creator Gene Roddenberry stated there’d be LGBTQ characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that never materialized. That promise was reiterated in 1991 as reported by The Advocate and supported by Leonard Nimoy who wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times on the subject. In an interview with The Humanist in 1991 Roddenberry said:

My attitude toward homosexuality has changed. I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. I was never someone who hunted down ‘fags’ as we used to call them on the street. I would, sometimes, say something anti-homosexual off the top of my head because it was thought, in those days, to be funny. I never really deeply believed those comments, but I gave the impression of being thoughtless in these areas. I have, over many years, changed my attitude about gay men and women.

Roddenberry passed away soon after those interviews and the plan for gay crew members never materialized.

The series stumbled over the years to address LGBTQ inclusion including a controversial episode “The Outcast” which was both praised and derided. The episode addressed sexual discrimination and involved an androgynous race and gender identity. Some felt the episode didn’t go far enough to exploring the issue and others felt it sanctioned brainwashing therapy. Actor Jonathan Frakes commented he felt the alien the episode revolved around and whose attraction to Riker was at the center should have been more evidently male.

Star Trek television writer and producer Ronald D. Moore admitted that including LGBTQ characters was something that they “just failed at” in a 2008 interview. Actors such as Kate Mulgrew and Whoopi Goldberg have admitted it was a struggle for the various series and there were disagreements regarding decisions to not include such characters.

In 2016 Queer Frontier was launched to petition for the inclusion of an LGBT captain in the 2017 Star Trek television show by CBS, Paramount, and producer Bryan Fuller. The organization applauded this announcement.

J.J. Abrams addressed the issue in 2011 saying he was “shocked” that there were never any gay characters and while it “was not on the list of [his] priorities… it [would] now be in the hopper.” While there were no LGBTQ characters in his two films written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the third times a charm with Simon Pegg having now taken over on writing duties.

Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters July 22, 2016.

Flame Con will be (Toy) Gun Free

Geeks OUT and Flame Con has released the below press released regarding this year’s convention. It’s run unedited and we here support this decision 100% percent.

Last week, the queer community lost 49 members of our queer community in what has become an all too common tragedy in this country.

In the days since that event, Geeks OUT has been spending a lot of time talking to the management and staff of the hotel that will be hosting Flame Con about the safety of our attendees. We have also been reaching out to concerned fans. In response to the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, we plan to bolster Flame Con’s security, and will be working with local law enforcement to ensure that even outside of the con, there will be people looking out for us.

Acknowledging the shock and trauma and grief our community is experiencing right now, we feel the need to go even further in making Flame Con a safe space for us all.

As a show of solidarity with victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, their families, and anyone else affected by homophobic gun violence, Flame Con is asking you to leave your toy guns at home.

Because guns are not toys. Guns are not accessories that can be flaunted in public without inherently making light of their intended use—while simultaneously making many people deeply uncomfortable.

If you bring a toy gun to Flame Con, no matter how unrealistic it might look or feel, you will be asked to check it.

Can you do a successful cosplay of Black Widow or Vash the Stampede without a gun? We think you can! If your cosplay isn’t quite complete without a gun, we’ll help you adapt to our new policy by providing some creative alternatives to traditional guns that you can pose with. Your cosplay at Flame Con will help our community make a strong, colorful statement against gun violence, and our culture’s toxic love of firearms.

Spread the word! Flame Con will not allow the following items:

Any weapon of any kind—bladed or projectile—that looks or feels real.

Any kind of gun or simulacrum of a firearm, no matter how fake it looks.

Any prop that is heavy, hard, or sharp enough to injure a person (Err on the side of caution).

When crafting your props, keep it light and keep it safe. You can do a lot with foam!

At Geeks OUT, we are committed to creating spaces that are safe—both physically and emotionally. Join us in making Flame Con a place where we can all enjoy ourselves!

flame con 2016

Kidrobot to Donate Proceeds of Pride Labbits to OneOrlando

Like most of the world, Kidrobot is shocked and saddened to learn about the recent tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Their thoughts are with the victims, their families and the entire LGBT community. They feel it is imperative to do their part to show their support in light of this terrible event. From now through the end of July, all proceeds from Kidrobot’s Labbit Pride Packs will be donated to the OneOrlando Fund. The Labbit Pride Packs are currently available for purchase at Kidrobot.com.

The purpose of the OneOrlando Fund is to provide a way to help respond to the needs of the Orlando community after the effects of the Pulse tragedy. You can learn more about the fund on the OneOrlando website.

As a company that celebrates diversity and acceptance, Kidrobot feels it is necessary to lend their support in this devastating time. They are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope their support will help the community affected.

Kidrobot to Donate Proceeds of Pride Labbits to OneOrlando

#QueerSelfLove is Necessary in Comics

It’s been a brutal time in LGBTQA communities. We are rightfully focused on taking action to protect our communities and stand in solidarity with Muslims and Latinx people; especially LGBTQA Muslim and Latinx people. We must take care of each other. That includes self care.

I don’t want to center the story on people like me. I want to tell you to read the words of latinx LGBTQA people like Delma Catalina Limones,

2016-06-15_1658But I also want to make space to share something beautiful I saw on twitter today.

And then it went viral.

Countless people joined in. It did my soul a whole lot of good to see how many people in comics participated. Fans, writers, artists, critics all of the above. Comics is queer as hell. It has always been queer since the invention of Wonder Woman if not even older.

But right now LGBTQA people in comics and fan communities are organizing like never before. It is already making a difference. I want to thank all of the beautiful people speaking out today. Here are a few of them:

Northwest’s Hard to Swallow for Apple. Readers Get a Free Version.

Hard to Swallow UncensoredTwo weeks ago, Northwest Press submitted their new book Hard to Swallow to Apple’s iBooks with the goal of having a day-and-date release to coincide with the paperback edition that will be in comic book stores this month.

Apple rejected the book, just like they have Northwest Press’ past two releases aimed at adults. The reason is the comics having “prohibited explicit or objectionable content.”

The publisher has now decided to offer a censored version of the book for free, to shine a spotlight on what it sees as Apple’s ongoing campaign against sex in art.

In the days before the iPad debuted, Apple repeatedly rejected comic books and apps with gay content—some of which were very tame and included no nudity—and was accused of following a double standard when compared to heterosexual content. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously defended the platform’s restrictions on sexual content by saying Apple provided his customers “freedom from porn.”

Charles “Zan” Christensen, Northwest Press’ publisher and board member of the nonprofit LGBT comics advocacy organization Prism Comics, took them to task publicly for this in an online article.

in 2011, when the iBooks store was opened up to comics content from indie publishers, Northwest Press submitted its very first release, Jon Macy’s Teleny and Camille (which at that time was the most explicitly sexual book they had published). Apple accepted it, and accepted every subsequent release for about two years.

In Fall of 2013, Apple changed its submission process; they added a new “Explicit Content?” checkbox to their iTunes Producer software, which is used to submit titles to iBooks. The first book Northwest Press submitted to Apple since that change was Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, a gay, erotic, political satire of the War on Terror. This book contained far less sexual content than Teleny, so the publisher was perplexed when the book was rejected. Despite following up and protesting the rejection, Apple’s decision stood.

This happened again when Jon Macy finished the final chapter of his fantasy epic Fearful Hunter, and Northwest Press submitted the collected edition to iBooks. Apple rejected it. Lets make that clear. Apple had already approved the first three issues. But, when those issues were collected, they were rejected.

Now that Hard to Swallow has been rejected as well, the publisher feels that Apple will continue to reject any graphic novel that includes sexual content.

Christensen emphasizes that this is not censorship, per se.

Apple is not the US government, and they can make their own decisions about what to include or not. But the waters are muddied by the fact that Apple’s devices behave a lot more like a distribution platform than a standalone bookstore, with independent publishers using iPhones and iPads as a means to distribute their work. When Apple blocks material on content grounds—blocking it from being sold in any app installed on a customer’s device, by the way—they are effectively banning the book from being sold on any of Apple’s over a billion active devices.

Hard to Swallow CensoredTo make a point about what Apple’s behavior, Northwest Press has created a special version of Hard to Swallow, which readers can download for free. They refer to it as the “apple version”, because all of the sexual content and nudity has been censored with pictures of apples.

The publisher has included an introduction to the special edition, penned by Christensen, as well as several Internet links: one is to an iBooks feedback form where the publisher urges individuals to share their feelings about content restrictions—”respectfully but firmly”—with Apple. The second is a link to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who work to protect comic book creators from censorship and legal threats. The third is a link to Northwest Press’ entire catalog on comiXology, including the two previous books which Apple has rejected.

Mama Tits Saves the World from Northwest Press

Mama Tits Saves the WorldNorthwest Press is getting the word out that fabulous (and famous) drag queen Mama Tits is coming to comics in Mama Tits Saves the World!

Mama Tits made headlines when she confronted antigay protestors at Seattle Pride in 2014.

That fabulous activism inspired Northwest Press publisher Zan Christensen to team up with artists Terry Blas and Marissa Louise to bring Mama to comics.

The publisher has recently launched a funding drive on Indiegogo to cover the printing of the book, artists’ costs, and sending Mama herself to RuPaul’s DragCon to debut the comic! The funding drive runs through May 6th.

Northwest Press is an independent comics publisher that has been producing quality comics exploring the LGBT experience since 2010.

 

 

 

While we’re no longer picking crowd funding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowd funding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management

Bash Back, A Story of the Queer Mafia Chats with Graphic Policy Radio this Monday

GP Radio pic MondayThis Monday is a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio and joining us are the team behind the webcomic Bash Back. The comic is described as “a story of the Queer Mafia” from the minds and creativity of writers Kelsey Hercs and Lawrence Gullo and artist Fyodor Pavlov. The webcomic is updated each Monday.

The show airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

After thousands of years of bloodshed, torment, and ridicule, now is the time to take what is ours. Bash Back comic is a cathartic, hyper-violent, contemporary queer revenge fantasy.

Kelsey Hercs is a playwright and performer based in New York City. Bash Back is her first foray into writing for comics, and she is thrilled that this project is the one she’s cutting her comic-writing teeth on.

Russian emigre Fyodor Pavlov is a freelance illustrator, comic artist and smut peddler. In print, Pavlov’s work can be found in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, The Ouroboros Cycle, Queerotica: A Comics Anthology, and more. His latest comics foray is the art of Bash Back. Together with his husband and creative partner Lawrence Gullo, he co-directs Dr. Sketchy’s NYC, throws costume parties and raises a very spoiled cat.

Lawrence Gullo – Writer, colorist, and graphic design for Bash Back.  Artist and performance artist.  Speaker on transgender issues.

Listen to the show live this Monday at 10pm ET.

We want to hear your questions. Tweet them to us @graphicpolicy.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for this week? While you decide, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web.

Around the Tubes

Panels – Out with a BOOM!: An Overview of Queer Comics 2015 – An interesting overview.

ICv2 – Game Store Chain Coming to U.S. – This could be interesting.

Panels – Comic Book Suggestions for Emma Watson’s Feminist Book Group – Some great suggestions here.

CBR – Chinese Conglomerate Buys Legendary Entertainment – But what does this mean for Pacific Rim 2!?

Panels – Off-Panel: The 50 Best Comics Covers of 2015 – What are your favorite covers?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Doctor Crowe #1

Alaska Dispatch – My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson’s

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