Catherine Opie talks selfies, AIDS and her shift from representation to abstraction

Categories: GLBTQ, Photography

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Catherine Opie
"Untitled #5 (Inauguration Portrait), 2009"
Catherine Opie began shooting photographs at the height of the AIDS crisis. Her portraits of LGBTQ people were born from the urgency of the moment: She was watching her friends die. Over the years, her work has evolved from documentary portraiture and landscapes toward greater abstraction and a study of her internal self. In advance of her artists' talk at Anderson Ranch, Opie spoke with Westword about shifts in her work and the LGBTQ community, and the purpose of photography in the age of the selfie.

See also: Sue Scott on women artists, getting into museums, feminism and her new book

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Adam Sank on Last Comic Standing and performing at nudist retreats

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Michael Martin

This show has been postponed until September 24: Adam Sank is a nationally renowned comedian who has appeared on Last Comic Standing and VH1's Best Week Ever. In June, he debuted his one-man cabaret show Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show to sell-out crowds. Sank is coming to the Denver Improv on Wednesday, July 30 in September. Westword caught up with Sank to talk about everything from transcending an audience's labels to performing at nudist retreats.

See also: Aparna Nancherla on Totally Biased, Australian crowds and avoiding the dregs of Twitter

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Tom Miller's Limited Partnership chronicles a forty-year same-sex marriage sealed in Colorado

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Courtesy of Tom Miller
Tom Miller's documentary Limited Partnership follows the forty-year marriage of Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan.
Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall continues to defy legal threats and issue same-sex marriage licenses -- just as Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Clela Rorex did four decades ago. In his documentary Limited Partnership, the closing night film at this year's Cinema Q film festival, filmmaker Tom Miller follows the forty-year relationship of a couple Rorex married. Using a wealth of archival footage, the film shows how the ban on same-sex marriage and immigration law have impacted the lives of Filipino-American Richard Adams and Australian immigrant Tony Sullivan. In advance of the July 27 program, Westword spoke with Miller about his movie, the equal rights marriage debate and the couple's fight to have their marriage license honored by immigration services.


See also: Top ten queer films -- a countdown in honor of Cinema Q


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Kelly Shortandqueer on zines, storytelling and his transgender insurance-claim victory

Categories: GLBTQ

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Courtesy of Kelly Shortandqueer
Kelly Shortandqueer has been a staple in Denver's creative community for over a decade. As a co-founder of the Denver Zine Library, a square dancer with the Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus, a victims' advocate for the Colorado Anti-Violence Program and, most recently, an award-winning drag queen, he has no shortage of ambitious projects under his belt. But using Colorado nondiscrimination law to win insurance coverage for his April 2013 chest surgery has been a landmark victory in equal rights-access for transgender people across the state. In advance of Shortandqueer's free July 23 workshop on his win at the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, Westword caught up with him to discuss the Denver Zine Library's move, storytelling and the future of transgender health access.

See also: Kelly Shortandqueer reflects on ten years of the Denver Zine Library and its hunt for a new home


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Cinema Q will chronicle Boulder's forty-year legacy of same-sex marriage

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Limited Partnership
Despite all the hoopla about Hillary Hall issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Boulder, marriage equality is not a new concept in that town. As Westword has reported, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Clela Rorex issued the first same-sex marriage licenses in the country in the mid-1970s. Although the effort was short-lived, the results of Rorex's pioneering activism have been chronicled in Limited Partnership, the closing-night documentary at Cinema Q, the SIE FilmCenter's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival.

See also: Boulder County Clerk isn't horsing around with same-sex license deadline

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Photos: Drag queens and fashionistas at the Apocalyptic Ball

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Crowds turned out at Tracks this weekend for the fifth annual Apocalyptic Ball, a fundraiser for the Colorado AIDS Project that combines drag queens -- including RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Delta Work -- and mini-fashion shows for a good cause. Photographer Eric Gruneisen brought back these images and more of all the fun and games.

See also: Photos: Hotrods and horsepower at the Denver Automotive and Diesel Center

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Photos: The rainbow colors of Denver PrideFest

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In 2014, the members of Denver's LGBTQ community have a lot to celebrate. But their political struggles aren't over, either. And that's what Denver PrideFest was all about this past weekend: a blend of celebrating and raising voices toward an improved future. Thousands gathered in Civic Center Park and marched up Colfax Avenue, letting it all hang out as their rainbow flags flew; photographer Ken Hamblin brought back these shots from the festivities.

See also: The people of Westword Music Showcase 2014


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Ten must-attend 2014 PrideFest events in Denver

Categories: GLBTQ

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Courtesy of The Center
Denver's PrideFest is the third largest LGBTQ pride celebration in the United States.
PrideFest is back, and the LGBTQ community is prepping to hit the streets where booze flows, bodies grind, rainbow flags wave and skin burns under the sun. While there are the usual liquor drenched festivities, thumping dance parties and ample opportunities to cruise, there are less debaucherous options as well, including kickball tournaments, races and kids' parades. Whatever your tastes, below are ten of the best offerings from this year's Pride.

See also: Queer undocumented artist Julio Salgado speaks out

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Broadway composer Andrew Lippa on I am Harvey Milk

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Courtesy of Denver Gay Men's Chorus
Denver Gay Men's Chorus rehearses for Andrew Lippa's I Am Harvey Milk.
California's first openly gay elected politician, Harvey Milk, was a feisty camera-shop owner turned political activist. He fought homophobia, commanded LGBTQ people to "come out," and struggled to build coalitions between oppressed communities. When fellow San Francisco city supervisor Dan White gunned him down in 1978, Milk became a martyr for the gay-rights movement. In advance of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus' performance of I Am Harvey Milk on June 8 in Fort Collins and June 12 in Denver, Westword spoke with critically acclaimed composer Andrew Lippa about the piece.

See also: Mike McNamara on quilting, AIDS and imperfection

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Yoruba Richen talks about the black church, civil rights and gay marriage

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The New Black
Yoruba Richen's The New Black chronicles conversations about gay marriage equality in the African American community.
In 2008, The Advocate published "Is Gay the New Black?," an article comparing the gay rights struggle to the civil rights movement. The story unleashed a fury of critique: How could people compare the fight for gay marriage to the abolition of Jim Crow and segregation? But as a string of marriage-equality initiatives failed, many white, mainstream LGBT activists blamed the black community, erasing the experiences of LGBT African-American activists. Yoruba Richen experienced these conflicts on the front lines of the marriage-equality debate, which led her to direct the documentary The New Black, which will be screening Tuesday night at the SIE FilmCenter. In advance of that showing, Westword spoke with Richen about her film.

See also: The New Black and other docs ask, "Why has black been made the face of homophobia?"


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