Mike McNamara on quilting, AIDS and imperfection

Categories: Crafts, GLBTQ

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Mike McNamara
Quilter Mike "Mac" McNamara prides himself on his emotionally evocative and often asymmetrical quilts.
The modern quilt world's obsession with straight lines and symmetry rubs quilter Mike "Mac" McNamara the wrong way; he never cared for prescribed patterns. His emotionally evocative quilts reflect on life's biggest issues: desire, grief, politics and childlike wonder. Often as humorous as they are critical, his quilts are gifts of love for another person. McNamara's cartoonish, homoerotic quilt "Stand Back--He's Mine!" is currently on display at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum; Westword recently spoke with McNamara about his life as a quilter.

See also: David Charity addresses hunger, human trafficking and other social issues through quilts

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Photos: The Gayest Oscar Party Ever

Categories: GLBTQ, Photos

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All photos by Brandon Marshall
Hollywood's elite weren't the only ones all dolled up last night. Guests got plenty gussied up for the "Gayest Oscar Party Ever," held at Hamburger Mary's during the Academy Awards ceremony. The event benefited Off-Center, and featured a rainbow carpet, a gown contest and more. And photographer Brandon Marshall was there to capture all the action.

See also: Photos: People of Animeland Wasabi 2014

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Johnny Minotaur restored: Queer cinema, censorship and Denver Film Society's bravery

Categories: Film and TV, GLBTQ

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Filmmaker MM Serra is executive director of the New American Cinema Group.
Johnny Minotaur, surrealist poet and artist Charles Henri Ford's 1971 film, is a lyrical explosion of taboos: Incest, man-boy love and power dynamics, pansexuality and autoeroticism are just a few of the issues he grapples with. After the film was lost for two decades, the New American Cinema Group worked to restore Johnny Minotaur and resuscitated this classic piece of forgotten, queer cinema that belongs next to the films of Kenneth Anger, Derek Jarman and Jean Genet. When the Denver Film Society boldly opted to premiere the restored print this month at the Sie FilmCenter, the organization took a curatorial risk that New York's art world had shied away from, says MM Serra, executive director of the New American Cinema Group. And in the process, DFS's programming team set an important precedent that helped encourage Anthology Film Archives to host the New York City premiere of the restored version of this historically significant, yet forgotten film. Westword recently spoke with Serra about the screening at the SIE FilmCenter, censorship and the future of Johnny Minotaur.

See also: MM Serra on whether Johnny Minotaur is art or obscene teen-exploitation


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MM Serra on whether Johnny Minotaur is art or obscene teen-exploitation

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MM Serra
MM Serra is struggling to find a New York City venue bold enough to exhibit Charles Henri Ford's 1971 surrealist memoir film, Johnny Minotaur. Nobody wants to bite. This experimental classic examines teen sexuality with explicit homoerotic imagery. Several institutions refuse to show it because curators believe the performers look like minors and that the film violates basic standards of decency, she says.

Serra, executive director of The Film-Makers Cooperative, will be at the Sie FilmCenter this Saturday night to present a new print of this controversial film as part of the Denver Film Society's four-day Sex Shop Cinema series. She speaks with Westword about her programming work, 21st century censorship and why Denver has been friendlier to Johnny Minotaur than New York's art establishment.

See also: Sex Shop Cinema: Puppet porn, butter-for-lube and more (NSFW)

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Sex Shop Cinema: Puppet porn, butter-for-lube and more (NSFW)

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Whether you are a raincoat-wearing heavy-breather, an academic seeking fodder for educational frottage or a run-of-the-mill cineaste, beware: You had better be of age and hope the city authorities do not bust up this festival. The Denver Film Society has curated a lineup of erotic films sure to fan your flames of desire and debate -- so grab your favorite lube and check out our handy guide to the eleven films in the DFS Sex Shop Cinema.

See also: The best BDSM movies: Five more options for your viewing pleasure (Iimages are NSFW)

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Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine director Michele Josue talks about her friend's legacy

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Courtesy of Michele Josue.
Matthew Shepard's brutal murder fifteen years ago in Laramie, Wyoming, has become a major symbol of the struggle for civil rights for the LGBTQ community around the globe. Now, thanks to the diligent work of Shepard friend and filmmaker Michele Josue, the world gets to see so much more of his story in Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, debuting in Denver this Friday, October 11.

A friend of Shepard from his boarding-school days in Switzerland, Josue goes beyond the conventional depiction of her classmate and confidant, filling in the gaps with in-depth interviews and never-before-seen photographs and home movies from those who knew Matt best. The result is a deeply personal film about who Matt Shepard really was, and the legacy created by his death.

Westword caught up with Josue, who will be at the screening Friday night, to talk about how and why the documentary came together.

See also: PJ Raval discusses his new documentary on aging in the LGBTQ community

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Five things Colorado should contribute to the National LGBT Museum

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Jim Wills
Hey, Nina! Can we loan your amazing headpiece to the LGBT Museum, please?
In the fall of 1998, I took my then four-year old sister to the steps of the State Capitol for a memorial gathering for Matthew Shepard, not long after his death in Wyoming. Nothing makes a vicious hate crime seem more horrific and pointless than trying to explain to a child why someone would want to brutally murder someone else simply because of sexual orientation.

Sometimes, 1998 feels like it was yesterday -- and sometimes it seems like it was forever ago. (Though the '90s pop-culture revival of the last few years is trying hard, it still looks nothing like it actually did in the '90s.) And it seems even longer ago when I look at how far we've come as a state (and a country) in terms of the rights and visibility of the LGBTQ community. There's even a move under way to create a National LGBT Museum in Washington, D.C. The organizers recently put out a call asking states to contribute artifacts to their growing collection, as they look for a permanent home for the more than 5,000 items already gathered. From my own limited scope and experience as a Colorado ally, I've compiled a short list of things I think would be good additions to this museum.

See also: Death of the civil unions bill got you down? Just do what I'm doing, and marry a gay guy

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Boulder County AIDS Project's Absolute! Fabulous! Gorgeous! benefit is a fantastic drag

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From 2011's Absolute! Fabulous! Gorgeous! show.
Eight years in, the 2013 edition of Absolute! Fabulous! Gorgeous! is set to be bigger and more marvelous than ever. An annual fundraiser put on by Atlas, the service-learning arm of the Boulder County AIDS Project, Absolute! Fabulous! Gorgeous! utilizes the skills of its talented volunteer base to put on a drag show like no other.

This Saturday, August 24, at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, a dozen performers will donate their time and talents for a one-of-a-kind drag revue, with all proceeds going back to BCAP's outreach programs and case-management services.

See also:
- Briceson Ducharme on The Apocalyptic Ball and living with HIV
- How To Survive A Plague: An AIDS and GLBTQ activism film primer
- Photos: Fourth annual Apocalyptic Ball raises money for AIDS support


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Strap on your stilettos, the Running of the Gays is back to support Art From Ashes

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Aaron Thackeray
For its fourth fun and foot-cramping year, the Running of the Gays returns with a three-block "marathon" open to anyone brave enough to don heels for the cause. A benefit for Art From Ashes, an organization that empowers youth through poetry workshops, the Running of the Gays is a collaboration with Rainbow Alley, in an effort to reach LGBTQ kids in particular.

Although Running of the Gays is usually a fall fundraiser, Art From Ashes decided to push the dress-up jaunt up to August, to closer align with Pride festivities that happen throughout the summer months. Regardless of orientation, anyone is invited to participate in the annual fun run, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday, August 11 outside of Steuben's.

See also:
- Photos: Running of the Gays in Denver, 9/26/10
- As Drag Machine's Shirley Delta Blow, actor Stuart Sanks tells drag's vibrant history
- Video: Never wear the same shoes to Running of the Gays two years in a row


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Actress Mink Stole talks about late actor Divine, meeting John Waters and her new record

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The Cast of Pink Flamingos. Divine (front row on the left), next to Mink Stole.
Mink Stole got wrapped up in acting when she met avant garde director John Waters in the mid-'60s. But this wasn't just a convenient accident: the East Coaster had a real knack for the B-movie style. Working hard as part of Waters's devoted crew -- dubbed The Dreamlanders -- Stole has now been acting on both stage and screen for more than four decades.

Coming to Denver this Saturday, July 20, as part of the Cinema Q Film Festival, Stole will speak about Divine, her late friend and fellow actor, in conjunction with the screening of the new documentary I Am Divine. In advance of her appearance, Stole spoke with Westword about the first time she met Waters, what it was like to work with Divine and the recent release of her first-ever studio album, Do Re MiNK.

See also:
- Keith Garcia's top five picks for the Cinema Q Film Festival
- Everything I know about real life I learned from John Waters
- John Waters on beer, bathroom reading and his signature mustache

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