LEV YAKOVLEV/THE OBSERVER
“There’s two of them?”
My friend asked this when I shared my intent to write about LGBT History Month. Less popularized than Pride Month in June, it spans across the whole of October. The city is filled with art, film, theater, awareness, social justice and just plain fun events, all in the spirit of the special month.
If you weren’t in New York this past June, now is the time to engage with LGBTQ culture both on and off campus.
Lincoln Center Film Festival has anticipated the month with screenings of two LGBTQ-related films. “Born to Be” is a documentary about the emotional and physical journey of medically transitioning, inspired by New York’s 2015 law on transgender-related care and services covered by health insurance. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the winner of the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay awards at Cannes this year, is a story of a devastating romance between an artist and her muse.
If you didn’t catch those two, they will soon be on streaming services. If you’re starved for more quality LGBTQ cinema, check out NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival. From Oct. 23-29, the festival presents a satisfying culmination to a month that celebrates LGBTQ history. Featured screenings include “Beyond the Binary,” a series of shorts by trans, nonbinary and intersex directors that showcase the diversity of perspectives in queer and trans communities, and “Seventeen,” a lesbian coming-of-age story. Rounding out the lineup is “Cubby,” a semi-autobiography of a midwestern 20-something who moves to New York City to become an artist — a story that, perhaps, will resonate best with the Fordham audience.
For those interested in theater, the Greenwich Village-located LGBT Center will allow the public to attend an open rehearsal of Heartbeat Opera’s “Hot Mama: Singing Gays Saving Gaia” on Oct. 24, for a suggested donation of $10. This mix of drag, opera and pastiche celebrates Mother Earth in all her beauty and biodiversity. The actual show is on Oct. 30 and 31 at the Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, and ticket prices start at $30.
For art lovers, the Leslie-Lohman Museum has created “Being Seen Makes a Movement Possible,” a window installation that showcases the 40-year-long documentation of the LGBTQ movement through photography. Although it didn’t open with the celebration of the LGBT History Month as its prime goal (it has been on since Pride Month), the exhibit is essential for anyone who wants to find out more about the LGBTQ community of the past.
What does open for History Month is “ON OUR BACKS: The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work,” an exhibition that explores the history of queer sex work and its relationship to art and activism, on display until Jan. 19, 2020, also at the Leslie-Lohman. The suggested admission fee is $10.
If you don’t feel like taking a trip in order to experience LGBTQ history and community, the Rainbow Alliance is bringing this experience to the Lincoln Center campus. The club will end the month with the peak of Fordham LGBTQ pride and allyship: The Second Annual Drag Show. You can still sign up as a gender/non-gender drag performer to sing, lip-sync, dance, do stand-up or anything else that comes to mind. You can sign up by emailing [email protected] or attend the show on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.