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  • Exposed Magazine

Best of the Fest – Sheffield LGBTQ+ June Roundup

It’s June already, and we’re officially in festival season! This year, the Steel City’s queerfolk are taking over with more LGBTQ+ events than you can shake a disco stick at. First up, we have Sheffield Doc|Fest, the world-leading festival celebrating the art of storytelling across all forms returns for its 26th edition [6-11 Jun] with its biggest selection of queer content ever. Screenings at the Showroom include A Bigger Splash [Thu 6 Jun], the semi-fictionalised account of David Hockney’s breakup from Peter Schlesinger; XY Chelsea [Thu 6 Jun], following Chelsea’s release from her lifetime prison sentence for uploading thousands of documents to WikiLeaks revealing U.S soldiers targeting civilians in Iraq; Queen of Lapa [Fri 7 Jun] exploring the lives of trans sex workers in Rio de Janeiro; Seahorse [Sat 8 Jun] following the pregnancy of Freddy, a gay trans man starting his family; Father Figure [Sat 8 Jun] the story of voguing kiki house founder Guilliano; Lemebel [Sun 9 Jun] a portrait of Chilean artist Pedro Lemebel reflecting the reality of an LGBTQ community living in fear during years of dictatorship; and A Short Film About Us [Mon 10 Jun], an honest exploration of how cultural identity affects the way you feel about being a lesbian.

Site Gallery host the Subconscious Sensibilities strand of Doc/Fest [6-11 Jun] with their Alternate Realities Exhibition featuring a range of interactive exhibits, including augmented reality installation Through the Wardrobe where the possibilities of gender are endless and you are invited to explore the belongings of others and play with gender expression. VR installation Another Dream will tell the gripping story of an Egyptian lesbian couple who, facing a post-revolution backlash against their community, must choose between love and home; while elsewhere Interactive Portraits: trans people in Japan by Zoyander Street uses the nostalgic style of early gaming to create a playful representation of transgender people from Japan. There will also be an opportunity to view screenings of My Mother’s Kitchen, the stories of eight LGBTQI+ individuals as they relay intimate memories of their mother’s kitchens. Filled with joy and comfort mixed with inequality and hardship and Panama Al Brown: A Mysterious Force, the story of a gay black Panamanian who became the world’s first Hispanic World Boxing Champion at the age of 26. For a more interactive experience, head over to the Hallam Performance Lab 360º virtual reality cinema and check out Potato Dreams [6-11 Jun] – a surreal experience that tells the story of Little Potato’s journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union before and after the fall of communism.

More Doc/Fest action at the Light Cinema includes: Shelter – Farewell to Eden [Fri 7 Jun] (also screening at Curzon Cinema, Tue 11 Jun) telling the story of Pepsi, a trans-gender militant born in the Philippines looking for a new identity in Europe; and The Body of a Poet: A Tribute to Audre Lorde [Sun 9 Jun] an expressive imaginary biography of Audre Lorde – African American, lesbian, feminist, professor, mother, visionary and ‘warrior poet’ – who died of breast cancer in 1992. They will also be hosting a selection of shorts for Focus/Shapes That Move: Flip the Script [Fri 7 Jun] – celebrating the power of the LGBTQ+ community with screenings of Out to the Family, Video 28, Visible and Frank Mason Love Bites. Also playing at the Curzon Cinema is After the Silence [Sat 8 Jun] following David as he is forced to leave his country after a homophobic attack. Head to the Crucible for Converging Sensibilities: Considering Creative Practice [Sun 9 Jun] to meet three emerging artists unafraid to take on sensitive subjects and deliver creative and compelling stories about sexuality, disability, conflict, climate, courage and faith. And last but by no means least completing the Doc|Fest queer selection, Leadmill will be playing Deep in Vogue [Sun 9 Jun] presenting a colourful perspective on the vogueing subculture in Manchester.

2019 see’s the city’s second BAMER Pride hosted by SAYiT at Millennium Gallery [Fri 28 Jun]. LGBT+ people continue to face the double discrimination of homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia with racism so this event aims to create a safe space where BAMER LGBT+ people can be proud within their multiple identities. SAYiT have also recently launched their ‘Call It Out’ LGBT+ domestic abuse campaign. Join them for coffee and cake at LGBT Sheffield’s pop up café at Union St [Sat 15 Jun] to find out more about the project and where we can turn if we experience violence, controlling behaviour and/or sexual abuse in our relationships. If you work in the Domestic Abuse or Women’s sector head to one of their LGBT+ Awareness training sessions taking place across South Yorkshire starting with their first session at Scotia Works [Wed 19 Jun]. For more opportunities to get involved in local community groups and projects, Pride in Sheffield are holding their penultimate open meeting at Hallam University [Tue 4 Jun], Open Sheffield return to St Marks for their Open Communion [Sun 9 Jun] and DECSY will be holding training course on Gender Equality in Schools at Scotia Works [Fri 21 Jun].

Migration Matters Festival returns this month, celebrating sanctuary in the Steel City at will be hosting a number of events in recognition of the fact that some migrants are queer, and some queers are migrants. Head to Foodhall for Lates: Grl#003 [Fri 21 Jun] where they will be showcasing some of the most talented DJ gals and non-binary pals from migrant communities. Over at DINA [Sat 15 Jun], they’ll be taking part in the festival with Migrating Queer Bodies, a zine-making workshop following the stories of Polish queer migrants; Vogue-Chi a workshop based on a movement practice incorporating Tai-Chi and Vogue/Ballroom, a spectrum of dance styles and theatrical formats inspired by fashion and consolidated in 1980s New York by Black and Latinx LGBT people. Another event worth checking out is Body Control featuring live queer migrant art, performance and music followed by Club Rush DJs – Sheffield’s homegrown queer rave and best-kept secret. Reel Femme will also be hosting their Migration Matters event at DINA [Tue 18 Jun] which presents an evening of personal accounts of migration told through a variety of short films by self-identifying women and non-binary filmmakers. Also, down in DINA’s Cellar Theatre performance space we have Sounds Queer #4 [Thu 13 Jun] Sheffield’s variety performance night centralising and celebrating LGBTQ+ artists featuring a diverse selection of poetry, music, comedy, dancing, singing, storytelling, theatre, visual arts and reading.

For your live music fixes head to Killer Queen at Sheffield City Hall [Sat 8 Jun], the ultimate Queen tribute act who have performed to sell out audiences across the globe. The George Michael Story brings their tour to The Montgomery [Sat 15 Jun] with a performance featuring a full live band and video footage of the man himself. And one of British folk music’s mightiest combinations O’Hooley & Tidow return to The Greystones [Sat 15 Jun] following their numerous sell-out concerts at the venue.

Cherry Chapstick are back with their night dedicated to LBT+ and queer women & non-binary people talent – Cherry Chapstick #2: The Hoedown [Fri 7 Jun] – featuring a lineup of DJs, performers and dancers and celebrating sex positivity and sex workers with a dedicated area of the venue, featuring art installations and letter-writing to support the workers from Spearmint Rhino. And finally, we have Plenty Fuss at Hatch [Fri 7 Jun], a Queer/feminist music night which aims to put women, non-binary and queer musicians at the forefront; featuring performances from Dorcha, Tsarzi and Ravedadd plus post-gig dancing supplied by Sheffield party legends GYPSYmaneuvers.

That’s your lot for this month, until next time, love and glitter…

Heather x

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