Dance and Dreams in Divines

The French movie Divines (2016), directed by Uda Benyamina, looks into the tragic reality of people that are not born privileged and have to find their place in the world, making money and becoming adults a lot sooner than their peers. Dounia is a young adult searching for her identity in a very unfair world. Her mother is not concerned about her wellbeing and the … Continue reading Dance and Dreams in Divines

From The Well of Loneliness to Exciting Times: LGBTQ+ Narratives, Ninety Years Apart

with uproar, leading to the book being banned under the Obscene Publications Act . This was because Hall had chosen to write from the perspective of a lesbian protagonist, Stephen. Stephen is assigned female at birth but given a traditionally masculine name due to their parents’ desire for a male child; this begins a life of identity conflict. The depiction of Stephen’s complicated relationship with their sexuality and gender speaks to Hall’s lived experience with gender dysphoria. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that Hall believed that they were “a man trapped in a woman’s body”. Like the young Stephen, who likes to be called Nelson, Hall adopted a male pseudonym to write under, Radclyffe. A portrait of Hall painted in 1918bears a striking resemblance to Stephen in their later years, which suggests that what makes The Well of Loneliness so heartrending is that the emotional anguish comes from the heart of the author. Hall’s experience as someone who did not identify as the gender assigned to them at birth, is such an important narrative to read and understand – and to have been writing this story as early as 1928 marks out Hall as a revolutionary. Continue reading From The Well of Loneliness to Exciting Times: LGBTQ+ Narratives, Ninety Years Apart

It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus in December 2019, there have been three vaccines approved for use in the UK. It was labelled as a pandemic by WHO on Wednesday 11 March 2020, just over five months later. A disease as high profile and universally affecting as COVID-19 has received masses of the attention and funding that it requires to tackle the virus. To date, the pandemic has claimed over 2.3 million lives. Continue reading It’s a Sin: Depicting HIV/AIDS On-Screen

Adapting Queer Romance: Maurice

Maurice is one of my all-time favourite novels. E. M. Forster’s tale of emotional and sexual awakening was written in 1913-1914 but published posthumously in 1971. In Edwardian England, an explicitly queer narrative with a happy ending was out of the question. To please mainstream audiences, queer (or queer-coded) relationships in 20th century literature and film were conventionally doomed from the start, often with one … Continue reading Adapting Queer Romance: Maurice

Uncovering the Rainbow, Re-examining History from a Queer Perspective

It is well known that history is written by the victors. The individuals in power are sculptors, who mould events and entire periods to reflect beneficially upon themselves. Despite facts being concrete, sometimes textbooks and the literary canon shatter these, acting like rose tinted glasses, constructed to distort the reality of the past. The triumph of those in power is carved into time, while the stories of minorities are left to decay and swept under the carpet when their accounts are deemed unacceptable for future generations. This is so often the case for the LGBTQ+ community. Continue reading Uncovering the Rainbow, Re-examining History from a Queer Perspective

Pride Culture Comforts: Eurovision

The Eurovision Song Contest final is Gay Christmas.
It’s camp, glittery, and flamboyant; it’s a spectacle and, with the legendary commentary from Graham Norton, it’s a gift. For many reasons, the LGBTQ+ community gravitates towards this event and form a large proportion of its hardcore fanbase – one such reason being the competition’s central values of unity, tolerance, and diversity Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Eurovision