Tag: hit

Moving gay film becomes rare hit in China

A photo of a man holding a book to his face which reads: 'Wish LGBT public welfare no longer difficult'

The poster for Forbidden Love in Heaven. (Ran Yinxiao_

A simple film about a gay couple who adopt a homeless child, Forbidden Love in Heaven has become something almost unthinkable for LGBT+ filmmakers and moviegoers in China: a hit.

In a nation where acceptance of same-sex couples is progressing at a less-than-glacial rate, Chinese filmmakers have long been censored and nettled by authorities’ inability to acknowledge that LGBT+ people even exist.

But 19-year-old filmmaker Ran Yinxiao sought to challenge the industry with his film, Forbidden Love in Heaven, released on local streaming platforms in July 2020.

It was a “bold attempt to explore the difficulties that sexual minorities face in starting a family”, Yinxiao told South China Morning Post.

“My thinking was that if three different people without any blood ties could start a family, then this must be the world’s strongest family,” he said.

Indeed, the film presented a fresh test for media regulators, where the broadcasting of “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content” is banned by the National Radio and Television Administration.

The agency’s regulations have forced many moviemakers to veil queer stories in subtext or cut and censor their films to get them aired – Yinxiao managed to drop the trailer for his film only after making it more “ambiguous”, he said.

“I think to myself, why do moviemakers exist?” Yinxiao added.

“Our camera lens is our weapon. We enlarge the aperture to allow more light to shine on the places of the world that aren’t easily seen.

Yinxiao, a Communication University of China film student, based his film on a real-life family. He said it had one simple aim: “I wanted to emphasise that an LGBT couple can raise and nurture a child too.”

Forbidden Love in Heaven received positive reviews on social media platform Weibo, the Post reported, and netted neutral coverage in state-run media. It was a small victory, Yinxiao acknowledged, but one that has buoyed him to continue making content that centres LGBT+ families.

“I hope our film is the start of this acceptance,” reflected Zhang Xin, an actor who played one of the film’s fathers.

“And I hope that in the future there’ll be more movies of this kind; maybe our movie can be a pioneer, a small pioneer.”

A study jointly conducted by the United Nations Development Programme, Peking University and the Beijing LGBT Center in 2016 found that only five per cent of “sexual and gender minority people” in China are “willing to live their diversity openly”.

In 2020 LGBT+ activists fought – and failed – to be counted in the country’s decennial census and demand marriage equality be finally legalised.

Drag Race queens hit the road for Halloween drive-in shows across US / GayCities Blog

Drag Race queens hit the road for Halloween drive-in shows

Two drag hosts from the Drive-In Drag show
This way for the drive-in… (Image: Voss Events)

Halloween – like everything else about 2020 – is likely to be very different this year. That said, it provides the perfect excuse to get creative with a facemask!

As bars and clubs remain closed across much of the U.S., and house parties are not advised, those wishing to mark Halloween may be interested in a spooky-themed drive-in drag show set to tour the U.S next month.

Voss Events organize events featuring many of the former RuPaul Drag Race queens. It’s already organized drive-in drag shows featuring Canada Drag Race queens in Canada.

A previous Drive In Drag show audience (Photo: Voss Events)
A previous Drive In Drag show audience (Photo: Voss Events)

For October, it’s running a U.S. Drive ‘N Drag: Halloween show featuring: Asia O’Hara; Aquaria, Yvie Oddly; Kameron Michaels; Kim Chi; Violet Chachki and Vanessa Vanjie.

It costs $69 per car per two people (with $25 for additional passengers). VIP tickets cost $139, and get your vehicle closest to the stage (which going by comments on online forums, is worth the extra expense). Tour dates are as follows:

October 9-11: Neshaminy Mall, Philadelphia.
October 13-14: Emerald Square, Boston.
October 16-18: Newpark Mall, San Francisco.
October 23-25: Park Meadows, Denver.
October 29-31: Westfield Sunrise Mall, New York City.

The queens will be appearing live on stage, with the action relayed on big Jumbotron screens. Each queen will be playing the part of a trapped soul, recounting how they came to die “from obscure causes … Each soul will share her chilling tale of death in an immersive stage performance that is sure to fright and delight.”

Food will be available from food trucks and there will even be Drag Brunch options for performances earlier in the day.

(Photo: Voss Events)

Related: Paige Turner on 2020 pride season: “It’s even more important to stand together”

Producer Brandon Voss said in a statement, “Our wildly popular drive-in productions are proving the drag show must go on even through a pandemic! The show has been adapted to be even more interactive than the original arena production, bringing performances and haunts into the parking lot for an immersive experience we are dubbing a Haunted Parking Lot for a good scare.”

(Photo: Voss Events)