Tag: worker

John Voight is a sex worker on the make. But is he gay? / Queerty

John Voight is a sex worker on the make. But

Welcome to Screen Gems, Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Debatable: Midnight Cowboy

Director John Schlesinger came out to the world (well, kinda) with this gritty drama about New York street hustlers dreaming of a better life. Some critics have hailed Midnight Cowboy as a seminal queer classic. Others have labeled it one of the most homophobic movies ever made.

The story finds the naive Texan Joe Buck (John Voight) arriving in New York City to live the high life…as a low rent male prostitute. Upon arrival, he crosses paths with the ragged street man Ratso (Dustin Hoffman) who first cons him before offering to act as an advisor and surrogate pimp. A strange bond develops between the pair as they begin to dream of a life outside the city in the idyllic tropics of Maimi.

Midnight Cowboy remains the only X-Rated movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Schlesinger, likewise, took home the trophy for Best Director. Contemporary critics read the film as a gay romance, and Schlesinger unquestionably views Joe and Ratso through a queer lens. That said, modern appraisal of the film both lauds it for its portrayal of a same-sex relationship (albeit a chaste one) and deride it as a homophobic nightmare. In all honesty, we can see it both ways: Joe and Ratso do have an odd devotion to one another, and Joe does seem to take easily to servicing male clients. On the other hand, the Joe/Ratso coupling has all the hallmarks of a dysfunctional relationship, and flashback scenes of Joe getting raped could imply that he isn’t gay; rather, he’s trying to cope with sexual trauma.

In any case, we recommend Midnight Cowboy both as a historical artifact, and as a controversy which invites debate. Where do you fall in the appraisal? Watch and find out.

Streams on Amazon, YouTube, VUDU and iTunes.

Trans sex worker murdered by client

Vanessa Solórzano. (Twitter)

Vanessa Solórzano. (Twitter)

Vanessa Solórzano, a 20-year-old trans sex worker, was stabbed to death by a taxi driver in northwest Argentina Tuesday morning (August 11) all because he didn’t want to pay.

Close friends described Solórzano as a fiercely loyal person who dreamed of becoming a makeup artist. She had began sex work to help her family pay the bills, but had on one occasion been “kidnapped and locked up for days” and brutally beaten.

“So she wanted to dedicate herself to something else,” the friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Her body was found in San Miguel de Tucumán according to local media.

She has been solicited by a taxi driver, Daniel Sanchéz in the early hours of the morning – around 4.30am – but he later refused to pay her.

A scuffle ensued, and he stabbed her in the back on his car at around 6:30am while parked along Avenida Alem and Canal Sur.

Footage from surveillance cameras on nearby storefronts showed Sanchéz drive away from the crime scene and wash his hands – drenched in blood – before a colleague arrived.

The two then stole Solórzano’s mobile phone and the money on her person.

Initial witness reports appeared to imply that Solórzano robbed Sanchéz, leading to regional news outlets angling that the murder was a form of retaliation.

While investigators have since disproven this and arrested Sanchéz and apprehended his vehicle, loved ones of the victim fear the damage has already been done.

A close friend of Solórzano stressed to La Izquierda Diario that Solórzano “would never have stolen from anyone”. She explained how Solórzano “liked artistic makeup, especially in the drag queen art world”.

“She was very protective,” she said, “she always contained us and defended us when they wanted to do something to us.”

LGBT+ rights in Argentina.

Liberal lawmakers in Argentina have long waged a bitter feud with the Roman Catholic Church over LGBT+ rights.

The Argentine Congress is illuminated in the rainbow colours to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.( JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)
The Argentine Congress is illuminated in the rainbow colours to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.( JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

Church leaders attempted to derail a bill to legalise marriage equality in 2010 by organising large scale protests, where religious opponents barricaded the streets.

But more than a decade on, Argentina’s LGBT+ rights have emerged as some of the most robust in South America.

The shift is illustrated by bisexual son of Alberto Fernández, the president of Argentina, who is a big name in the country’s drag scene and even promoted his father’s candidacy across an array of queer clubs.