In the Head: It’s the Day I Die!

In the Head: It’s the Day I Die!

In the Head (Dans la Tête) is a wickedly funny animated short film by four students from ESMA, the French animation school.  Poor Antoine has volunteered to join the French army, but his short patriotic war experience is, to say the very least, a complete disaster.  The film mixes a tearjerker of a war movie with bureaucratic supernatural slapstick comedy.  Young Antoine’s life flashes before his eyes just prior to dying on the battlefront, and then he’s forced to die all over again, and again and again.  The poor young soldier keeps waiting and waiting for the day to come when he actually does finally die!

In the Head: It’s the Day I Die!

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The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

What good is dancing,
If you have no music,
Or if you have no one to dance with?

The Dancer is a very touching narrative documentary short film directed by Seth Stark, which explores the life of a young orphan in India.  The film is a moving testimony to the resilience of children who are forced to cope with extremely difficult living situations, as well as to the potential contributions of benign, compassionate forms of group care for children.

The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

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Photo of the Day: Adult Books-Firewood-Truck for Sale

Photo of the Day: Adult Books-Firewood-Truck for Sale

Photography by:  Eirik Johnson

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Be Proud: The 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Be Proud: The 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade

An eclectic mix of stars, The Stanley Cup with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel, the Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks, country singer Chely Wright and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn basked in the celebration of an estimated 500,000 people who attended the 41st Annual Pride Parade in Chicago’s North-Side Lakeview neighborhood.  Sopel, who stood on the Chicago Gay Hockey Association’s colorful float, said that he was participating in the parade to honor the memory of his former general manager’s gay son.

Spectators and the half-million parade participants alike provided a deafening roar of welcome to the Stanley Cup and ex-Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel as the Chicago Gay Pride Parade kicked off promptly at noon on Sunday.  Led by Grand Marshal country music sensation Chely Wright, the parade proceeded without any difficulties or delays.

The close to five hundred thousand revelers lined the streets of Halsted and Broadway on the hot, humid June afternoon.  A mixture of sun and clouds was welcome, following the heavy morning thunderstorms that threatened to dampen the event.  Illinois gay Congressman Mike Quigley stated: “When a professional hockey organization like the Blackhawks joins in our celebration of gay pride, that really opens doors.  The barriers are down.”

In addition to the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Cubs also had a float in the parade with All-Star Ernie Banks representing the Cubs.  Laura Ricketts, one of the new owners of the Cubs, is a lesbian.  “The unique thing about this parade is that finally, the Chicago Cubs are here, the Blackhawks are here.  Not that we really need recognition of that kind, but the fact of having major league sports teams joining our parade is a great thing,” Chicago’s openly gay Alderman Tom Tunney said.  “That’s probably the unique difference about today.”

State Representative Greg Harris (D-IL) echoed the comment about the Cubs and Blackhawks, saying  “This time next year I hope to be celebrating marriage equality in Illinois.”  Politicians by the dozens walked and rode in the parade.  Over 300 floats and marching groups made up the three hours long trail, which started at Halsted and Belmont and ended at Diversey and Broadway.

Chicago’s 2010  Gay Pride Parade

The Chicago Gay Pride Parade Celebration

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Be Proud: The Moment the Closet Door Finally Opened

Be Proud: The Moment the Closet Door Finally Opened

“For all of us, there are genuine needs and wishes, deep longings for human warmth, empathic responsiveness, trust, mutual recognition and creative playfulness.  These are many of the ingredients that we think of when we speak of love, or the loving feelings we have for the cherished other person.”

Monday, June 28, is the 41st anniversary of the famous Stonewall riot, an event that changed history.  Gay people battled their way out of the closet with bricks and uprooted parking meters, and with a defiance so shocking it scared the men of the NYPD.  And despite many challenges, they have never gone back in.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village.  They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the gay  community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities.  The riots have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street and the first Gay Pride March in U.S. History. The March  traveled up 51 blocks to Central Park, beginning with a relatively small group that grew into a massive crowd of 15,000 people as it made its way up from Greenwich Village.  Similar marches were organized in other cities.  Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.

Stonewall: The Stone Wall Against Oppression

The Stonewall Riots: A Night That Changed the World

After Stonewall: The First Gay March

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Photo of the Day: The RedHot Little Brooklyn!

Photo of the Day: The RedHot Little Brooklyn!

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

Meet Little Brooklyn, Infamous NYC Burlesque Performer

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Photo of the Day: The Lower East Side Moving Van Man

Photo of the Day: The Lower East Side Moving Van Man

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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