REVIEW: ‘Black Faggot’
Lights, two actors in black clothes, fists pounding on chests, feet stamping, prayers, various sexual positions and a rendition of ‘This Little Light of Mine’ – these are the things that Black Faggot uses to tell it’s stories. It may be simple, but it’s also smart.
Black Faggot was written by Victor Rodger who conceived the idea while watched a Destiny’s Church rally against New Zealand’s Marriage Equality Bill. He watched the young protesters march by and thought,”At least one of these kids will be gay and feeling quite wretched about himself.
Two young actors, Taofia Pelesasa and Iaheto Ah Hi, expertly bring to life Rodger’s cast of unique characters in series of stripped down monologues where comedy straddles tragedy in everyday lives and situations. The characters – all a part of New Zealand’s migrant Pacific Island communities: the ‘undercover brother’ who will do almost anything to prove that he’s straight, a gay Samoan guy who will call anyone out on their prejudice to an island mama who has to confront the fact that her son is queer. Pelesasa and Ah Hi shift between these different characters with ease – each one as authentic as the last – at a pace that can be challenging. It’s almost if each character is clamoring over the other one to get their story told, because they all know that stories like these are rarely heard.
Black Faggot gives you every stereotype of queers, pacific islanders, fa’afafines and queens imaginable – and it watches while you laugh. Then, it turns around and delivers a heart wrenching scene – the gay Samoan teenager standing alone, his voice raised and shaking as he asks God to make him straight. You are no longer laughing.
Black Faggot demands that you keep up, but that’s okay – because you really want to. Showing for only 4 more nights at the Herald Theatre in Aotea Square, Black Faggot is back by popular demand after winning big at the Auckland and Melbourne Fringe Awards in 2013. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.
RY Scholarship to the Outgames
Are you badass at badminton? Groovy at golf? A superstar at swimming?
Rainbow Youth is offering a $1000 scholarship to help a queer or trans* young person get over to compete in the 3rd Asia Pacific Outgames held between May 10th and May 16th in Darwin, Australia. Applicants can be competing in any sport that the Outgames offers (even lawn bowls, we don’t discriminate!) and can be from anywhere in Aotearoa!
Those interested in applying for the scholarship should email firstname.lastname@example.org with a 200 word profile of yourself (including a photo so we put a face to the name of the talented applicants), 200 words on why you want to compete in the games as well as proof of registration to the games (if you haven’t registered yet, make sure you do so before April 11th). Applications for the RY Scholarship close April 23rd. The winner will be announced in a post on our website and our social media pages: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
Professional Development Workshops
Rainbow Youth is excited to launch our professional development workshops this year! We’ve been delivering its sexuality and gender diversity education workshops throughout schools and institutions around Auckland since the 1990s. This year, we’re expanding our education programme to address the wider community.
Beginning on the 25th of January, we’re offering a series of full day training workshops aimed at healthcare professionals, teachers, tertiary students, youth workers, as well as parents and whānau of queer and trans* youth, who would like to better support those young people in their lives.
Our Education Coordinator Kestin Stewart says he’s really excited to be able to run the Professional Development workshop.
“It will be a great opportunity to not only gain a solid understanding of sexuality and gender diversity, but to also learn how to talk about these issues with confidence and sensitivity.”
Participants in the workshop will learn the fundamentals of sexuality and gender identity as well as how homophobia, transphobia and discrimination affect queer and trans* youth. Other skills gained in the workshops include dealing with such discrimination in their environments, the coming out process and also have the opportunity to hear a range of personal stories from queer and trans* young people.
All participants will receive a resource training pack as part of the course. Refreshments will also be provided. Registration costs $100 per person, $50 for students and $70 per person for groups of 5 or more.
For the full outline of the sessions, download this PDF.
Click here to register for the January 25th session or email Kestin at kestin.stewart@
New Year Giveaway – Short Term 12 Film
Rainbow Youth is celebrating the start of 2014 with a little treat for you guys! We’ve got some two for one passes to see Short Term 12 showing in cinemas from January the 9th. We checked out the film early and think it’s one that’s well worth seeing! Read our review below, and if you’re interested, head to our Facebook to be in to win!
Short Term 12 is a brave film. Brave in its understated manner of dealing with its challenging storyline and, brave in the willingness of its performers to show what it looks like to be broken. The film premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival in Texas, where it won both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature award and the Narrative Audience award and has since been recognised at other festivals around the U.S.A.
During this festival circuit, Short Term 12’s lead actress, Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, Don Jon, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) was recognised repeatedly for her performance as Grace, a young woman working as a supervisor at a home for at-risk teens. Grace is the firm handed crewmember who treats the residents with a frankness that she can’t mirror in her personal world. The intensity of both her professional life and her personal life, included her past struggles and her secret relationship with her co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr. – Pieces of April, Jonah Hex, Whatever Works) begin to collide as the film progresses, forcing Grace to deal with parts of her world that she has refused to up until now.
Several moments of the film provide an acute punch right in the guts. The first is the recounting of a story written by one of the residents, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), who joins the home early on in the film. The story is about an Octopus who so desperately wants friends, she allows a shark she comes across to eat each of her arms in turn for his friendship. It’s a poignant metaphor for the devastation caused by relying on people and a comment on the danger of people taking too much from you and leaving you with nothing.
The second moment is when Grace and Jayden visit Jayden’s abusive father’s house during the night. In an act of vengeance for all the pain that he has caused her, Jayden takes a bat and smashes the windows of his car. With Jayden’s encouragement, Grace takes up the bat as well, hops on the bonnet of his car and begins to hit his windscreen over and over again. It takes a while to crack, but every blow is brutal and satisfying. It’s Grace finally gaining the courage to face the fact that like the kids she supervises, she too has something to run away from. She too, has something to be angry about.
A thoroughly compelling and interesting film, Short Term 12 proves itself right from it’s opening scene. Its climax and ending scenes feel rushed in comparison to earlier parts of the film, but it is still satisfying and the films major strengths lay in its expert mix of comedy and plainly stated emotional turmoil.
Short Term 12 is headed to cinemas around New Zealand on the 9th of January. To win one of RY’s two-for-one passes, head over to our Facebook and like on our post about the film! We’ve only got a limited amount of passes so get in quick!