Theatre Thursdays: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

hedwig_neil_patrick_harrisAs you may or may not know, Neil Patrick Harris is opening a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, performing in the titular role, and he looks fabulous. If you’re not familiar with the material, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a 1998 musical written by and starring John Cameron MitchellHedwig tells the story of an East German singer who goes to great lengths to marry an American soldier and leaves for the United States to pursue her dreams and a better life. Those great lengths include a botched sex-change operation, leaving Hedwig with the titular “angry inch”. Eventually, she makes it to the United States, but in a perfect storm of insult and injury, her husband leaves her on the day she learns that the Berlin Wall has fallen. The real meat of the story is in how she uses love and rock n’ roll to recover from that and pursues her own identity. The Obie Award-winning musical originally ran for 857 performances, and has since seen performances in no fewer than eleven countries.

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Teen Wolf: “The Divine Move” Season Finale Review

7165044izdsoxmu-1I don’t know how I feel about the season finale. I’ve got mixed feelings not only about the resolution in general, but also about the last ten minutes of the episode that set up next season. Welp, let’s get on with this. In this episode, Stiles is possessed by a spirit who just wants to play Go and teaches Stiles how to play, which inevitably gets them into all kinds of shenanigans. Wait, wait, sorry, no, I’m thinking of Hikaru no Go. Wrong show.

Spoilers below the cut.

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A Cry for Action at GDC 2014: A New Dawn for Diversity in Gaming?

If there’s one thing we gaming reviewers at LGG&F can agree on, it’s that there needs to be more diversity in video games. This isn’t some revelation I’m pulling out of my ass: we’ve been saying it since the start, whether it be more people of color placed in the spotlight, women being allowed to have characterization beyond the easy pitfalls of tropes, or any representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Basically any character that’s not a chiseled, cishet, 5 o’clock shadow-ed white dude. Cries for a wider cast of characters have echoed across the subculture for what feels like eons, but the fact remains that until the industry decides to take up the mantle, the opportunities for change will be limited to break-out indie hits. However, my conscientious readers, we may be on the precipice of a new dawn. That is to say, the industry may have just had a breakthrough.

Manveer HeirJust a few days ago at the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco, Manveer Heir, a gameplay designer for BioWare Montreal, took the stage in front of a packed room to deliver a panel entitled ‘Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia: Where do video games stand?’. During the panel, Heir called out the Western games industry for clinging too closely to the AAA game formula of white straight dudes saving the girl and doing cool things, and called for a change in not only how the games industry forms their future stories, but also how they view their audience. In a wise move, Heir reassured his audience that his speech wasn’t made so he could waggle a disapproving finger at his fellow game devs; instead it was to be seen as a nudge to an industry that has grown all too comfortable in their safe little niche. It’s a nudge well-needed, however.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Trans, Intersex, and Non-Binary Headcanons

Fanfiction is often used to give representation to minorities that wouldn’t normally be featured in the mainstream media. While this doesn’t always work out, fanfiction in general has done a decent job at providing representation, especially queer representation. And while most fanfiction featuring queer relationships is comprised of slash fanfiction (fanfiction featuring male/male pairings), some efforts have been made to give more representation to the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, last month was Femslash February, which focused on celebrating queer women. Fanfiction authors who wanted more ace representation have started Asexy April. So while the majority of queer pairings in fanfiction are still m/m pairings, there has been a push in the fanfiction community for more inclusion.

Laverne CoxHowever, when it comes to transgender, intersex, and non-binary characters, there is noticeably less representation, both in mainstream media and in fanfiction. Recently, I have seen some more trans and non-binary headcanons, but there are still very few intersex headcanons. Headcanons, for those of you that might not know, are fans’ personal idea about characters which could fit into the existing canon of a show, even if the show itself has little to support the idea. Usually headcanons have some sort of explanation or evidence to back them up.

So to encourage people to write more fanfiction with trans, intersex, and non-binary characters, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite headcanons.

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Teen Wolf Fandom Will Devour Itself: How Fandom Threw Tyler Posey Under The Bus With Teen Wolf’s Blessing

tumblr_inline_mxnrobzoph1rgtqwp(trigger warnings for death threats and threats of rape)

Things in the Teen Wolf fandom are, admittedly, almost always an unbearable shitstorm of hate, with fans doing everything from using offensive slurs against cast members to calling for their rape and murder. This is not representative of everyone in the Teen Wolf fandom, but I will not lie when I say the best advice that I can give to someone new to the fandom is: find a few cool people to follow on Tumblr and then stay the fuck out of the tags. There is nothing but hate there. But while this sort of bullshit tends to be the norm in this fandom, the past few days have been utterly unbearable.

What caused utter anarchy to fall upon the Teen Wolf fandom? Simply this: an interviewer decided to ask Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin, and Holland Roden yet another tiresome question about the Sterek pairing, and Posey gave a honest answer about his feelings toward the ship.

His comment about Sterek begins at 1:29.

Since then, Posey has received a deluge of hate and even death threats from shippers who were hurt by what he said. But what really grinds my gears is that what started out as a crack ship has gained so much power that the Teen Wolf Powers That Be have chosen to support it over their lead actor, Tyler Posey. And that is so far beyond the pale that I cannot even contain my rage.

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Theatre Thursdays: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

Before there was the Book of Mormon, there was South Park. The creators of both, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, had previously dabbled in musicals with things like Cannibal! the Musical and various episodes of South Park, but it wasn’t until South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut that viewers really got to see Parker and Stone’s musical talent.

South Park LGG&FThis musical movie sets out to tackle censorship issues, and it parodies everything from Disney’s animated movies to big name musicals like Les Misérables and Oklahoma. Even Stephen Sondheim stated that South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was one of the best musicals he’d seen in years. Is it any surprise that Parker and Stone would go on to take Broadway by storm?

So let’s take a look at South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut! Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Goddess: Transgender Issues in Wicca and Paganism

1zn4ljlBefore Gail Simone wrote Alysia Yeoh as the first trans character in mainstream DC Comics, Neil Gaiman briefly introduced another trans character in the Sandman story A Game of You. Trans woman Wanda Mann is arguably one of the first trans characters in comic books, and, while I utterly love her character, the way she is portrayed is definitely extremely problematic. However, this is not meant to be a post discussing Wanda’s overall portrayal as a trans character. Instead, what I want to focus on is the exchange between Wanda and the witch Thessaly, and how their interactions relate to the current issues that trans people face within the Wicca and Pagan communities.

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