“The 9”. Queer News Curated Weekly. A Sexy Royal Series, and Turing’s New Sculpture, and a GAY45 Overhaul

Your guide to the queer media circus. This issue of the newsletter is free for everybody. We hope you will enjoy it!

As usual… 5.5 minutes to read. Your guide to the queer media circus. A weekly digest of the most important queer news in your backyard!  Exclusively for paid subscribers every Monday, “The 9” is curated weekly by Taylor Abbot + the GenZ editorial team.

If you want to hear the most important news commented on in-depth, you can listen to our podcast, GenClash: Queer Perspectives on Current Affairs. The first episode is set to be launched on March 1.

This week, an Alan Turing sculpture by Anthony Gormley, and then:

The UK. TV. A New, Almost Pornographic Series on Sky about King James VI and His Boys.

The second trailer for Sky’s Mary & George unveils a queer, power-driven narrative starring Nicholas Galitzine and Julianne Moore. Galitzine portrays George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, seducing King James VI, while Moore embodies the cunning Mary Villiers, pushing her son to secure power. Based on true events, the series promises scandal and manipulation as Mary schemes for influence. Scenes hint at intense power dynamics and provocative encounters, setting the stage for a gripping drama. With a stellar cast and talented creators behind it, Mary & George is poised to captivate audiences when it premieres on March 5th.

Europe. Media. GAY45 has a new leadership.

In an official statement released by GAY45, a significant editorial overhaul has been announced. Miruna Tiberiu, a 22-year-old standout scholar at the University of Cambridge (ranked no 1 in the world), has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of one of Europe’s most influential queer magazines. Ms Tiberiu, known for her academic prowess and as the co-founder of Screeve, the university’s queer publication, brings a fresh perspective to her new role. Accompanying her is the writer Jude Jones. Mr Jones, 21-year-old talent also at the University of Cambridge, assumes the position of Managing Editor after being a member of publications like Varsity, The Cambridge Language Collective and Disruption. “I am deeply committed to fostering GAY45 as a vibrant platform amplifying the voices of young queer creatives and writers. Both our Editor-in-Chief and I, as the Managing Editor, hail from GenZ—an undeniable milestone. My vision is to bring a queer, innovative, and globally relevant perspective that transcends generational boundaries,” Mr. Jones asserted confidently. Meanwhile, the Austrian Dominik Böhler transitions to the role of Chief Strategic Advisor at DerAffe.io, the parent organisation of GAY45, known for pioneering the first AI art curator. As DerAffe.io anticipates further growth, additional changes are expected, including the appointment of a new board of directors.

The UK. Art. Alan Turing sculpture by Anthony Gormley.

Keeping with Cambridge, a statue of Alan Turing, the wartime codebreaker and computing pioneer, has been unveiled at the university college he attended to mixed reviews. The 12.1-foot sculpture, designed by Sir Antony Gormley, faced criticism on social media for its modern art aesthetic. Despite dissenting opinions, others praised its depiction of Turing’s “single-minded brilliance.” Gormley, known as the Angel of the North, admitted initial concerns about the statue’s controversy. During the unveiling, he emphasized its purpose as a celebration of Turing’s life opportunities, not a memorialization of his death. The steel and copper structure, set to oxidize into a deep red, sparks a dialogue with the college’s architecture. We believe it is fabulous that the sculpture was created by such an incredible artist.

Norway. Film. Norwegian Dream, a Compelling Tale of Love and Labor Struggles.

Leiv Igor Devold’s debut film, Norwegian Dream, navigates the unpredictable currents of a liberal society, set against the stunning backdrop of Norwegian fjords. The narrative unfolds in a fish factory, where a love story blossoms between Robert (Hubert Miłkowski), a white Pole from precarious circumstances, and Ivar (Karl Bekele Steinland), a better-positioned black Norwegian. As their relationship faces challenges, including homophobia and economic exploitation, the film explores the complexities of societal norms. The characters, excellently portrayed, embody diverse social groups and gender identities, showcasing the oppression mechanisms they endure. Norwegian Dream seamlessly weaves together a homosexual love story and a labour dispute, creating small utopian moments of overcoming social barriers. The film, released on February 1, 2024, captures the intricate tapestry of human reasons and the world’s complex and unfair nature.

The Uk. BFI Flare Announced the Opening and Closing Movies.

The BFI Flare London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival announces its 38th edition’s opening and closing night films. The festival, running from March 13 to 24, kicks off with the European premiere of Layla, the debut film from Attitude columnist Amrou Al-Kadhi. The closing night features the world premiere of the docu-fiction Lady Like by director/producer Luke Willis, focusing on Lady Camden (Rex Wheeler) from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14. Both films explore the complexities of identity and self-discovery within the LGBTQIA+ community. The festival’s full program, curated by a diverse panel, will be revealed on February 13.

The UK. Politics. Government Secretly Halts NHS Pride Programme

The NHS Rainbow Badge scheme, embraced by numerous hospitals and healthcare workers, faces closure in a covert move by the UK government. Spearheaded by LGBTQ charities, including the LGBT Foundation and Stonewall, the program aimed at fostering LGBTQ inclusion within the National Health Service (NHS) is being defunded. NHS England abruptly halted the funding, leaving staff uninformed and services dwindling. Critics argue this decision, amidst LGBT History Month, contradicts previous governmental support. The scheme’s termination reflects broader pushback against LGBTQ inclusion initiatives, drawing concerns over healthcare accessibility and equality.

The USA. Human Rights. Cecilia Gentili, an Advocate for Trans Rights and Sex Workers, dies suddenly.

Cecilia Gentili, a prominent figure in the fight for trans rights and sex worker advocacy, passed away suddenly at 52. Known for her warmth and depth of knowledge, Gentili founded Transgender Equity Consulting in 2019 and launched COIN, a free health clinic for sex workers. Her impact extended beyond policy as she prioritized her family and community. Mourners, including political leaders, gathered at Judson Memorial Church to honour her legacy, highlighting her role in reshaping perceptions of kinship and motherhood. Gentili’s sudden death leaves a void in the fight for equality, with the cause undisclosed.

Anna Kooris / Berlinale 2024

Germany. Film. Berlinale is about to Open with a Fabulous Selection of Queer Movies.

The 74th Berlinale (February 15-25, 2024) showcases a rich array of LGBTIQ* films. Levan Akin’s Crossing explores Istanbul’s underground scene, while Bruce LaBruce presents Pasolini’s “Teorema” anew. Documentaries highlight Berlin’s queer figures like Peaches and Jürgen Baldiga. The Teddy Award, the festival’s queer film honour, includes Berlin’s Lothar Lambert. Notable features include Ray Yeung’s All Shall Be Well, Marcelo Botta’s Betânia, and Juliana Rojas’s Cidade; Campo. Rose Glass’s Love Lies Bleeding promises a thrilling lesbian narrative. From horror to coming-of-age tales, the Berlinale celebrates diverse queer stories, enriching cinematic landscapes.

From left to right: Emrah Gökmen (artistic project manager), Erdem Zayimoğlu (project manager), Zülfukar Çetin (TBB board member)

Germany. Human Rights. Turkish Organisation Offers Help for Migrant Queers.

The Turkish Federation Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB) launches “My Family – Queers in the Migration Society,” reports Siegessaeule, aiming to support queer migrants and their families. Prompted by a case of discrimination, TBB addresses the intersectionality of queer and migrant identities. Facing gaps in existing services, TBB offers consultations in multiple languages and engages in awareness-raising events, fostering empathy and understanding. Emphasizing collaboration and representation, TBB advocates for a racism-critical perspective and urges the inclusion of migrant voices in the queer community. Through dialogue and cooperation, TBB works towards dismantling barriers and promoting solidarity.

 

Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week, NYT.

Cook: This spiced Irish oatmeal feels more like dessert than breakfast.

Design: Here’s how to maximize space in your bedroom.

Recommit: Psychologists say that February is the best month for resolutions.

Surf: Several video games try to capture the clunky, creative feel of the old internet.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and WordleYou can find all our puzzles here.

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Curated every week by our news editor Taylor Abbot & GAY45 editorial staff. Exclusive for subscribers on Monday through Substack and Wednesday on the website.

Previously he studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is passionate about journalism, contemporary literature, poetry, technology, socio-political involved art forms and queer implications in society. He wrote previously for several magazines as Bay Area Reporter or Männer. Nerdy curious, passionate about the weird parts of life and the good stories written by great journalists. Taylor decided to delete all his social media accounts two years ago. Lives and works between Berlin and London.

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ONE MORE THING… WE RECOMMEND OUR FRESH NEWSLETTERS

This Friday we have a fresh newsletter that will suggest exceptionally written articles signed by our award-winning editors on www.gay45.eu

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