Author: Dan Vruno

A Time for Celebration and Concern: Television’s Current Depiction of the LGBTQ Community

Note: This is actually, by all means, an academic contextual analysis I recently wrote. I’m keeping it the way it was when I submitted it because I feel the direct quotes and work cited are valuable for exploring the representation at hand. Nevertheless, after completing it, I wanted to share it in some capacity. Hope you enjoy –  Dan Minority depiction and representation within media has always been a contested conversation for multiple reasons. Most importantly the general rule when it comes to representation is people want to be able to see themselves depicted within media and foremost in a positive and explorative aspect. Whether it be the depiction of race, gender, or sexuality, there is a need for global representation of all minorities and tolerance of such perceived differences. The portrayal of the LGBTQ community is just one subgroup to be represented across a spectrum of different opinions and perceptions. Historically speaking, the LGBTQ community has been presented negatively in media. Nevertheless, by the turn of the 1990s, depiction of the community has grown …

How Carol came to be the Most Powerful Queer Film in Years

WARNING: Below are spoilers for the ending of Carol “Please believe that I would do anything to see you happy and so I do the only thing I can – I release you.”– Carol to Therese Upon this very written line in a letter from one forbidden lover to another, if one had not already seen Carol, this could be presumed to be the final line spoken before the untimely end of one of the two female leads. This isn’t how Carol ends, even though every other queer drama would make you think so. This is perhaps the greatest and most poignant thing about both the movie and the novel that came out sixty years before it. Very few, if any, queer literature or cinema presents a happy ending or an ending where the couple presumably ends up together in the end, as Carol does. Recent films such as Weekend (2011) and Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) present immediate and instant connections between their leads as Carol does, but take place far more in …

Passing the Summer Vibes with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

When Chance the Rapper, the young Chicagoan rapper released his critically recognized second mixtape, Acid Rap, no one would have predicted his next project to be anything like Surf. Credited as Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment, the album is headed by Chance’s live bandleader and a collection of other artists. Forgoing his immense talent for a team effort, Surf provides contagious positivity and empathy making it a forerunner for album of the summer. With months of buildup and small tastes of the album and the band’s collaborative efforts released on Soundcloud over the past year, the album finally came to fruition when it was released for free on iTunes last May. Donnie Trumpet otherwise known as Nico Segal as trumpeter, bandleader, producer, percussionist and leader of the extensive group finds the best of both worlds within music. Featuring live instrumentation and drum machines, with sung, rapped, and sing-rapped vocals, the hour long album can’t be tied to down to one genre. Featuring appearances of J. Cole, Jeremiah, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, and …

Twenty Songs to Help You Celebrate Pride 2015 Over the Weekend

With the entire world celebrating the ending of Pride month and the miraculous announcement within the United States that same-sex couples can now marry in all fifty states, the LGBTQ community has plenty of reasons to celebrate during the weekend. To help start the weekend properly Beyond has made a twenty song playlist to help get the party started. Highlighting several LGBTQ artists, Queer related songs, and plenty of new and old classics, we hope you enjoy the diverse sounds and discoveries to be found listening to the playlist. Below we have provided links to the complete playlist on Rdio/Spotify/Youtube and individual links for each song. Providing the opportunity to listen to the hour long playlist or to characterize with a specific song, we hope you enjoy the following set of songs. Rdio Playlist   Spotify Playlist   Youtube Playlist   Without further ado here are the twenty songs:   1. Queen by Perfume Genius For those who need a serious sashaying anthem or those in general who just need a triumphant anthem… 2. I …

Dream On : Representing the Unique, the Different, and the Diverse

There’s no denial that people of a minority can feel they are alone in their feelings. Everyone has  those days they face where it truly feels like no one else can understand where they come from. Who they are. What they want others to know. What they want others to understand. Very often it is incredibly hard to deal with these complex feelings. Such thoughts and complete disbelief in oneself can easily lead to dark places. At the same time, being a minority and knowing there are others all around you that face the same situations and completely different ones alike, can be completely uplifting. This is what I attempt to communicate in the film I created, “Dream On”: Originally made for a Video Installation project that was displayed on my campus, “Dream On” focuses on the interior mindscape of nine diverse students. Looking upon these nine young adults (including myself) across the regions of race, gender, and sexuality, the film attempts to show the positive and the negative thoughts that may arise with one’s …

‘Looking’ for Renewal: Why HBO Should Renew the Only Prominently Gay Show on Television

As one of the most cinematically gorgeous shows on television, featuring some of the greatest naturalistic dialogue and unfiltered depictions of sexuality, HBO’s Looking is only missing one thing. The gay-themed, San Francisco-set drama that just finished its second season has yet to be renewed by HBO. While the creators are cautiously optimistic about their renewal, HBO has yet to release a statement. Although, the show may not be embraced by everyone, nor does it show everyone’s experience with being gay, Looking is for someone. Improving from its first season, by bringing in more characters from a diverse background and covering topics such as HIV, Truvada, enemas, and open relationships, creator Michael Lannan and Producer Andrew Haigh are able to present characters who do not have to have their lines lessen to broaden their content. Haigh had formerly directed the film Weekend (2012), following a sexual relationship between two men that develops over the course of a weekend, before one man is about to leave the country; Haigh has recently become one of the most …

How Late-Night Television has become a Venue for Social Issues

Upon arriving on stage, Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius was nervous. Not only was this Hadreas’ debut televised performance, but he would be reaching out to a wide audience unaware of who he was. Walking on stage with heels, a white power suit, a black harness around his neck, and wearing bright red lipstick, Hadreas sang “Queen”. Beginning with the line “Don’t You Know you Queen?” building up to the chorus “No family is safe/when I sashay” Perfume Genius brilliantly embraced his queerness on stage. The same song lauded by Slate last year as perhaps “the year’s best gay anthem” saw the performance just like the song to not conform to heteronormative views on what he does. Inspired by “gay panic” and his previous experiences towards feeling uncomfortable for simply existing as he is, the performance self knowingly wasn’t for everyone but it was definitely for someone. For Hadreas, the realization of how different his performance was from any others didn’t come until he was completely finished. “Yeah, it was right after I was finished, …