Jul 28, 2015 0
▲▼▲▼▲▼ LOGAN LYNN ▼▲▼▲▼▲
Feb 10, 2014 0
Check out a slideshow of the most beautiful #SochiSign “Gay Propaganda” photos alongside an article I wrote for The Huffington Post about our Photobomb Solidarity Project happening out of Portland for LGBTQ Russia HERE or by clicking the screenshot of me and Beyonce on the HuffPost Gay Voices homepage below!
Quick shout-out to Cameron Kude for his ideas and efforts and to photographer Chase Person for lending his talents to this project! I am always so moved when people give back in creative ways to the community I care so deeply about! You guys are awesome.
Here’s a shot of me at the sign this week:Tweet
May 18, 2013 0
(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 5/16/2013)
This Friday night James Franco and Travis Matthews‘ stunning, complicated and sexually graphic new film Interior. Leather Bar., a “docu-fiction” exploration of queer sex and BDSM subculture as it relates to Hollywood, mainstream culture and where we all draw the line as people, is making its Pacific Northwest debut at QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival.
I had the opportunity to catch up with both Franco and Matthews this week to chat about the public’s reaction to the movie (so far), their intentions behind making it to begin with, how gay sex will save American cinema, and much more.
Watch the official Interior. Leather Bar. trailer and then read our conversation below:
Logan Lynn: Thanks for taking time out to do this, you guys! I watched the screener of Interior. Leather Bar. this week and ended up recognizing a handful of the actors you cast from Portland. One major focus of the film is the inner struggle of Val Lauren, whom you cast to play the Al Pacino character, and I am just wondering if this is something you experienced with all of the cast. Was there a process you went through with each of the actors and extras?
Travis Matthews: If you mean a process that went as far and as deep and exploratory as it did with Val, no. Initially when we did the casting call, and there were so many guys who were both gay and straight, and a lot of them had different ideas of what they were willing to do, what was OK, what was too much. I kind of thought that we should just bring on extras that were really 100-percent behind this, but then it seemed like it made a lot more sense just to complement the arc that was Val’s story. You look at Cruising; it’s a story that follows that main character in a very similar way. That was a lot of the intent.
Lynn: That makes sense. I’m seeing the term “docu-fiction” used all over the place to describe the movie. In the context of this film, what does that mean to you?
James Franco: I think that describes a lot of different dynamics that are happening within the film. Our source was a piece of fiction, a movie called Cruising, but that fictional feature film had a lot of documentary kind of history attached to it in a very strong way. If anybody knows that film nowadays, it’s very hard to extract the film from its history, the history of its production and the protests that went on, the history of its reception and the personal histories of the people involved. So, from the start, our project was engaged with a source that was already combining docu-fiction in a very strong way. I think that the way that Cruising and its history are tied together informed our approach, and a lot of it really was discovery and exploration as we went. We didn’t have any firm goal in mind. I think that, for me, one of the clearest things about the project at the beginning was that we had an area to explore, but that it would be an exploration. That was a huge part of it. Anyway, I guess that’s a long way of saying our source involved docu-fiction and our approach accordingly involved docu-fiction.
Lynn: Do you have any theories on what William Friedkin’s motivations were in making the original Cruising film? Have you heard him speak to that?
Franco: Yeah, I have heard him speak about it, and he Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 17, 2013 0
In case you missed it live on-air last night, I was the guest on Out Loud Radio this week talking about community work, summer tour, racism in the LGBTQ community, and more. I chat with Sasha Buchert from KBOO for a good 40 of the 60 minutes about why we are doing the work we are doing at (and for) Q Center in Portland, my dream for the world, and more.
To stream the show online, click HERE.Tweet
Feb 26, 2013 0
Recently I have witnessed a great deal of conflict within Portland’s local queer community online, in the press, and in real life. Much of this seems to come about as a result of heated debates around social issues, sex, politics, art, and the complicated inner-workings of the LGBT community in PDX (and everywhere). I believe there is much to be learned from conflict, but the way some of this has been playing out lately in the public sphere has felt mean spirited and has been difficult to watch at times.
It is my belief that we were all born inherently kind and connected to one another. Each of us was handed our own set of circumstances at birth, which are sometimes pre-destined long before birth, but most babies are not born angry. As kind queer babies are growing up, we sometimes find ourselves mistreated, abandoned, and ridiculed for being different. We are held down by layer upon layer of systemic oppression buried centuries deep in a culture that has its head shoved so far up its own ass it cannot see the part it plays in the cycle of abuse. This is painful and infuriating.
So what do we do with the fury we carry from having this history? How do we reconcile these justified feelings of outrage? Many of us might not feel powerful enough to take on our families, bosses or governments at the root of our feeling oppressed, so we aim lower and end up putting our pain on one another. Instead of queer people banding together to fight external oppression, we end up oppressing ourselves through infighting. It’s a tale as old as time, but all that cutting our friends amounts to in the end is a divided community, and a divided community is not a strong one.
We are still in the midst of a culture war, friends. While many changes have been made in our favor, we cannot forget that we still live in a country that treats queer people like second-class citizens, and in a state that actively perpetuates this discrimination. I fear sometimes Read the rest of this entry »Tweet
Nov 2, 2012 0
(Originally Published in the November 2012 Issue of Just Out Magazine)
“In the Trenches: The Closet Trip”
My partner and I took a trip to South Dakota this past summer to celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday. Before the trip began, we talked about how my extended family on my mother’s side had always been very accepting of me (and my gayness) in theory, but that I had never taken a man “home” and been around all of them while in relationship to test it out. Somewhere in me I knew that everything would be fine with all of them, just as it has been with my immediate family for years, so I didn’t think much more of it.
Almost immediately upon our plane landing in Rapid City, it was clear that we were not in Portland anymore. The woman at the rental car place made some snide comment about how only I could drive the car unless we were “married or domestic partners” which then made her laugh out loud. Imagine – two men married to each other? Ha!
By the time we arrived at the hotel we were exhausted and it was late. We chatted with my parents for a bit and then went to sleep. The next morning we woke up early and traveled to the Badlands, where we spent most of the day. The land was magical and our interaction with people was sparse. We hung out, took photos, and tried not to touch the very cute prairie dogs (which carry plague, come to find out).
We spent the weekend hanging out with all the people who have ever loved me in the world. It was really great for me to get to share them with the man I love, and him with them. My family all celebrated our relationship and welcomed him into the fold without batting an eyelash. It was extraordinary.
Family aside, I could tell some of the hotel staff and patrons were either afraid of my floral bike cap or the anal sex it implied, but Read the rest of this entry »Tweet
May 11, 2012 0
(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 5/7/2012)
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a hero lately, spawned mostly by my recent involvement in a project called Queer Heroes NW, created in partnership with Q Center (Portland’s LGBTQ Community Center) and GLAPN (the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest). The idea behind the endeavor was to focus in on individuals who have helped shape the local LGBT movement here in Oregon and southwest Washington, honor them for making our community safer over the years, and teach a new generation about how we got here from there.
Often, when I think of the history of the gay rights movement, only of a few select big-name activists come to mind. It’s easy to forget about all the people who didn’t make the papers or have a movie made about their impact, and in so doing, we skip over the people who have put their neck on the line for our local communities, with little or no recognition in return. Part of the goal in creating Queer Heroes NW was to secure these brave souls a permanent spot in our queer history, and also to thank them for the work they have done to make us free and keep us free.
Over the years I have had many people touch my life in heroic ways. I was always picked on for being perceived as “girly” or “gay” growing up, and by the time I reached high school, the bullying was unbearable (like it is for many gay kids). I had one teacher who stepped into the role of queer hero #1 on the first day of my freshman year. His classroom instantly became a safe haven for me, and Read the rest of this entry »Tweet
Apr 30, 2012 0
Those of you who live in Portland have probably already caught wind of the media blitz I have, once again, found myself in with regard to my ongoing small group dialogue project between members of the queer community and members of the Mars Hill Church. After this past week’s vandalism and threats (video below) Pastor Tim and I decided to go on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” today and talk about our experience together thusfar. It first aired this morning live at 9:00am and will air once more again this evening at 9:00pm, so tune in!
You can download the MP3 HERE.
If you care to catch up on everything that happened to get us here this week, follow the links and watch the video below:
Q Center’s Executive Director Speaks Out Against Threats of Violence
KGW News (NBC)
Fox 12 News
PQ Monthly (Article 1)
The Christian Post
PQ Monthly (Article 2)
The Portland Mercury
KOIN 6 (CBS)
Rev. Chuck Currie
Apr 21, 2012 0
(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 4/18/2012)
I went to see filmmaker Lee Hirsch‘s new documentary, Bully, this past weekend, and even now, days later, I still find myself deeply affected. When I say that, I’m speaking not so much about the film (although it was beautifully made and completely moving) but to the extreme heartache I have felt since watching it. I started sobbing about 30 seconds into the movie and didn’t really stop until the following morning. I cried for the parents who have lost their children to bullying, I cried for the bullied subjects in the film, and I cried for myself, having gone through an amplified version of all of this years ago.
Yesterday, after reading reports of yet another 14-year-old queer kid being bullied to death in America, this time in Iowa, the feeling turned once again from sadness to anger. My own growing-up-gay-in-the-Midwest story reads like some sort of fucked-up textbook for how LGBT kids come into the world, how we maneuver through, and often how we go out. The torture I suffered at the hands of my peers as a closeted child and then as an out teenager is one that is shared by many in the community. In reality I was quite lucky to have survived back then, although I almost didn’t survive the years that followed.
I took in violence as a young man like a sponge takes up water. It came in many forms, but I always did the same thing with it: I absorbed it and made it part of me, every mean thing anyone ever called me believed, every punch thrown my way shaped into my being. I spent years reacting to other people’s hate in a variety of colorful ways, living out the disappointment of everyone who had ever known me in real time. I was driven by uncontrollable rage, crippling fear, and a sense of mourning for the person everyone else thought I should be but whom I knew I would never become. Over time I grew used to the abuse, said goodbye to my sweetness, and let the violence take me over.
Even as an adult I am still dealing with this very old idea about myself and a world that says that I am nothing; that I somehow deserve to taste blood in my mouth, because I am not actually a person; that I need to hide in order to stay alive. To this day, when I encounter homophobia, my first reaction is often to fight; sometimes the motivation is to protect myself or the man I love, but sometimes it’s because I just want to see that look of surprise on the face of some mouthy jock who didn’t expect this particular weak, pussy-faggot to be scrappy and fight back. I’ve spent countless hours in therapy working on this very thing, but having spent my formative years defending myself both physically and emotionally, it’s sometimes hard to turn that survival reflex off.
Just this past weekend, as we walked by a group of meathead bro-dudes with tribal tattoos and spray tans, one of them mocked what I had said to my boyfriend as we passed, only he did it in full-blown sissy voice. I stopped. My initial instinct was to Read the rest of this entry »Tweet
Mar 15, 2012 0
(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 3/14/2012)
This past weekend my partner and I went to see a performance of A Lesson Before Dying, Romulus Linney‘s play set in a small Louisiana bayou town in 1948. It was based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Ernest J. Gaines and is about a young black man who has been wrongfully accused, convicted of murder, and awaits his death in the parish courthouse. While in court the convicted man’s life is compared to that of a hog, and this becomes his truth. His godmother enlists the unwilling aid of the town’s young plantation teacher to carry out her mission of teaching her godson to walk to the electric chair like an innocent man rather than the animal the white man has made him out to be throughout his life. Questions of racism and morality are confronted in visits between the two men for the duration of the piece and, in the end, the lessons shared and learned transform them both — along with the entire town.
After the very moving, emotional performance ended, founders of the August Wilson Red Door Project (an organization that “uses the arts as a catalyst for creating lasting, positive change in the racial ecology of Portland”) took the stage for a dialogue about the experience we had just collectively emerged from. Their organization posits that “all people, regardless of personal, cultural, and social history, internalize values and beliefs of the world they have been raised in. While some of these values and beliefs enable creative achievement and success, others create a sense of profound limitation and self-doubt. This doubt can be described as internalized oppression — a process by which people come to accept and internalize the inaccurate myths and stereotypes they have been exposed to.” The idea is that “no one is immune from having to wrestle with a sense that something is holding them back, regardless of background or privilege”, and they founded their organization on the belief that “with the right education, exposure, and support, everyone is capable of growing their capacity to create, to achieve, and to thrive.”
At one point during the very emotional post-performance chat, while illustrating how this particular story speaks to a universal human rights issue and making a correlation between the civil rights movement in the United States and some current world affairs and battles being fought in the name of race and religion in other lands, someone in the audience said the following four words about Americans: “We are past racism.” The room fell silent, aside from a few gasps. I could feel the sting in the air and could see the pain that one sentence had caused in the faces of many others in the room. Read the rest of this entry »Tweet