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Caitlyn Jenner Says GOP Leaders Were Embarrassed To Be Seen With Her In Public, But Met In Private Trans Teen Finally Feels Like She ‘Actually Belongs’ After Being Elected Homecoming Queen Drag Has Gone Mainstream, Here’s How It Continues To Change The World For The Better Why LGBTQ-Inclusive Advertising Is So Important Jax Gay Monthly Happenings Does Circumcision Actually Help Prevent HIV? “Old Yeller” Star Tommy Kirk Passes, Disney Fired Him When He Was Outed As Gay Costa Rica Dreamin’

Publisher/Executive Editor David Vandygriff Dvandygriff @cityxtramagazine.com Editor In Chief Dr. Harvey Carr hcarr@cityxtramagazine.com Director of Sales Adam Plante, Esq aplante@cityxtramagazine.com Creative Designer Debbie Johnson Djohnson @cityxtramagazine.com cityXtra Magazine is published by cityXtra Organization Inc . 2941 Plum Street Jacksonville, FL 32205 (904) 300-3320

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Caitlyn Jenner Says GOP Leaders Were Embarrassed To Be Seen With Her In Public, But Met In Private By Ben Johnson

Caitlyn Jenner said that, during her failed California gubernatorial campaign, some Republican party leaders and elected GOP officials refused to be seen in public with her, despite supporting her in private. “I had elected officials and party leaders who would gladly take private meetings with my campaign team and me, but would balk at the mere notion of being seen publicly with me,” Jenner wrote in a recent USA Today column. She would have been the first transgender governor in the U.S. had she won. “To a point, I understand they have to protect themselves from their voters and the base who might not be as openminded as they are,” she explained, noting that the problem “for someone like myself” is “partly generational.” “But leadership means standing up for what is right, and if you thank me privately for running for office, you should be able to do it publicly.” Despite association with her being treated like a dirty secret, Jenner assures readers that she is still a Republican and 06 www.cityxtramagazine.com

will “fight for inclusivity in the Republican Party.” She even complains that “coming out as a Republican was more difficult than coming out as transgender.”

in order to gain more political influence in California However, she’s not an ideal candidate for that either. For example, despite being a supposedly “inclusive” It’s also possible that her socandidate, she supported called GOP supporters didn’t excluding trans athletes (like want to appear in public with her) from playing in school her because she was a terrible sports. Jenner’s political candidate. positions wouldn’t win over Democrats, and her political During her campaign, she polled at six percent for public party has established itself as firmly anti-transgender, another support, lied about not voting for Trump in the 2020 election, position that alienates had an inconsistent stance on Democratic voters. COVID-19 mask-wearing, Despite that, she wrote, “I will complained about seeing continue to fight for the conhomeless people in the streets, servative movement and work expressed some support for with the next generation of Texas’ bounty-hunting antileaders who will open doors for abortion law, left her campaign more people to join the to go record a reality show in conservative movement and be Australia, and ended up having accepting of people like myself to fund her own impoverished who do not fit into what the campaign. media or society categorizes as Republican.” All those gaffes might’ve worked in her favor in a red state. But in California, Democratic voters outnumber Republicans nearly three to one. In the end, she got barely one percent of the vote. In her column, Jenner said that Republicans need to start winning over Democratic voters


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Trans Teen Finally Feels Like She ‘Actually Belongs’ After Being Elected Homecoming Queen By Walter Bennett

Evan Bialosuknia made history at Olympia High School as her fellow students overwhelmingly elected her to be their homecoming queen. “Made history,” the teen wrote on Instagram earlier this week, proudly showing off her sash which reads, “Homecoming Court 2021”, alongside her crown and her main accessory: the homecoming king wrapped around her arm. “I wanted to have that moment of glory,” the 17-year-old told WESH2, an NBC affiliate based in Orlando.

But instead of her fears, her dreams became a reality as she was triumphantly elected last week. Bialosuknia was crowned queen on the school’s football field alongside the homecoming king, whom she said has made her feel “like any other girl”. “I just made me realize I was not alone,” she added, “and don’t have to go through this alone.” “Looking back, it doesn’t even feel like me,” she said as she gazed at old photographs of herself before she transitioned earlier in 2021.

“It made me feel like I actually belonged. Not just like a joke, ’cause that was one of my fears. “I played football for like six to Trans homecoming queen says eight years, and I remember win ‘made me realize I am not during practices I would stare alone.’

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at the cheerleaders because I wanted to be with them.” Wins such as Bialosuknia’s are a stunning repudiation of the wave of anti-trans legislation that clogged up statehouses earlier this year. Among them was her own home state of Florida, where governor and top Trump ally Ron DeSantis took aim at trans Floridians for no real reason other than hate. He vowed to ban genderaffirmation healthcare for trans youth – despite openly admitting he “didn’t know” the treatments existed “until a few years ago”.



legally recognized cultural district of its kind in the world. The small but energetic event closed out Transgender Drag Has Gone Mainstream, Here’s How It Continues To Change The World History Month, proclaimed at For The Better the start of By Audrey Moore August by San Francisco Mayor London It was a sunny August Breed. afternoon at the intersection of Turk and Taylor Streets in San “It was such a great Francisco’s Tenderloin district celebration,” said Mahogany. “Amidst all the craziness of the when drag queen and pandemic, it was nice to be transgender activist Honey able to gather outside with Mahogany took the stage to friends and family and speak at the Riot Party, a celebrate trans history. The celebration of the city’s trans performances, the music, the community and its role in community, they all came LGBTQ liberation. together in a way that felt Fifty-five years earlier, an joyful, and, thankfully, wasn’t actual riot had taken place at too overwhelming.” that same intersection: In The former RuPaul’s Drag August 1966, three years before the Stonewall uprising, Race contestant was one of a drag queens, trans people and trio of Black trans activists who first lobbied the San Francisco other outsiders fought back Board of Supervisors to during a police raid at Gene designate the district in 2017. Compton’s Cafeteria, an allnight diner that was one of the Mahogany addressed the few places they could crowd as the newly elected congregate. chair of the San Francisco Had they seen what was taking Democratic Party, speaking of place more than a half-century the history of the Compton’s later, those bold resisters — riot and the Tenderloin, and who were arrested en masse encouraging audience and loaded into paddy wagons members to vote against the — might not have believed recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom, their eyes: A celebration of the a trans rights advocate. trans After decades of pushing community, with a diverse boundaries, drag queens are crowd mingling in broad daytaking center stage — not just light at the center of the on Drag Race, but in activism Transgender District, the first and even mainstream politics. 10 www.cityxtramagazine.com

Mahogany, 38, worked her way up through San Francisco’s legendary Democratic machine, which begat Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Harvey Milk, and many others. She’s making her mark outside City Hall, too: In June, Mahogany sang the National Anthem before the San Francisco Giants’ annual Pride night game. She’s just one example of how drag performers continue to press for social progress, even as the art form reaches new heights of mainstream success. Thanks in large part to Drag Race, drag queens are touring the world, signing lucrative commercial contracts, appearing in films and on TV, and even headlining shows on Broadway and London’s West End. RuPaul’s DragCons in New York and Los Angeles rake in more than a combined $8 million a year in ticket sales, merchandise, and appearance fees. But the spirit of the Compton’s Cafeteria riot still lives on in many of today’s drag queen activists, who are fighting not just for their communities, but for their country, their values, and their planet.


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Why LGBTQ-Inclusive Advertising Is So Important By Corey Tatum

When you think of retailers from your childhood, you may remember them as places to meet friends after school, places to go shopping with your parents on the weekend, or perhaps more depressingly for some, sources of back-toschool needs, marking the end of summer, which is just around the corner. I have fond memories from my childhood of the Gap and Benetton in particular — their color schemes were ahead of their time. As kids, we identified with retail brands and correlated them to what was affluent, hip, or stylish. What you wore most often reflected who you were. It was easy to be captivated by a brand’s television commercials and their addicting jingles. How many of us sang along to being a “Toys R Us kid” or wanted to “fall into the Gap?” We now live in a much different world, but one thing that remains true is retailers’ impact on how you look, how you present yourself and how you make a statement. In my role at Accenture, I see this every day. I’m the global retail marketing lead, so my mission is to understand trends 12 www.cityxtramagazine.com

and changes in the retail industry, with an eye — both personally and professionally — on how consumer values impact where they spend their dollars. Over the years, I’ve often examined the ways my being openly gay at the office impacts, enlightens, and guides the work I do with retailers in the digital age. But what does one have to do with the other? As retail marketing has become more inclusive and more diverse — particularly since I first came out at work a decade ago — it’s more than you might think. I’ve worked at Accenture for the past 16 years, and at the start of my career, I was firmly in the closet. After about four or five years, I decided to come out to a few executives who I knew were also gay. I remember one of them saying to me, “If anyone here asks if you are gay, ask them why they want to know.” It was a lightbulb moment for me. Here was someone I respected as an “out” professional, yet he was incredibly careful about how that question might be answered. Suddenly, I was struck with the realization that

being gay could be damaging to my career if the wrong people knew and my sexuality was used against me. Sadly, a decade later, this mentality is alive and well in some companies. Accenture research on how LGBTQ people are faring in the workplace revealed that only 31 percent of LGBTQ employees are fully open about their gender identity/expression or sexual orientation at work. This figure drops to 21 percent among those in senior leadership positions. When I decided to fully come out at work, I joined Pride at Accenture, the company’s LGBTQ employee resource group, which provided me with a critical connection to likeminded individuals who I felt safe with instantly. It would have taken me years to foster those kinds of friendships on my own. At that time in retail, TV commercials and print advertisements were still — for the most part — featuring all white spokespeople and white families sitting around a kitchen table, taking vacations, or going out to eat. Commercials


for jewelers advertised engagement rings only in the traditional setting, with brides and grooms. Retailers were aiming at who they thought was the largest chunk of their customers. I remember seeing those engagement advertisements and thinking marriage would never be an option for me. Fast-forward to today, when social movements and social media have forced retail brands to consider who they are, who they market to and how they represent themselves. This has led to the current hot topic in corporate America: diversity and inclusion.

what it means to be bisexual gave me a very different view of my LGBTQ family. I am part of it, but I am also an ally for others in my community. That is inclusion. When I stuck my toe out of the closet, I never dreamed that being gay could actually be an advantage to my career. Because I’m out and proud, I’m looking for advice about the best way to reach the LGBTQ community, and how to develop internal and external programs with a focus on equality. For example, as a marketer I know imagery matters, so I made a concerted effort to show all dimensions of diversity in our retail marketing But what does diversity and materials. From an LGBTQ inclusion really mean? At perspective, I had not seen Accenture, we flip it and lead “me” represented, so I with inclusion. It’s only when incorporated visuals of LGBTQ you create a culture of equality, families and couples. where everyone feels like they belong, that diversity can truly I also advocated to build more diversity into our consumer flourish. research. Rather than looking A strong example of this is our at consumers as a LGBTQ training. Each year we homogeneous group or broken bring together more than 150 of out by age/gender, we went a our high performing people for step further to include LGBTQ what we call L3 (LGBTQ consumers. Our research Leadership Learning). The showed that a company’s beautiful thing about this commitment to inclusion and training is that it is inclusive of diversity, and LGBTQ specifipeople from both the LGBTQ cally, mattered to consumers community and allies. and the bottom line. Forty-one percent of LGBTQ shoppers We spend two days together would switch to a retailer comsharing our journeys, challenges in life and work, and mitted to inclusion and how we can all be there for one diversity. another. It’s the first training My journey to being openly gay I’ve been to where I recognized at work mirrors how retailers that the community I belong to started to adapt to marketing can be very different and have directly to our community. At unique struggles. Hearing the first, there was hesitancy. If the story of my trans colleagues or

word “gay” was spoken — or advertised — it was rarely. Over the years, I became more comfortable being outwardly gay, and this dovetailed with retailers’ comfort level being more open to communicating with LGBTQ individuals. Until fairly recently, it would have been unthinkable for a retailer to market to our community. Fast forward to today, with the explosion of individual social media channels as outlets to advertise, retailers can home in on speaking to each person more directly — for example, loudly and boldly during last month's Pride. It’s both an opportunity and a risk — buy into stereotypes and risk losing a large chunk of your customers. Consumers want authenticity and a commitment to inclusion and diversity 365 days a year, not just during a celebratory month. If everyone truly belongs, then you need to speak to each individual, not subsets of groups. Being open at Accenture and taking such an active role in talking about LGBTQ and equality is incredibly rewarding. It’s great to see how the company supports our LGBTQ people. We even have more than 120,000 allies around the globe now. As I get older, and more established personally and professionally, I’m realizing that being myself is now less about myself. It’s about paving a path for the next generation of LGBTQ individuals. www.cityxtramagazine.com 13


Jax Gay Monthly Happening By David Vandygriff

Welcome to LGBTQ History Month of October 2021. In Jacksonville we always host our River City Pride the first weekend of October, well we are back this year with a smaller one version. Yay! Saturday Oct 2 will be the River City Pride Market Place & Parade taking place in the Historical 5 Points Area visit www.RiverCityPride.org for all the information Friday October 1st is Jack’s Monthly Happy Hour at Birdie’s beginning at 6pm. It is one heck of a good time. The fall season for Stonewall Sports Kickball starts Sunday October 3rd in the Willobranch park. Start time is around 10am and goes into the afternoon. Visit www.Facebook.com at find Stonewall Sports – Jax Group. Congrats RIOT Rivercity Invitational October Tournament is this month as RIOT celebrates it’s 10th Anniversary. For more information visit www.RIOTRivercity.com There will be over 120 bowlers intown for the whole weekend from all over the USA. Monday October 11th will be Pride Night – Rainbows Under 14 www.cityxtramagazine.com

The Stars benefiting JASMYN at Brew Hound Dog Park in Neptune Beach. For tickets visit https:// www.unation.com/fl/neptunebeach/dating/event/BrewHound -Pride-Night-152601653

of our movement. We are no more - and no less - heroic than the suffragists and abolitionists of the 19th century; and the labor organizers, Freedom Riders, JASMYN’s 15th Annual Coming Out Day Breakfast will Stonewall demonstrators, and be held Wednesday Oct 13th at environmentalists of the 20th century. We are ordinary Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Tickets are available people, living our lives, and trying as civil-rights activist at www.JASMYN.org This is Dorothy Cotton said, to 'fix one event that you don’t want what ain't right' in our society."to miss. -Senator Tammy Baldwin MOSH’s Annual Pride Event is being held Saturday October 16th 10am-2pm. For more information visit www.TheMOSH.org This is a family friendly event. Visions of Pride & Joy: An LGBTQ Storytelling will be on Thursday October 21st 4pm at Christ Episcopal Church 400 San Juan Dr Ponte Vedra Beach, FL We hope our little corner of JAX GAY helps you feel more included and informed about the GAY HAPPENINGS in & around Jacksonville. If you have anything coming up please drop us a line at info@cityxtramagazine.com "All of us who are openly gay are living and writing the history



Does Circumcision Actually Help Prevent HIV? By Neal Davidson

Many studies, mostly out of Africa, have drawn conclusions that circumcision is effective in reducing STIs, including HIV. But a new study out of Canada — the first conducted in a Western nation — drew no such connections. The results of the study were recently reported in The Journal of Urology under the title, “Circumcision and Risk of HIV Among Males from Ontario, Canada.” Researchers with the University of Toronto urology and pediatrics departments looked at the experiences of nearly 570,000 men in the Canadian province. Of the 203,588 who were circumcised, 0.0002505% contracted HIV. Of the 366,362 men who were not

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circumcised, 0.0002484 contracted HIV. “The vast majority (83%) of circumcisions occurred prior to age 1 year,” according to the researchers. “In the primary analysis, we found no significant difference in the risk of HIV between groups (adjusted hazard ratio 0.98 (95% confidence interval 0.72 to 1.35). In none of the sensitivity analyses did we find an association between circumcision and risk of HIV.” The study's conclusion stated, “We found that circumcision was not independently associated with the risk of acquiring HIV among males from Ontario, Canada. Our results are consistent with

clinical guidelines that emphasize safe-sex practices and counselling over circumcision as an intervention to reduce the risk of HIV.” The effectiveness of circumcision in preventing HIV appears to be most beneficial when it comes to heterosexual men. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Male circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of acquiring HIV infection by 50 to 60 percent during sex with HIV-infected female partners, according to data from three clinical trials.” Back in Africa, the nation of South Sudan hopes to circumcise 1.5 million men in an effort to curtail HIV.


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outlet for my feelings,” he told Kevin Minton for a 1993 book. “It “Old Yeller” Star Tommy Kirk Passes, Disney Fired Him When He was very Was Outed As Gay hard to By Daiyu Wang meet Tommy Kirk – the legendary people and, at that time, there child actor who starred as was no place to go to Travis Coates in Old Yeller and socialize.” whose work for Disney came to He said he “admitted to myself an end when he was outed as that I wasn’t going to change” gay – has passed away at the by the time he was about 18age of 79. years-old. “Please know that Tommy Kirk When he was 21, Kirk started loved you, his fans,” longtime seeing a boy whose mother friend Paul Petersen wrote on found out about them and Facebook, informing the public informed Disney. Disney of Kirk’s death. refused to renew his contract, Originally from Kentucky, Kirk despite the success of his started acting as a teenager films. and had some success on “Even more than MGM, Disney television. Shortly after getting was the most conservative a role on The Micky Mouse studio in town,” he told the Club, he got his biggest break Shelby Star in 2013. “They when he got the lead role in were growing aware. They Disney’s 1957 film Old Yeller, weren’t stupid. They could add about the adventures of a boy two and two, and I think they and his dog. were beginning to suspect my The film was a success for homosexuality.” Disney and Kirk went on to star “Disney was a family film studio in a number of films, including and I was supposed to be their Swiss Family Robinson and young, leading man.” The Shaggy Dog, in the late He went on to act in several 1950s. By the 1960s he was acting in comedies for Disney, movies for other studios, getting arrested for possession like The Absent-Minded of marijuana several years Professor. later, which cost him several Throughout this time, Kirk roles. would later say that he knew The quality of movies he did he was gay and “desperately got worse, almost losing his unhappy.” Screen Actors Guild card when “I knew I was gay, but I had no he did two non-SAG movies. 18 www.cityxtramagazine.com

He left show business and came out as gay in a 1973 interview. He went on to work as a waiter and a chauffeur and then a carpet cleaner. In 1990 he said he was poor because he “made a lot of money and I spent it all. No bitterness. No regrets.” He said that he fought addiction in the 1960s, which made it harder to have a career at the same time. Petersen wrote on Facebook that Kirk was “estranged from what remains of his blood family.” “You lifted him up when an industry let him down in 1965,” Petersen wrote to Kirk’s fans. “He was not bitter. His church comforted him. May God have mercy on his soul.” On Twitter, Disney said that it’s “saddened by the passing of Tommy Kirk,” calling him a “beloved and iconic star.” Some people pointed out that Disney wasn’t exactly accepting of Kirk when he was alive. Disney inducted Kirk in its Disney Legends hall of fame in 2006, the same year Elton John was inducted as well.



Costa Rica Dreamin’ By David Vandygriff

We are Costa Rica Dreamin' and can't wait to go back! Planning a Costa Rica vacation is almost as much fun as being there!

Their mantra is "Pura Vida," which translates to "pure life" or "simple life" in English, but it means so much For those of you who haven't more than that! "Pura Vida" is been yet, here's a quick similar to "Aloha" in Hawaiian, overview: where the word captures a way Where is Costa Rica? of life. The Costa Ricans are Costa Rica is a country located friendly, multicultural, and in Central America between multilingual people whose North America and South heritage is African, Chinese, America. Jewish, Lebanese, and Italian. The indigenous peoples are the What is the capital of Costa Bribrí, Cabécar, Maleku, Rica? San José is the capital Teribe, Boruca, Ngäbe, Huetar, of Costa Rica and is situated and Chorotega groups making right in the country's middle the blended culture quite within the San José province. wonderful and unique! What to do in Costa Rica? We're glad you asked because Where to Stay? It depends on your plans, but Costa Rica is blessed with one thing is for sure! You have incredible diversity, which the most amazing GayTravel means there is something for Approved® resorts and hotels everyone. To name a few in Costa Rica to choose from, exciting activities...surfing, and they are awaiting your canyoning, zip-lining, ATV tours, hiking, horseback riding, arrival! fishing, eco-tours, bull-riding, San José ride a tram through the Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda rainforest, go on a waterfall Belen tour, see a volcano, take a cooking class, play golf, tennis, This gorgeous hotel is the dive, and more! With so much perfect home base with a blend to do, you can be a true of high-tech and high-touch adventurer or simply relax and combined with a terrific unwind. location. Complimentary Is Costa Rica Gay Friendly? shuttle service from the airport means you don't have to think, and you'll be whisked to your 20 www.cityxtramagazine.com

spacious and luxurious room where you can unwind and relax from your travels. For Families and Golf Enthusiasts Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort This beachfront resort boasts a private beach and a championship 18-hole golf course. Ever dreamed of riding a horse on the beach? Well, giddyup because Jaco Beach has everything you'll need. Hiking the canopy of the rainforest along the Green Coast is another great option, or discover Carara National Park. Adults Only Gaia Hotel and Reserve is located on the Pacific Central Coast and is nestled in the coastal forests of Manuel Antonio. The combination of an eco-friendly hotel with its own private reserve that helps protect the wildlife is truly unique and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For foodies, you'll love fine dining La-Luna, their onsite restaurant and for spa aficionados, enjoy a spa treatment at Terra Spa.


Guanacaste El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Guanacaste is known for its forests and mangroves. El Mangroove overlooks the stunning Gulf of Papagayo. The moment you arrive, you will feel connected with nature because the hotel's design is inspired by Costa Rican culture, the lush forests, and the sun-drenched beaches. Be sure to take a private boat tour and afterward unwind with a massage at Bearth Spa. JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa A hacienda-style hotel with beautiful views of Guanacaste. Beach bonfires, yoga classes, sunset cocktails, and even an astronomy observatory... these special activities are just a few of the many that await! Punta Islita, an Autograph Collection Another Guanacaste gem is Punta Islita. LGBTQ+ travelers will revel in the complimentary eco-adventures and cultural experiences. Being surrounded by the beautiful ocean and tropical forest will make you feel relaxed and refreshed. Be sure to spend time at the Wild Scarlet Macaw Reserve, the Camaronal Sea Turtle Refuge, and explore Carrillo and Samara's surrounding beach towns. For more current information, please refer to the Visit Costa Rica tourism site at www.VisitCostaRica.com www.cityxtramagazine.com 21


Dad Catches Son Putting On Makeup And What Happens Next Is Beautiful Source Katrina Nixon

Anyone whose youth involved trying on Mom’s high heels and rifling around her makeup drawer knows it can end poorly if Dad comes home from work early and finds you looking like a 12-year-old Dolly Parton. But the times they are a-changin’ — and the kids are getting much better with the application process. And while plenty of youth still struggle with their parents’ rigid understanding of gender roles and sexuality, a recent viral TikTok video shows one example of how far we’ve

come. In the clip, a boy is filming himself applying makeup, hears his father approaching, and shuts the lights to avoid being seen.

“I love you, Papa. I love you. If that makes you happy, do it. Do it, but do it good. OK, Papa. I’m always with you. I won’t let His dad turns on the lights, sees his son and asks, “Is this you down in anything. Be happy.” what you want to do, Papa?” (The kid’s nickname is It’s a touching moment, and we Papa to make things mildly love that Dad even managed to confusing.) work in a slight read by telling his son to “do it good” if he’s “Because if this is what you going to do it. want to do”, he continues, “you’ll be okay. I’ll be okay with Shantay you stay, Dad! you.”

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'Hallowed Ground' Looks at Civil Rights Movement Through LGBTQ+ Lens By Rudy Grisham

Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground, the new documentary on the civil rights movement, looks at what has been, what can be, and what should have been — often through a queer lens. Hallowed Ground, directed by Sophia Nahli Allison, is both a companion to and a commentary on the iconic 14episode Eyes on the Prize series from Henry Hampton that aired on PBS from 1987 to 1990. It’s conceived as a bridge from the original series to a new iteration that’s in the works at HBO, and both Hallowed Ground and episodes from the original are now streaming on HBO Max. Hallowed Ground shows, among other things, how Hampton’s series inspired a new generation of activists. “I don’t know if I’d be doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for Eyes on the Prize,” Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors says in Hallowed Ground, noting that she saw the original as a teenager. Cullors, also an executive producer on the new 24 www.cityxtramagazine.com

documentary, is one of several Black LGBTQ+ activists interviewed in Hallowed Ground; others include Prentis Hemphill, Janaya Future Khan, and Ashlee Marie Preston, and Allison is queer as well. The documentary also highlights the work of LGBTQ+ people in the Black civil rights movement in the past, such as Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Marsha P. Johnson, and Pauli Murray.

This inclusion “is important because these stories and these histories have been excluded from the larger narrative for so long. … It was really important to make sure people can identify how queerness, how trans folks, how Black women have been such a core foundation to these movements for Black liberation,” Allison tells The Advocate. “It’s a violence to me

not to incorporate these stories. We cannot allow them to continue to be erased or to not be a part of the narrative. … I feel a huge responsibility for making sure I’m always centering Black women and queer folks because we’ve been integral to the movement for Black liberation.” Indeed, Preston, who is transgender, observes at one point in the film that Black trans women “are the architects of resilience.” Cisgender and presumably straight women get their due too, including Anita Hill, Me Too founder Tarana Burke, Rosa Parks, and Myrlie Evers, widow of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Hallowed Ground sees them and other activists commenting on the events covered in the original series and the more recent injustices that have


spurred activism, such as the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin. The film makes clear that Black civil rights advocacy has never stopped, even though some histories of the movement tend to jump from the 1960s to the BLM era.

trauma, but how do we incorporate the spiritual elements that have guided us through these kinds of histories,” Allison explains. Lenelle Moïse, Allison’s co-writer on the film, calls these vignettes “visual reparations.” Allison hopes her documentary will motivate new audiences to “I am so captivated by the watch Eyes on the Prize. “I insight offered by all of our want people to know these interviewees,” Allison says. histories,” she says. But there’s more. “I want people to Allison’s film also reimagines some events of the past, using understand how to fill in figures representing ancestral archival gaps. I want us to spirits as the elements of earth, understand the spiritual nature that has surrounded us as fire, air, and water to bring a spiritual aspect to the commen- Black people. I want us to tary. For instance, in one seg- define our own ideas of liberation and work in ment the four young girls who collaboration with time and died in the bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church in 1963 memory and imagination to are depicted as alive and well, create the world that we desire.” accompanied by a beautiful veiled woman who represents air. “Air allows for the balance of play and joy, which is why we see her with these young girls,” Allison says.

Toward the end of the film, activists are asked what the “prize” means to them, and they give answers such as “self -determination,” “liberation,” “I wanted to incorporate and “the ability to determine elements of surrealism with our destinies.” For herself, these legendary stories and with these monumental stories Allison tells The Advocate, “the that have really shifted us as a prize is the freedom to exist in people and a culture and find a all our truths.” healing way to spend time with Strea, Hallowed Ground and them, rather than it being part 1 of Eyes on the Prize on something that was based in HBO Max.

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