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Friday 16 February 2018

Issue 117

LGBT+ History Month

RuPaul’s Drag Race

LGBT+ Gaming




All the big events that are happening around your SU p. 14

A look at the meteroic rise of the hit reality competition

Current Officers Celeste Jones and Tom Brindley campaign in last year’s SU Elections

Green Party leader calls ViceChancellor’s salary “obscene” Ewan Somerville

Caroline Lucas has called the salary of the University’s Vice-Chancellor Keith Burnett “obscene” and supported the striking Sheffield lecturers whilst visiting the city. Speaking with Forge before meeting Sheffield Young Greens, the Green Party co-leader said... (cont. on page 3)

p. 17

A rundown of gaming’s best LGBT+ characters

Harry Fender

#SheShouldRun Campaign a success Ben Warner

Women’s Officer Celeste Jones’s #SheShouldRun campaign has been hailed a success, with three women running for President in this year’s SU elections. The campaign was launched in order to encourage more selfidentifying women to stand for the positions of President and Students’ Union Development officer. This came after just one woman stood for the position in each of the elections in the last three years, with the stakes being dominated by male

p. 18

candidates. The campaign has been seen as a definite success, with more women standing for both positions this year. Shelby Storey, Lilian Jones and Kerry Miller are all standing for President, alongside Gabriel Bailey, Elliott O’Rourke, Thomas Routh and Andrew Baker. Celeste said: “#SheShouldRun has been a huge success with so many amazing women running for SU Officer roles, in particular for SU President and Development Officer. The campaign aimed to empower women to run for leadership roles... it

has definitely succeeded in that aim.” For more information about all the candidates, check out the Candidate Guide for the details on who they are and how to vote. Physical campaigning starts 10am Monday 19 February. Voting begins 10am Monday 26 February, concluding 5pm Thursday 1 March. Any student can vote, it’s as easy as login, pick, submit at Join Forge for our full election coverage online at elections and look out for our special results issue, out Friday 2 March.

SU Election candidates announced

Official Candidate Guide Inside


Forge Press Editorial Team Editor Luke Baldwin Managing Editor Freyja Gillard Deputy Editors Nick Burke Michael Chilton Web Coordinator Dan Cross Head of News Ben Warner News David Anderson Alex Peneva Gethin Morgan Opinion James Pendlington Josie Le Vay Features Katharine Swindells Megan-Lily McVey Elsa Vulliamy Coffee Break Dave Peacock Lifestyle Harry Gold Ellie Conlon Head of Sport Adam May Sport Josh Taylor Tim Adams Music Ben Kempton Florence Mooney Games Chloe Dervey Tom Buckland Arts Laura Mulvey Screen David Craig Joseph Mackay Copy Editors Connie Coombs Brenna Cooper Leah Fox Harriet Evans Amy King Charlotte Knowles-Cutler Photography Kate Marron

Friday 16 February 2018

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ts mid-February and the first semester of 2018 is well underway. Hopefully we’ve seen the last snow for a while and everyone is settling nicely back into their routines. Here at the Students’ Union things are certainly in full swing, particularly with LGBT+ History month. If you hadn’t already guessed from the huge rainbow on the cover, this issue of Forge Press is getting in on the action by celebrating all things LGBT+ with a whole host of themed content. We’ve got an LGBT+ crossword over in Break as well as our editors favourite Pride Pick’s in Music. Shout out to my late cousin George Michael who features in the latter- rest in peace cuz, always in my mind. Opinion are on typical form, with an insightful article from contributor Eden Ladley who discusses how the issues faced LGBT+ women are often marginalised and forgotten within the community. On a lighter note, ‘Tinder gets political’ this issue asks whether being against gay marriage make someone a homophobe. As

you’d expect there’s some pretty excellent responses. Anyone who’s a fan of hit reality competition RuPaul’s will definitely want to check out Arts piece on the history of drag from Shakespeare to the meteoric rise in popularity of the TV show. It’s an excellent read and definitely worth a look. Games, or Gaymes as they have decided to go by for this issue, have done a rundown of their favourite LGBT+ characters in gaming and there’s certainly a couple of unexpected faces in here. Games Editor Tom has also written a very insightful piece on the problems he has had playing a hyper-hetero game like Persona 5. Having spoken to him about this in person, it’s something he’s really passionate about and it absolutely comes through in his writing. And last but certainly not least of our LGBT+ themed content is Lifestyles’ guide to everything that’s happening around the SU over the next two weeks. We’ve already seen some wonderful events from the SU, LGBT+ committee and the wider

community but there’s still so much more to look forward to including Film Unit’s screening of the beautiful Call Me By Your Name. If you like a good comingof-age film with a healthy dosage of 80s nostalgia, then this is definitely the film for you. But my definite highlight has to be the planned trip to my home town of Manchester giving people a chance to experience a bar crawl down the world famous Canal Street at the heart of the city’s Gay Village. Gay, straight or otherwise, the Gay Village is a great night out for anyone, particularly if you’re a fan of a sesh that extends well into the following morning. It’s definitely the sort of place Sheffield is sorely missing from its nightlife. The other big news round the SU is of course the announcement of candidates for the SU elections, marking the official start of campaigning. For anyone wanting to get up to speed on what these elections are all about, make sure you check out News’ handy starter guide to all the candidates, roles and voting process. Forge have

Pic of the Press

also been fortunate enough to produce the SU’s official candidate handout this year, which gives a bit more info on all the candidates policies. Shout out to David Anderson and Chloe Dervey who have worked so hard to see this monumental task through to completion and they’ve certainly done an excellent job, producing a booklet which everyone at Forge and the SU are very proud of. But none of this would be possible without wonderful Head of Design and Deputy Editor Nick, who oversaw and managed the whole project. His talent never ceases to amaze me and he really is a credit to Forge Press. And that’s pretty much it, stay tuned to Forge for all the latest election coverage, most important of which will be our live debates next week on Tuesday and Thursday. Important because they’ll be great, not just because they’ll be hosted by yours truly.

It turns out a genuine quote from Barack Obama is “why can’t I just eat my waffle?” At Forge Press we can only wish him the best in his waffle-eating endeavours. No one should be without waffles or find themselves unable to eat them whenever possible. We were fortunate enough to try some of the refurbished Coffee Revolution’s new waffles and sundaes. Oh boy, do we have something to tell the

44th President of the United States. They are delicious and come with a healthy helping of syrup, ice cream and chocolate sauce (other toppings are available). It is a scary world out there, and even Obama sees the need to just eat his waffle in peace. Coffee Revoltion is the place to do this. Go. Now. Eat. Be happy.

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Friday 16 February 2018


Green Party leader calls ViceChancellor’s salary “obscene” Ewan Somerville

(cont. from from front page) ...of Keith Burnett’s salary: “It is incredibly corrosive in terms of

a sense of growing equality and dignity in work. I don’t think there is any justification for salaries of that kind.” She was also supportive of the

impending UCU strike: “My heart goes out to any students’ education that is being disrupted. [But] it is precisely because they care about the quality of student education for the longer term that they’re feeling this is the only way to make their voices heard.

£420,000 Keith Burnett’s salary

“I just think those times when the NUS and the UCU are hand-in-hand are incredibly powerful.”

Here for a talk titled ‘A green future – what would it look like?’, the Brighton MP was also confident that left/right British politics will break down within the next decade and the Greens will become mainstream, offset against populist parties. Lucas also lamented an “intergenerational crisis” in Britain and saw Brexit as an ‘if’ that will be “closing down people’s possibilities and horizons at the very time when you want to be looking outwards.” Read her full interview with Forge at the Forge Today website.

Caroline Lucas 2010


Locals want less of a student influence on West St Niall O’Callaghan

The Students’ Union is hosting a range of activities across February to celebrate LGBT+ history

Dan West

Sheffield celebrates LGBT+ History Month Harriet Evans


record number of events to celebrate the 14th year of LGBT+ History month are taking place across Sheffield. LGBT+ History month hopes to promote equality and diversity to the public as well as highlight the struggles faced in the past by members of the community and celebrate their achievements. Both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam are also hosting a range of events which are open to the public including quizzes, panel discussions and sexual health testing services. Andy Tyler, Vice Chair of the Sheffield LGBT+ Committee, said: “The community in Sheffield has got so many awesome groups that

are doing fantastic things this month. Our biggest event so far has been the opening ceremony fair which saw collaboration with over 20 different groups and societies, which was fantastic, really raised the awareness. We’ve got a 32 square foot flag hanging up in the union and loads of different minority groups within the LGBT+ community have flags hanging up around the Union too. It’s been great to see so much support from the Union.” Walkley Community Centre are hosting Britain on Film: LGBT Britain, an event showing films spanning from 1909 to 1994, documenting a century in which homosexuality went from criminal to Pride, and examining the courageous work of activists during these years. Heather Paterson, LGBT+ Hub Representative for Equality Hub

Network Sheffield, said: “The events highlight the advances we have made in legislation from the decriminalization of homosexuality.

“For older members of the community, many of these actions are in living memory, while for younger people they may not realise

how recent they are. It often shocks people I speak to that you could still legally fire someone from their job for being gay in the UK until 1 December 2003 (in fact this is something that happened to me in Sheffield in 2000!)” Showroom Cinema are showing a range of films and hosting two parties, in conjunction with Proud, across the month to raise awareness of matters concerning the LGBT+ community. Meanwhile Film Unit will be screening the Oscar nominated Call Me By Your Name. Millennium Gallery is screening Pride on 25 February, followed by Q&A with Welsh Miner and activist Dai Donovan and former Sheffield City councillor Sioned-Mair Richards.

A survey has found that over half of Sheffielders would like to see less student-orientated venues on West Street and Devonshire Green. With the aim of improving the area, last week Sheffield City Council published online survey results asking 800 people what they think of the space. When asked what they would like to see less of, 59% asked for fewer student-orientated venues. Meanwhile 74% of respondents requested fewer off licences, and 56% wanted fewer fast food outlets. Over half of respondents, 56%, said they would recommend the area to a friend and enjoyed visiting the area before 5pm. However, this number dropped to 46% between 5pm and 11pm and then plummeted to just 22% after 11pm. Asked what they would like to see more of, nearly 90% of respondents said they would like to see more boutique and independent shops whilst 75% wanted more high quality restaurants. When asked what would make the area better the top four answers were: more support for the homeless; a stronger CCTV and police presence; more lighting in side streets; and a responsible retailers scheme for shops selling alcohol. Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene, Bryan Lodge, said: “The findings are invaluable in helping us decide what we need to do in the future to address the concerns expressed by people who have told us that whilst they enjoy the area they think certain behaviours need to be tackled.” Director of Public Health, Greg Fell added: “West Street and Devonshire Green are well represented in the city’s Best Bar None scheme for responsible alcohol retailers and Sheffield as a whole has Purple Flag status for a safer night-time economy.”


Friday 16 February 2018

Forge Press

Forge Press supports UCU strike Michael Chilton

Harriet Evans

The 10th edition of Tramlines Festival is being dubbed the biggest one yet by event organisers


Noel Gallagher and Stereophonics named in 2018 Tramlines lineup

Ben Warner


oel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have been announced as one of the headliners of Tramlines 2018, amongst a host of other acts. Also named in the first announcement of artists and bands appearing at this year’s edition of the festival are Stereophonics, Craig David, Sheffield band Reverend and the Makers, Jake Bugg and more. The organisers are promising that this year’s festival, the tenth anniversary, will be bigger and better than ever before. Festival director Sarah Nulty said before the announcement: “We really

wanted to do something different for the tenth anniversary and moving to a bigger park means we can include lots of extra interesting elements and deliver more than just music – although saying that, we’re going bigger than we ever have before with the lineup. “We always wanted to be a citywide festival and this just extends the footprint that little bit further. “We’re really proud of what we’re delivering for the tenth year and can’t wait to unveil it completely.” The festival is being united at one site in Hillsborough Park, whereas in previous years it has been spread around the city. It is licensed for up to 40,000 people.

This year also sees two new stages, a Leadmill stage curated by the iconic Sheffield nightclub and John

£69 current price of Tier 5 tickets

McClure of Reverend and the Makers, and a Library stage with new music. The ‘Into The Trees’ area, which was launched in Ponderosa at last

year’s festival, is to be expanded, to offer more family friendly entertainment during the day and party DJs from 7PM. Other bands lined up to appear at the festival in July include Blossoms, Jake Bugg, De La Soul, The Magic Gang and more. Although the festival has for the first time moved out of the city centre, the organisers are emphasising that it is still very accessible for visitors, saying it is less than quarter of an hour on the tram from the centre of Sheffield. Tickets are already on their fifth release, at £69 for a weekend ticket covering three days.

Vince Cable calls for saving of Broad Lane walk-in centre Ben Warner


iberal Democrats leader Vince Cable, now leader of the Liberal Democrats, has called for the walk-in centre on Broad Lane to remain open. On a visit to the city to support Sheffield Hallam candidate Laura Gregory, who was recently selected to challenge Jared O’Mara for the seat at the next election, Cable spoke out against the proposed changes. He told the Sheffield Star: "This is another example of bad NHS policy in which lack of funding underlines the real danger of you

just driving more people to the accident and emergency wards in hospitals, which is the last thing we really want right now." The Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group has revealed plans to close the facility and move its services to the Northern General Hospital, almost three miles away. It has just finished a consultation with members of the public on the proposed closure. The CCG proposed the changes in order to try and improve urgent care services in the city, which they say will make it simpler for people to get the care they require. The proposals suggest

This is another example of bad NHS policy

replacing the walk-in centre on Broad Lane and the minor injuries unit at the Hallamshire – both popular services – with an urgent treatment centre at the Northern General in the north of the city. Gregory said to the Star: "If you live in south Sheffield I can see a situation where people will go to A&E in Chesterfield with minor injuries because it is closer than visiting the Northern General. But that will just put their services under more pressure. "There is a lot of public concern about this and I would urge the decision makers to listen to the public."

Forge Press has voted to support the UCU strike action which is due to start next week. It’s easy enough to view the UCU strike as an attack on your education; we are all paying a steep price with extortionate fees and maintenance loans. However, an attack on university staff is an attack on students and vice versa. Let’s not allow the easy option of outrage at our lecturers to undermine the united front we can form against the Government’s and Universities UK attacks on Higher Education. We want to feel we are getting value for money and rightly so. However, we have to take a broader view with the upcoming strikes - yes they will negatively affect us but the risk to university staff pensions is bigger. If we allow their pensions to be dependant on free market forces the damage to not only our education but those of future generations will be huge. It isn’t fair but it’s the reality we face.

Kelham Island club to reopen Rebecca Lally

Niche nightclub, on Walker Street, has been permitted to reopen with new security measures and an amended licence, after a hearing from Sheffield Council at the Town Hall on Thursday 8 February. This follows a violent altercation at the club near Kelham Island on the 23 December, in which four people were stabbed and one suffered broken bones, with the fight also spilling out onto the street. The police described it as a gangrelated attack and emphasised that none of the nightclub staff called the police, instead leaving it to the paramedics on the scene to report the incident. The nightclub has been ordered to increase security measures, meaning that they will increase the number of door staff from four to six and reduce the sale of glass inside the club. The ruling was greeted with loud cheers from supporters of Niche from the public gallery, and the club’s owners celebrated with supporters outside the Town Hall afterwards.

Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018


International Cultural Evening returns Santhana Gopalakrishnan


he Students' Union’s International Students’ Committee, together with the International Students' Officer, Santhana Gopalakrishnan, are organising the Internatonal Cultural Evening once again next month. The event will take place on Saturday 10 March, and has been nationally acclaiming in the past for t Over the years, the event has become a prominent annual celebration, open to members of the public as well as students from both Sheffield universities. This year, the Students Union will be celebrating 50 years of the International Students Committee, with the theme “Our Place in the World”. Professor Sir Keith Burnett, the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield will be the guest of honour. The evening aims to showcase a range of talents from national and cultural student societies through performance arts such as dances, music and plays, whilst reminiscing about the accomplishments of the committee throughout the years. The night of culture promises to be the biggest event of the Committee’s calendar. Audience members are encouraged to attend in national or cultural dress to further celebrate the diversity on offer. Throughout the years, the committee puts internationalisation

in the heart of every project or campaign. As a group of student volunteers they invest hundreds of hours to ensure the voices of international students are heard through celebration of events and campaigns. Over the history of the committee their achievements include campaigning to establish the post of a full time International Students


years of International Students' Committee

Officer in 1990, lobbying MPs to support international students, the launch of the “Education, not Migration” campaign to challenge the Government’s immigration policies, and a driving force of the #WeAreInternational campaign in the SU. International Cultural Evening will be held on Saturday 10th March 2018. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets can be bought online at https://tickets. event/11713/ or at the Box Office for £5 (NUS) or £6 (Public) in advance.

The Tardis has been spotted in Sheffield after Doctor Who came to film in the Steel City. The TV show, which has been a fixture on the BBC for over 50 years, was seen filming its new series outside Park Hill flats, near the train station this week. Onlookers saw Jodie Whittaker, the first ever female Doctor, and fellow cast-mate Bradley Walsh going about their business on set. Dave Johnson, a Research Technician at the University, said: “I went down at lunchtime expecting to just see the props at best. I thought it might be covered up, or they might have finished filming. “They did a couple of rehearsals of the scene, then three takes I think it was. Jodie had a thick coat and water-bottle between scenes, and Bradley said 'Please say it's in the can!' after the final take. He had nothing to protect himself from the cold and rain. Then it was all over, the whole thing done in 45 minutes. How lucky was I that it took place during my lunch hour? A childhood ambition to see a Doctor Who scene filmed achieved!” Photographs by Dave Johnson

Council commemorates 100 years of female vote

Popular bus routes upgrades will improve air quality

Work to begin on Concourse outside SU

Ben Warner

Gethin Morgan

Ewan Somerville

Highly pollutive bus routes – including two regularly used by students – are set to be upgraded by the end of the year to help clean the city. The 52a and the 95 First bus routes are among the worst pollution corridors in the city and are regularly used by students who live in Crookes and Walkley. The Council is to retrofit 117 buses with emission reduction technology at a cost of £1.9 million by the end of the year. Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Polluted air is a public health emergency across our country and we need to take decisive and urgent action to clean up our air. “I am absolutely committed to a greener and cleaner future for everyone in Sheffield.”

The concourse connecting Sheffield Students’ Union with the Alfred Denny Building is set to be upgraded. As part of the ongoing regeneration of the University’s public realm, development was set to begin in February. When completed, the area will be a flexible civil space designed to accommodate the functions and events which regularly take place in that space. There will also be a new lighting system which will create a safe and secure space at night. The area accommodates huge events such as graduation and open days, and therefore the design aims to keep the concourse uncluttered. There will be new paving, seating and social opportunities. The new paving will replace the current 50-year-old surface, which is one of the most used areas of campus.


he Students' Union and members of Sheffield City Council have commemorated the centenary of women gaining the right to vote. Celeste Jones, Women’s Officer at the Students’ Union, said: "It is hard to believe that women only got the vote 100 years ago and we owe so much to the Suffragettes for this right. However it is so important to remember that only a small number of women were allowed to vote. “Despite this, it is crucial to note that women are massively underrepresented in Parliament today as they make up just 32% of MP's, and this is represented in our own student politics. “To celebrate 100 years since the vote, I launched my

#SheShouldRun Campaign to encourage more women to run for SU President and Development Officer positions, as both roles have been dominated by men in the past." The Council’s Deputy Leader Olivia Blake, has tabled a motion to the council highlighting this “important milestone”, but also addressing Britain’s current full-time gender pay gap of 14.1% and think-tank’s analysis showing austerity hits women “twice as hard as it does men”. It comes as 100 years has passed since the Representation of People’s Act extended the franchise to 8.4 million women, initially for those over the age of 30 and with property rights, but later the right to vote was given to all women over the age of 18. The motion also urges the Council to renew support for the

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, calling for transitional arrangements to be introduced for women impacted by the 2011 Pensions Act. Speaking to the Council, Councillor Blake said: “Austerity and government cuts to services disproportionality affect women and give rise to situations which inhibit women from reaching their full potential. This cannot be right and must change. “For the first time ever, Sheffield City Council has a female leader and deputy leader – as well a majority of female cabinet members. Sheffield Labour councillors have enacted far reaching measures to support women throughout the city.”


Friday 16 February 2018

Forge Press

Forge’s Guide to Elections 2018

KE D TES Mon 1 January Nominations open

Sun 11 February Training and support

Fri 9 February Nominations close

Tue 20/Thu 22 February Forge Debates

Fri 16 February Candidates Announced

Thu 1 March (7pm) Results announced

Mon 26 February Voting opens

Sun 25 February Candidate rest day

Thu 1 March (5pm) Voting closes

#KnowYourVote What the heck is an Officer?

What are the elections?

What’s going to happen?

How is Forge involved?

How to vote?

The Students’ Union Officers are your elected representatives in the Students’ Union, who run the SU. But above that, they are students just like you and me. They are elected by students once a year, and paid to hold the position for a year. There are eight officers: President, Women’s, Welfare, SU Development, Education, Activities, International Students and Sports. Between them they run pretty much everything in the SU at some level, and their influence extends far beyond what you would imagine. Student politics can be derided as people trying to get more stuff for their CV, but the Officers are completely different. They make genuine changes, like the Women’s Minibus, and get directly involved in student issues. You just have to ask. Ways the officers have helped you this year include having free sanitary products in all bathrooms, a Pop Tarts club for loyal revellers, and the Reusable Revolution.

The SU Officer elections are the busiest time of year around the Students’ Union. For everyone involved, including the candidates, anyone helping them campaign, Forge and the Students’ Union staff. Think back to how manic the last General Election was: the SU Officer elections are like that on a smaller scale. It is one of the few times that students at the University get to vote and influence what happens in their SU. Other times include the Students’ Union Council elections at the start of the year, and any referenda put to the students. It can be quite fun to be involved in it all, especially if you know people running. Voting is done over a period of a few days and is done online in order to improve timeline. You can do it from your bed, so there really is no excuse not to get stuck in.

Over the next few weeks, the Students’ Union will become awash with campaign posters, banners and everything else imaginable as the candidates for this year’s positions try to convince you to give them your vote for each role. You won’t be able to move for the candidates and their mates handing out leaflets on the Concourse, or for all the campaign videos which will doubtless be shared onto your Facebook wall. And try not to cringe too hard at the name-based puns used by almost everyone. There will be opportunities to see what the candidates have to say for themselves, with Forge Debates n the 20 and 22 February , as well as roundtables being run by Forge Radio. Many candidates have also given their 90-second manifesto to Forge, so check that out for more information. Parts of the Students’ Union will be closed down to students in order to give candidates somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of campaigning, but don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time to find out who you want to be your next Students’ Union Officers!

Forge, as the student media here at Sheffield Students’ Union, takes a key role in reporting the goings-on around the building and campus during the election period. We’ve already told you all about what each of the officers have done this year in the last issue of the newspaper, as well as giving you a timetable which you can see again below, in case you’d forgotten. We will be running the debates with the Officer candidates, holding them to account based on their manifestos on your behalf. We also have a key role in presenting results night, when the new Officers team for 2018-19 will be announced. Most of all, we’re here to tell you what’s going on over the next few weeks. It can be a confusing time, especially for people not used to the whole process, but we hope we can make it a bit easier for you.

Voting is really quick and simple, you can do it any time of day during the period voting is open, from Monday 26 February until 5PM on Thursday 1 March. Make sure you take a look at all their manifestos on the SU website, and look at the policies they’re offering. Make your decision based on what’s important for you. You can vote by logging into your account on the Students’ Union website using your University details, and there’ll be loads of signs pointing you in the right direction. You don’t even need to vote for every role if you don’t want to, just the ones you’re passionate about. Unless you want to vote for all of them, of course. If you can’t decide between candidates, you can rank your favourites. If you want to find out more about who you could vote for, there’s an introduction to them opposite, and check out our candidate guide in the middle of the newspaper for even more information about all of the candidates standing to be your next Students’ Union Officers.

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Friday 16 February 2018


Meet your 2018 SU Officer candidates President



SU Development


For more information, check outour candidate guide later in the paper! To vote, go to, and log in with your University details.





Friday 16 February 2018



Hello, Features fans! It’s February, which means that this month is LGBT+ History Month – a great time to remember and celebrate the LGBT+ community throughout history. We’ve come pretty far since the 1950s, when the first ever Sheffield Students’ Union newspaper DARTS came out! However, we’ve still got a way to go, and this is a great time to think about what

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we can do to move LGBT+ liberation forward. Speaking of liberation, we’ve got a fabulous feature to check out which explores the fashion world and social justice – how can these two work together? You should also make sure to read our Bursting The Bubble segment this issue – this week we’re talking to local artist Jo Peel about how this city has influenced her work.

making a statement

Exploring cultural change from the Roaring Twenties to the present day, contributor Lauren Davidson looks at how fashion and make up are revolutionising social justice movements.


Credit: Fenty Beauty

ttempting to come up with a single definition of the word ‘fashion’ is a t challenge. Not only is fashion an art form, but it is also a way of life, a means to express yourself and your personality. Fashion isn’t limited to the latest catwalk or high street trends, it’s tattoos, piercings, haircuts… even how you choose to do your eyebrows. But one aspect of fashion that has been evident for decades is how well it interacts with social justice movements. Although fashion trends date back thousands of years, it wasn’t until the 1920s when fashion revolutionised itself, becoming the modern styles we’re familiar with today. The optimism and high spirits from the end of the First World War made corsets a thing of the past and influenced the creation of more relaxed styles for men and women. It was a world away from the restrictive, traditional clothing they had always known. Women’s fashion during this iconic decade changed as a woman’s role in society changed; more women were joining the workforce than ever before, and thanks to the Suffragettes, many were able to vote. The post-war atmosphere of the 1920s in which women were given a whole new freedom saw masculine fashion trends become huge. Women had short hair and were comfortably sporting trousers for the first time in their lives. It’s fair to say that the Roaring 20s welcomed a revolution, with a brand-new attitude towards women’s rights and fashion that would only continue to progress. Four decades later came the Swinging 60s, which saw music evolve into something people had never heard before. The Beatles took the world by storm. Young people loved them, whereas older ‘traditional’ types and music critics loved to hate them. In the video for the band’s best-selling single ‘Help!’, John Lennon even refers to their music as “our latest electronic noise… depending whose side you’re on.” And, as music evolved, so did fashion. The 60s saw the creation of the

scandalous mini skirt by Mary Quant, a style generally frowned upon by the older generations. But women, with more freedom than they ever had before, showcased this through wearing skirts above the knee, sporting shift dresses with bold, statement geometric prints, and paying more attention to their hair and makeup. The more elaborate, the better. It wasn’t only Mary Quant who paved the way for a fashion revolution, so to did famous icons such as Twiggy and Priscilla Presley. For men, the abolition of compulsory National Service in 1960 and a whole host of new music genres on the scene introduced the two conflicting youth subcultures: the mods and the rockers. For the first time, men weren’t obligated to wear traditional uniforms on a regular basis, so when it came to learning how to dress in the day-to-day, the “mod” style derived from bands like The Who, whereas the “rocker” look came from rock and roll music like Led Zeppelin.

Women’s fashion changed as a woman’s role in society changed

Fast forward to today, and the fashion and beauty industry has improved greatly in terms of reflecting social justice and the changing attitudes in the world. Rihanna’s revolutionary new beauty range, Fenty Beauty, was launched to the world recently, much to the delight of people from ethnic minority backgrounds who felt their needs were not being met within the makeup industry. According to Rihanna herself: “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.” The line includes an impressive

Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018

40 shades of foundation and a range of concealer and highlighter shades to suit all shades and complexion types. Suzy McCallum, a content writer for fashion website Farfetch, enthused: “There are still a lot of brands with limited shades available but the popularity for Fenty products has been huge and this should persuade other makeup brands to introduce more universal shades too.” What’s more, in January this year John Lewis announced its launch of a gender-neutral clothing line for children up to the age of 14, with labels reading “boys and girls” or “girls and boys”. This move was met with as much criticism as it was praise, but the company’s Head of Childrenswear, Caroline Bettis, said: “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would


like to wear.” This controversial move is clear evidence that the attitude towards gender stereotypes is evolving rapidly. McCallum added: “Clothes are just clothes and I like to wear clothes from the men’s section sometimes, particularly T-shirts. I also know plenty of guys who wear women’s skinny jeans, purely because they prefer the fit. I don’t think it matters which section the

The attitude towards gender stereotypes is changing, and evolving rapidly items are from as long as you feel comfortable within them.” H&M and Zara have also shown signs of moving away from gendered fashion, both releasing gender neutral clothing lines in their stores in 2017. Another way that fashion reflects the rise of freedom within the world is the amount of people with tattoos. Once associated with men in the armed forces or prisoners, tattoos

are now an ever-increasing trend for both men and women that’s shedding its historical stereotype. The rise of talented tattoo artists able to make a person’s vision come to life on their skin means that tattoos are no longer restricted to the faded black shapes they once were. The range of styles, shapes and shades available means tattoos have become a part of everyday life, a form of art, and of course, a firm part of modern-day fashion. It’s definitely safe to say that fashion is a huge representation of social justice and the changing attitudes in the world. Decades like the 20s and 60s were defining moments for women’s rights, music

and attitudes towards fashion. Although we still have a long way to go, it’s clear that we live in a world that is more accepting of equality, LGBT+ rights, and the expression of freedom through fashion and style.


Friday 16 February 2018

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Bursting the bubble In this series we go beyond the university to speak to Sheffield residents, from outside our uni bubble, to hear their thoughts on the city in the past and the present, and to see what they think about students. Thomas Vigar


ou may have walked past it a hundred times and never stopped to admire it, but the striking orange and blue cityscape mural beneath the Concourse underpass - created by Sheffield-born artist Jo Peel - is making the journey to lectures that little bit more colourful every day. For Jo, a city’s buildings are a reflection of its spirit and people. Although she rarely paints human beings Jo says that she is inspired by them and that, by leaving them out of her cityscapes, she is able to say more about the citizens of a place as a whole. “As soon as you put a person in the picture it becomes all about them, but my focus is more on the collective within a town or a city, rather than the individual.” Despite her love of art, Jo didn’t always see it as a “proper job” and set her sights on more “sensible” careers. But she continued to work on her talent, filling hundreds of sketchbooks, until one day she was asked to exhibit some of her work in a show in London, and it sold. From that day onwards, she says, “the artwork just took over from the other work I was doing for money and now I’m lucky enough to make my living.” As well as drawings, screen prints and canvases, she also creates large wall murals, which have taken her as far as Poland, Brazil and Japan. Jo only realised how influential Sheffield was on her artwork after moving away and then returning. “It’s a city that loves its buildings with classics like Parkhill Flats. The old Henderson’s Relish buildings is close to a national treasure! I think that the city has a real character and pride which I believe to be associated with the industrial steel-making past.” Over the years of living and working here, Jo has developed a deep understanding of Sheffield, and by creating engaging artwork for everyone to enjoy, she has added to

the unique character of the city. Sheffield is changing rapidly and, with new cafes and shops opening all the time, Jo is concerned about gentrification: “With these changes someone is always displaced and that isn’t great.” But she believes that, through it all, the “core of the city” has stayed the same, and that it’s the great quality of life in the city that motivated her to return. With so many brilliant aspects of Sheffield, Jo can’t pick one favourite thing: “the people, the Peak District, a cheap studio and the fact that you can get to most places on foot. It’s small and cosy yet I’m never bored.”

Asked about her relationship with the universities, Jo is delighted to share the city with students. “I’ve only had good experiences with students, people doing interesting research and asking about my work, graduates wanting apprenticeships and really skilled people who want to work for me. I feel quite proud that Sheffield has one of the highest levels of students who stay after graduating and hope it continues.”

The city has a real character

and pride which I believe to be associated with the industrial steel-making past. - Jo Peel, Artist

Friday 16 February 2018




James Pendlington & Josie Le Vay


Bonjour readers of Opinion, How are you? Are you keeping well? No, don’t respond. We don’t give a shit and if you do respond you will be seen in public talking to a newspaper. People will stop, put down their cappuccinos and leer at you across the lovely refurbished Coffee Revolution. What most people probably don’t know is that the American Revolution is known as the Coffee Revolution due to the Boston Coffee Party. Colonists who

Forge Press

Opinion Editors opposed the Coffee Act of 1773 dumped boxes of coffee into Boston harbour with the British response being one of the events that triggered the American Revolutionary War. Welp, this intro has gone a bit off course. Oh well, no-one reads this bit we can get away with a bit of waffling. Wow, we’ve mentioned Coffee Revs and waffles in the same intro, what a coincidence. JamJo xxx

THINK! before you forget LGBT+ women Eden Ladley

The LGBT+ community in Sheffield and across the world can be an amazing and diverse source of support and love for its members. Fighting state oppression, and championing civil rights, healthcare and our own spaces has succeeded to an extent. Our representation is becoming normalised, and large corporations are desperate for the “pink pound”. Even on campus the University and the Students’ Union are desperate to show how much they support us. However, with a lot of key battles around saving our spaces and raising awareness of our issues, LGBT+ women are still left behind. Over the past three years there were huge campaigns around saving The Black Cap and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, two famous LGBT+ spaces in London. However, there was little more than a whimper when a series of lesbian and queer women’s spaces shut down, meaning there are now only two bars in London centred on the needs of lesbian, bi and queer

women. Locally, the main funded space for lesbian and bi women is found in Manchester, commonly known as the gay capital of the north of England where the LGBT Foundation offers services and spaces to lesbian, bi and queer women. But beyond that, there is one lesbian bar in Manchester compared to an entire street of venues for gay men. Lesbophobia is the prejudice and hostility towards lesbians and other women who love women, and combines misogyny and homophobia to produce specific tropes, including the infamous “Bury your Lesbians”, wherein lesbian characters are killed off on a regular basis. This issue goes beyond representation and bars. Access to reproductive justice is often complicated for lesbian and bi women, with IVF seen as too expensive to allow most women in relationships with women to bear their own children. Our experiences of sexual assault and domestic abuse are not taken as seriously as they

should be, with it often assumed that all LGBT+ women only date women, and that women don’t harm other women.

...LGBT+ women need additional support and solidarity There are further issues for bi women and trans women in queer women’s spaces as well, with it often assumed we are infiltrators who are not gay enough or not woman enough to be a part of our own community. The fact that so many gay and bi men are ignorant of women’s history while gay men’s history is ubiquitous establishes that LGBT+ women need additional support and solidarity from the wider community. During LGBT+ History Month, what will you learn about our history? LGBT+ women are still being left behind, don’t forget them this LGBT+ History Month! | Oteo

We shall be stricken by this strike as one would be after a stroke Ewan Somerville


ince UCU announced their strike, there has been a onesided debate in support of the 1,300 lecturers, seminar tutors and researchers participating at this University. They’re walking out because of a proposed cut to their pension scheme, claiming it will leave them up to £10,000 per year worse off in retirement. It means us students are set to have our education disrupted over the course of four weeks this semester.

But walking out from teaching for a fortnight across four weeks is quite outrageous, as it is concertedly designed to disrupt our education as much as possible

Now, I’m not a Tory. In fact, I’m a Green Party member and voted

Labour at the last election. I normally support industrial action but, unlike Sheffield Students’ Union and most Labour activists across the country, I’m not blinkered. I don’t have some idealised set of principles where I support striking in all cases even when it’s unfair. The mantra goes that the UCU have been ‘forced’ to do this. Here lies the first problem. Apparently after three years of trying to avert this action, Universities UK have left UCU with no other option for staff to make their voices heard. Seven days within one week, then unite around petitions and have national protesting days – okay. But walking out from teaching for a fortnight across four weeks is frankly outrageous, as it is concertedly designed to disrupt our education as much as possible. Four weeks, SU President Kieran Maxwell and Education Officer Stuart Mcmillan (‘Why you should support the strike to save staff pensions’ 7/2), is not what I would call “short term”. Maybe the reason that only 64% of UCU members actually voted at the University of Sheffield, and just over 50% at the other 60 universities involved, is because they can also see

that the impact on students is unjust. McMillan claims that “an injury to staff is an injury to students”. Sorry, but no. Pensions are being slashed for teachers across the education system (I know because my parents are both teachers). Those teachers affected elsewhere aren’t walking out on “a scale never seen before on UK campuses” (as UCU puts it).

How about we work with lecturers in challenging the system in a mutually beneficial way, rather than missing out on the large part of this semester Crucially though, universities are very different to the rest of our education system. Call me marketised and gripped by free market ideology, but I am not “fundamentally aligned” with my lecturers. Free market dogma has formed fault lines in universities

and has made me defiant. I will not stand by lecturers who (from my experience of committee meetings in my department) passionately defend me being ripped off – paying £70 per lecture for less than six hours contact time a week. I will not defend lecturers who have such an easy life compared to teachers in secondary schools, say, who are also being attacked in retirement: everybody that a lecturer teaches (scarcely) actually wants to be there, hence why they are so clinically detached from their students if they want to be. I’m not blaming lecturers for wanting to stand up for themselves. No, I’m blaming the UCU for dragging me into this, ripping me off even further and putting my progress and learning at stake. True, those striking won’t get paid when they’re off – but I will still be paying. Students and lecturers are not attached at the hip; we’re divided today and supporting this strike won’t change that. How about we work with lecturers in challenging the system in a mutually

beneficial way, rather than missing out on the large part of this semester. Or give me a fortnight’s worth tuition fee refund and I’ll support them.

Kassy | 2013

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Friday 16 February 2018


SU = Super Useful!1!!!! Matthew Hartill

The Students’ Union Officer Elections are fast approaching and there are eight roles up for grabs. But how significant are they really? We are constantly reminded that the SU is “number one in the UK”, and we do appear to be lucky: good nights out and good facilities are not actually a given for the majority of the nation’s SUs. Perhaps the highest compliment anyone can pay the SU is that it is probably often taken for granted by most of us and crucially, we don’t ever need to worry about any of this changing, because the Officers have it covered. What about when the Officers change, however? For some, the upcoming elections will fill what they think of as merely token roles, examples of the upper echelons

of the University simply paying lip-service to any notion of a ‘student voice’. For me, however, as a member of the Students’ Union Council, this is not the case. I attend meetings weekly and so see at close

In SU Council meetings I do see accountability, scrutiny and above all, passion, from both the Officers and Council members quarters the genuine passion the current team has for a range of issues that affect us as students, be it the National Student Survey or the

UCU strikes. Among the criticism levelled at the officer roles is that they are CV-fodder for job hunting after graduation. Even worse, they are elevated positions on campus from which to admire your photograph plastered over the SU building (and worse still, they’re paid), with an apparent lack of genuine accountability for the policies they come into office with. This, again, is something I reject: every week in SU Council meetings I see accountability, scrutiny and, above all, passion from both the Officers and Council members. To me, any accusation that the Officer roles are hollow, shallow ways to satisfy overgrown egos, or even that the Students’ Union (number one in the country or not) is not important, does not ring true.

gets political To keep with the LGBT+ theme, we decided to ask the people of Tinder whether those who don’t believe in gay marriage are homophobic. All marriages are same sex. You get married, and every night, it’s the same old sex Is it homophobic to be against gay marriage?

That’s actually a good thought, hang on a minute I need to consult with the closet The closet says it’s homophobic

Hi Howdy cowboy Where you from Is it homophobic to be against gay marriage?

Is it too late now to say sorry? Minna Raban

Posthumous pardons have been brought into the public eye recently, thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion to pardon convicted suffragette members. This pledge certainly lends itself to a catchy twitter hashtag, provoking an effective way to capture the public’s admiration. However, granting a posthumous pardon in this case misses the point.

In reality, it means very little to the person receiving it

A posthumous pardon absolves someone of a transgression after their passing. In reality, it means very little to the person receiving it. The effects of time endured in prison or stigma attached to the victim can never be reversed. However, it may be ‘better late than never’ for the associated family members as they gain some consolation from the eventual clearing of their loved one’s name. Now, regarding the suffragettes, two problems arise when considering granting these women posthumous pardons. Recently, female inequality has been a news focal point. Westminster sexual harassment scandals and stories of the gender pay gap have peppered the papers. It therefore seems terribly convenient

...pardons cannot be handed out to suffragettes who engaged in criminal activity without careful for a political party to run in parallel the idea of pardoning the suffragettes – which would of course ultimately assist in their political popularity as they are seen to be jumping on board the ‘feminism bandwagon’. Secondly, pardons cannot be handed out to suffragettes who

I’m from Valhalla engaged in criminal activity without careful consideration. In the case of Alan Turing’s royal pardon, his so called ‘crime’ of homosexual intercourse is no longer a legal offense, therefore his pardon was more straightforward. However, arson and initiating bomb explosions remain illegal today. The increasing militancy of the suffragettes’ actions are indeed telling of the huge upheavals they faced in their highly misogynistic, male dominated world. Many suffragettes were force-fed, humiliated and disproportionately

The increasing militancy of the suffragettes’ actions are indeed telling of the huge upheavals they faced in their highly misogynistic, male punished by the government. The atrocities suffered by these women cannot be simply ‘made better’, or brushed under the carpet by the materialisation of a posthumous pardon. Politicians should better direct their time into renewing their efforts in the battle against 21st century challenges facing women. This would be a concrete, meaningful way of marking the centenary of women being granted the vote. Therefore, rather than attempting pardons for illegal acts, it is perhaps more fitting and ethically sound to issue an apology for their barbaric treatment during imprisonment and promote a widespread recognition of their momentous contribution to history.

No why And okay I don’t know where that is It’s just off the A6

So, the word gay used to be widely used to mean happy. But if a gay marriage breaks down, it’s still a gay marriage but not a gay marriage Is it homophobic to be against gay marriage? Marriage is stupid anyway

Hey, how are you? :) What do you study Hey, I’m great, just like Jesus was after having two dads Do you think it’s homophobic to be against gay marriage? Well, he ended up crucified, don’t know if I’d call that ok Oh fair, I thought you’d enjoyed being nailed on a big bit of wood


Wednesday 7th February 2018



Harry Gold and Ellie Conlon


Hi guys, welcome back to Lifestyle! We hope you’re all enjoying your first couple of weeks of the new semester. We’re coming up to the last week of the LGBT+ History Month and, as there’s still lots of fun activities lined up, we thought we’d let you all know what’s to come. LGBT+ History Month takes place every February and celebrates the LGBT+ community.

Forge Press

Lifestyle Editors It is aimed at teaching people about the rich history of the community, as well as celebrating the numerous achievements made for and by LGBT+ people. We’re always on the lookout for new writers, so if you have any ideas that you think could fit into Lifestyle, please drop us an email!

What: WOW Social When: Tuesday 20 February 9-12pm Where: Reflex, 18 Holly Street

What: LGBT+ History Exhibition

Note: This event is for LGBT+ students and members of staff only

Where: The Foundry When: Monday 19 February, 12pm 6pm A celebration of the history of the LGBT+ community featuring exhibitions on queer words, laws, LGBT+ activism, queer spaces and drag, old committee archives, LGBT+ world history and lots more.

What: LGBT+ History Month Talk Where: The Foundry

What: Trans Clothes Swap

Reflex is located in the city centre of Sheffield and is renowned for its partini cocktails and its non-stop 70s and 80s bangers. This event is open to LGBT+ students and staff, and if you fancy it feel free to come dressed aa your favourite LGBT+ historical figure.

When: Monday 19 February, 7pm 9pm Following the exhibition, the Foundry will host a number of guest speakers to discuss a number of LGBT+ history topics. One of the speakers was a founder of the infamous Gay News, so this is an event not to be missed!

LGBT+ History Month - What’s on

Where: Students’ Union When: Wednesday 21 February, 12pm2pm Note: This event is for members of the trans community only The LGBT+ Committee, in collaboration with the SU’s Development Officer, have organised a clothes swap for self-identifying trans and non-binary people. While the event is for trans people only, cis people may donate clothes by either dropping them off at the LGBT+ lounge or arranging for them to be picked up.

What: Manchester Bar Crawl When: Tuesday 23 February 8.3012pm Where: Canal Street, Manchester Explore the LGBT+ nightlife in Manchester. Other universities will be joining the bar crawl too, including the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool. The bar crawl will be starting at 8:30PM along Canal Street, and some of the comittee are catching the train at 7:11PM from Sheffield station to Manchester Picadilly if anyone wishes to join!

What: Call Me By Your Name screening Where: Film Unit When: Sunday 25 February, 7pm Film Unit says: Oliver, a 24-year-old American scholar, is welcomed by a professor in archaeology and his family in the north of Italy. As Oliver and Mr Perlman work on a paper, Elio, Mr Perlman’s son, finds Oliver’s presence intriguing. The 17-year-old teenager soon realises that he is more interested by the American visitor than by his girlfriend, Marzia. This curiosity turns into a game of seduction between the teenager and the student. Luca Guadignino takes us on a wonderful trip through gorgeous Italian sceneries, and tells a beautiful story of two men getting to know each other as well as themselves.

Friday 16 February 2018


Laura Mulvey


Arts Editor

Hello and welcome!



We have plenty of arts treats jam-packed into this tiny issue. In recognition of February as LGBT+ History Month, Maddy Brunt has sketched a history of drag from Shakespeare (spoiler alert: he first coined the term) to the cultural explosion that is RuPaul’s Drag Race. On this page, our contributors have reviewed some exciting offerings from the arts world.

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Check out Joe Reed’s review of Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist at Theatre Delicatessen, Forge’s first trip to the venue since it moved from the labyrinth of the abandoned Woolworths to a brand new home on Eyre Street. Molly Calland has also given us her thoughts on The Essex Serpent, a dark and mystical tale of a country on the brink of modernisation. By the time this issue is printed, we’ll have a brand new Arts Editor ready to get cracking, so you’ll hear from them next time. Until then, happy reading!


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Molly Calland



Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist at Theatre Delicatessen

Joe Reed


he majority of theatre has a structure that all audiences are familiar with and expects: the audience enters, a piece of theatre is performed and observed, everyone politely claps at the end (regardless of their level of enjoyment), the audience leave and continue on with their lives. Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist certainly does not conform to this well-worn format, relying heavily on audience participation to the point where the lines between performer and observer start to become blurred. This one man show written and performed by Sam Ward is brutally honest and thoughtprovoking, detailing extensively (and occasionally uncomfortably) five different no-strings attached meetings that he has experienced using the ‘Casual Encounters’ section of Craigslist. Throughout the show Ward discusses his personal experiences of emotionless sex using minimal props and audience created sound effects to create a low-budget

atmosphere. While Ward is undoubtedly a compelling story teller, the show occasionally feels fragmented and lengthy at times, as just when he has grabbed your attention with his impressive monologuing, he cuts away to a discussion with the audience where he makes sure everyone is “doing alright” and ask “if anyone has any questions”.

The lines between performer and observer start to become blurred. The audience discussions do create a feeling of being immersed in a group therapy session or social experiment rather than being in a theatre

audience; however it rather needs a bit more polishing to integrate further into the performance. In a parallel theme Ward talks expansively about the work of psychologists Arthur and Elaine Aron who devised 36 questions aimed to increase personal and emotional closeness between two people. This creates a nice opposition to the stories of emotionless sex that create the main bulk of the performance, a clever technique that forces the audience to consider their own real life relationships and helps the audience to forge a connection not only with Tom on stage, but also with one another. Overall while far from being a polished piece and having the occasional point where the use of casual audience interaction feels slightly jarring, the performance is an interesting and bold exploration into human closeness that does at times make you think deeply about your own relationships.

arah Perry’s second novel The Essex Serpent tells the story of the newly-widowed Cora Seaborne who, relieved by the death of her cruel husband, moves from London to the Essex countryside with her son and her companion, Martha. On her arrival, she hears of the ‘Essex serpent’, a creature living in the estuary and apparently terrorising locals. Cora befriends the local rector William Ransome, and the two become engaged in a close friendship based on their disagreements over religion and natural sciences. The book captures the changing attitudes of a country making steps towards modernity, especially within London. In the city Cora has surrounded herself by science and progress; her close friend Luke Garret, to whom she regularly writes, is a surgeon making major advances in new operating techniques, whilst Martha, a passionate socialist, works to achieve improved housing and social conditions for the working class. All of this reflects the intellectual and social changes taking

place in England in the 19th century. Perry contrasts the seemingly enlightened and modern London with the superstitious and religious Essex. For the people of Essex the serpent is a mythical creature come to life. For William Ransome the answer to these problems lies in devotion to faith, while for Cora, science is the only way to explain the events. The book is deeply committed to its historical context, but while it boasts rich historical detail, it lacks a gripping storyline. On first glance the book seems as though it will be a mystery, with the protagonists searching to find out what the serpent is. However, the creature takes on a secondary role, its importance grounded in what it says about the characters and their relationships. This is what is truly central to the book, as Perry explores how the diverse range of very real, flawed characters interact. For better or for worse, this makes the book more about historical change and new ideas conflicting with old than a mythical creature causing mayhem in Essex.

Forge Press


Friday 16 February 2018


nder the wigs and lashes, paint and padding, and explosive persona, lies the 21st century drag queen. A fierce and beautiful portrayal of self-love,contemporary drag queens often disappear into their carefully cultivated royal counterpart, expressing their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (a-la RuPaul’s innuendo). With viewership of RuPaul’s Drag Race reaching almost 1 million last series, it is clear that drag is no longer confined to its place in the underground gay culture where it had remained for so long. How has drag culture reached such heights? Although many personally credit RuPaul, this ignores the many boundary pushers and provocateurs (and, importantly, drag kings) that

paved the way for drag to develop into what it is today. Before the drag queen came the female impersonator, with men dressing as a woman for performance. Drag itself reaches much further, creating an intersection of art, performance, and fashion. Instead of modelling oneself upon a real woman, many drag queens model themselves upon famous personalities, or a version of themselves that may be unattainable in reality. They are larger than life not attempting to blend in as a woman, but stand out as a queen. So, how did female impersonation evolve in drag? Let’s take a brief look at the history (or, dare I say, ‘herstory’) of drag.

Ancient roots

Arrival in the USA

Sexism was rampant in Ancient Grecian theatre. Women were not deemed good enough to perform, so men took on female roles. But even this small foray into female impersonation was met with concern by Plato and Socrates who cited its damaging effects. Although criticised, female impersonation in theatre continued into the 1500s, with Shakespearean performance using young boys to play ‘soft faced women’. In fact, the term ‘drag’ originated from Shakespeare himself, who used it to describe the boys dressing as women. Although the term was coined, the character and art of drag was still missing from these early impersonations.

Drag arrived in its arguable homeland — America — in a flurry of late 1800s racism. Wildly bigoted minstrel shows saw the first instance of female impersonation, in which black-faced white men gave a degrading portrayal of black women. The low humour of minstrel gave rise to vaudeville performance. With this, female impersonators were able to play increasingly graceful and refined women as opposed to the wenches they played in minstrel. Julian Eltinge was one of the great successes of vaudeville shows, profiting on such popularity by advertising beauty products. From these early performers came the first recognisable drag queen, Bert Savoy, a colourful character who graced New York City bars during the 1920s, with a highly cultivated, mannered persona. Spectators branded Savoy a “gigantic redhaired harlot, reeking with corrosive cocktail, the vast vulgarity of New York made heroic”. In other words, they loved him. Drag seeped into the fringe of mainstream culture through Savoy’s influence, as famed actress and bawdy provocateur Mae West championed the emerging brazenness of homosexuality. She even took her iconic phrase “come up and see me sometime” from Savoy.

Fighting censorship

The ‘Drag Explosion’

The rise of RuPaul

As the mid-century approached however, drag was increasingly condemned and restricted and was forced further underground as performance venues were shut down. This gave rise to the Drag Ball, a glamourous showcase of drag fashion that occurred a few times a year. The importance of these balls would gain cultural significance in the 1980s, and it was perhaps this repression of drag that produced its most iconic form. Suppressive attitudes toward drag spilled over into Hollywood in the form of censorship, and female impersonation was given a wide berth. Nevertheless, female impersonation still cropped up in Hollywood, notably Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder’s 1959 film Some Like it Hot. The wild success of the moviehas been said to be the “nail in the coffin” for censorship regulations, (subsequently abandoned in the 60s) as America began to embrace drag. This moved drag into a more familiar territory, bringing forth the terrifying beauty, Divine. A chubby kid from Baltimore, Harris Glenn Milstead has been credited with reinventing drag through his persona as Divine and is a true example of the triumph of the outsider which drag is built on. Probably the first drag queen many can identify, Divine broke into mainstream culture through John Waters’ outlandish films, most famously Pink Flamingos.

The late 80’s and 90’s are known as the ‘drag explosion’ and certainly markthebeginningsofcontemporary drag. The New York late ‘80s drag scene is perfectly captured by the celebrated documentary Paris is Burning, which follows notable queens: Pepper LaBeija, Willi Ninja, and Angie Extravaganza and their ball competitions. The elaborate structure of ball-culture has endured, particularly the ‘drag mother’ (an experienced drag mentor) and ‘drag house’ which refers to her mentees. The relationships and in particular the language used in Paris is Burning will be familiar to fans of Drag Race. The New York club scene was also home to the Club Kids. Michael Alig is known as the founder of the Club Kids and by the late 80s had replaced Andy Warhol as New York’s chief partier. The unforgettable aesthetic of the Club Kids can only be described as gender fluid hyperbolic outrageousness, drawing inspiration from punk, S&M, and circus styles. Among James St. James, Amanda Lepore, and Jenny Talia, a young RuPaul could be found working NYC nightclubs alongside Lady Bunny. Although she has since perfected her ‘glamazon’ look, RuPaul still reminisces about wild ‘90s New York.

The reign of RuPaul arrived in pop culture via a string of albums, TV shows, and modelling through which her title ‘Supermodel of the World’ was garnered. Now, with the undeniable success of Drag Race, RuPaul acts as a guiding light to the queer masses; embodied by one of her many catchphrases, episodically repeated in Drag Race: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”. Many graduates of Drag Race have made successful careers in drag, notably Chad Michaels, Sharon Needles, Raven, and Alaska (a personal favourite - hiiieeee). To sum up the rise and rise of the performance of drag and its evergrowing popularity? One just needs to look to Club Kid legend Ernie Glam by way of explanation: “Everyone is a star, and everyone can be a star. All you have to do is throw some glitter on.”



In celebration of LGBT+ History Month, Maddy Brunt traces the phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race back through the centuries, with a few cultural milestones along the way.




Friday 16 February 2018

Chloe Dervey & Tom Buckland



Hi Gaymers! Welcome to our LGBT+ special of Forge Press Games. This is a celebration of the rising LGBT+ representation in Games, and we’ve compiled a list of our top five LGBT+ characters on page19. It’s encouraging that we can indulge in these sorts of lists now. But it’s important that gamers continue to use their influence as a community supporting and promoting


Games Editors

games and developers that tell inclusive stories. Below is an opinion piece reflecting on recent times, when various big names in the industry have slipped up and reminded us of how far there is yet to progress. It’s going to be a long road. A... Rainbow Road, you could say. Full of ups and downs and lots of falling off into space along the way. But seeing all of the colours

The relationship the LGBT+ community has with gaming as a medium isn’t regularly discussed, but it should be. Not only does the gaming community regularly fail to cater to LGBT+ gamers, there have been occasions where games have gravely let the LGBT+ community down. LGBT+ character representation and overall inclusion in gaming is improving, but at times this remains lackluster and, frankly, inadequate. Tom Buckland


game that caught me by surprise in its failure to represent LGBT+ people and communicate ideas clearly was Persona 5. As of 1 December 2017 Persona 5 sold two million copies worldwide. After hearing of the series’ renown performance, I was excited to give it a go. Though I am impressed with the game, the feeling is bittersweet. Persona 5 is a roleplaying game and part-life simulator, maintaining relationships and education with action-packed combat dominating the other half of the game. I started to immerse myself in this virtual life, but the sirens began going off in my head when the story addressed the protagonist’s love life. Throughout the game, although you can express attraction towards females through conversation, you can’t do the same to males. This would be perfectly fine if the game also provided the option not to express attraction to females either. As an RPG, a genre that prides itself in being very customisable and adapting to the player’s playstyle, it was odd to me to be pushed towards a specific sexual orientation. I had to be straight. I’d never truly experienced a game that’d forced me to be straight. When I was younger and unsure of my sexuality, I definitely played games and usually pursued any heterosexual romance on offer but I never felt forced. There was no linear railroading towards pursuing a heteronormative lifestyle, but Persona 5 did away with that. They want you to be straight and that is that. You have to present attraction to women. The first few hours of the game sees the protagonist encounter an enemy who is accompanied by a scantily dressed woman and the focus heavily shifts to her. You have several reactions to choose from, such as complimenting her looks or being jealous of the man she is fawning over, but there is no choice to express disinterest. There is no choice but to find her attractive. To rub salt further into the wounds, there are homosexual characters in the game. But they’re only minor, and, incredibly disappointingly, they’re presented as the butt of a joke. One gay character torments your male companion, putting him in positions he’s not comfortable

It was odd to me to be pushed towards a specific sexual orientation. I had to be straight. with. The aforementioned character continues to do hilariously antagonising things to the male members of your party. It’s a crude

parody of homosexuality and an appalling attempt at comedy. As a homosexual, I can say I was very much bemused. To deny me the ability to play a character whose sexuality I could relate to and then also portray characters who are of the same or similar sexuality as me as jokes, using them to poke fun at the expense of their own characterisation is, frankly, unforgivable. The game is incredible, don’t get me wrong. It just sucks to be enjoying gameplay and to reach these moments of heteronormative microaggressions and actual homophobia, have to roll my eyes, and say “Why’d they have to ruin it? Another game that enters problematic waters is Tomodachi Life. When the game was released there was a bug: your miis could engage in any form of relationship, including same-sex. This wasn’t intended and before long the option of same-sex relationships were quickly patched out. Nintendo’s justification of this was troubling, to say the least. When a social media campaign adopting the hashtag #miiquality

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and stars might make the journey worth it, don’t you think? And Birdo! Birdo will be there too. Chlom xx P.S Check out The Sims 4 Create a Sim LGBT+ friendly customisable options. They’re amazing.

Gaming and LGBT+:

an opinion

came into fruition that demanded samesex relations to be reintroduced, Nintendo of America (NOA) issued a flat refusal: “Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life. The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.” I fail to see why a world could be seen as ‘playful’ and ‘alternate’ when the world is far more restricting of the LGBT+ community than reality, because there’s no possible way for two people of the same gender to be in a relationship in this game. By suggesting that the inclusion of same-sex relationships would be social commentary, NOA unintentionally provided a social commentary by removing the option. This is both incredibly problematic and negative, particularly for LGBT+ gamers. We can assume they never

intended this, and that’s why it is so disheartening. Despite all this, I do have hopes for the future and feel that we’re on the right track. The fact #miiquality existed to begin with is a start, and I believe Persona 5 developers Atlus are aware of their mistakes and will rectify this in their future games. They’ll be the high quality great games without the ‘why’d they have to ruin it’ moments.. I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ gaming community and see myself as a gaymer, and I’m proud of it. I plan to make everyone and anyone know that.

Persona 5 was a hit in sales but a miss for LGBT+ representation.

Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018


Forge Games’ Top 5 LGBT+ Characters Bill


(Naughty Dog)


The Last of Us

Let’s face it, you were expecting to see Ellie here. She’s The Last of Us’ signature LGBT+ character; the quirky sassy female protagonist you protect and adore. It’s obviously awesome to have an LGBT+ female main protagonist in such a popular game, however, we are here to tell you, there are more LGBT+ characters in the game that deserve a little more attention. Let us introduce to you… Bill. He’s top of this list for not having to justify who he is or have a focus on his sexuality in-game. He simply is and Naughty Dog don’t linger on it. There’s no unnecessary attention given that deters from the plot and yet Naughty Dog don’t shy away from the LGBT+ community. The game embraces his sexuality without a parade, and that’s great. Bill is one of the first characters Joel and Ellie encounter on their journey across a deserted United States. First impressions suggest he’s grumpy and reclusive, but after spending time with this solitary fellow, you warm to him in unexpected ways. Naughty Dog work their magic here by showing, not telling. From Bill’s behaviour to the environment he lives in, the attention to detail and the presentation of his character is impeccable.

Did you know...





(Intelligent Systems)


Various Mario Titles

Dragon Age Inquisition

The North American manual of Super Mario 2 says that Birdo “thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth. He’d rather be called ‘birdetta’.” Future games would show that this wasn’t a wmistranslation. Birdo’s gender is constantly a focus of her character throughout other titles. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl Birdo’s character description labels her as ‘gender indeterminate’ and uses the pronoun ‘it’ rather than gender-specific pronouns ‘she’ or ‘he’. Yet, Nintendo themselves alternate between referring to Birdo as a ‘she’ or an ‘it’, so it’s very unclear what pronoun Birdo would prefer to be correctly and universally used. Predominantly though, the pronoun ‘she’ is used. In a game exclusively released in Japan, Captain Rainbow, Birdo is presented as a damsel in distress, imprisoned for using the female bathroom when the robot jailer doesn’t not believe that she’s a girl. The player finds evidence proving that she is a female and Birdo is saved! Despite Nintendo’s confusion, the unchanging fact is that Birdo does not identify as male despite the problems in her identity’s lack of consistency. Seeing Birdo in a mainstream franchise is heartwarming to say the least.

A beloved game of Forge, Dragon Age Inquisition has a very developed, intriguing cast of characters to accompany your fantasy-fuelled journey across Thedas. One of these cast members is Dorian Pavus, the charismatic, confident and homosexual mage ripe for romance. If the player chooses to pursue romance with Dorian, his backstory and estrangement from his family slowly unfolds. Without going into the intricate details of how magic works in the universe of Dragon Age Inquisition, Dorian’s family made some very questionable decisions regarding him and who he is as a person. His father attempted to utilise magic to essentially alter Dorian’s sexuality, believing that his sexual attraction to men was wrong. A survey by Stonewall in 2009 regarding 1,300 accredited mental health professionals showed that 200 of them had offered some form of conversion therapy to patients, so Dorian’s storyline reflects the journey of many members the LGBT+ community today. His tale in a fictional setting will make real issues become far more tangible and clarified for many. In stark contrast to the subtlety of Birdo and Bill, Dorian Pavus’ relevance to issues within the LGBT+ community is what makes him such a remarkable character.

Toad and Toadette are the same gender! Producer of Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, Koichi Hayashida said Nintendo have never settled on a specific gender for Toads. They say that toads are genderless and take on genderless characteristics!

Fire Emblem Echoes

From the little known but fairly respected Fire Emblem series, Leon hails from Fire Emblem Echoes. With a nihilistic, narcissistic ‘pretty boy’ persona, Leon is a fairly stereotypical character in Japanese games and media. Here though, this charactertype is pleasantly subverted. When we meet him, Leon is accompanied by knights Valbar and Kamui. Through conversations unlocked by fighting alongside Leon, his adoration for Valbar is revealed. Sadly the knight is sadly completely oblivious to Leon’s affection. Fun fact! In the Japanese version of Fire Emblem Echoes, Leon prefers to use the pronoun Atashi, typically used to assert femininity among women. It’s also revealed Leon has no interest in women whatsoever and that his past lover, who died in battle, was a man. A relationship never fully blossoms between Leon and Valbar, yet he doesn’t seem to mind. He says that Valbar is all he needs, even if Valbar never notices his love for him. Leon’s sexuality and preference, and whether Leon’s feelings for Valbar are romantic or platonic is never made a huge deal of in the game. His sexuality could also be interpreted as lithoromantic, akoiromantic or apromantic, considering that he does not want or need the sexual attraction he has for Valbar to be reciprocated, highlighting sub-asexual identity spectrums that don’t usually find themselves represented in video games.

Gone Home

Samantha Greenbriar is a curious character. The structure of Gone Home and its gameplay means that we never meet her, and yet most of the game is focused on who she is. Gone Home has the player assume control of Samantha’s sister Katie. The player discovers Samantha’s story as they explore the desolate and empty house. It transpires that Samantha developed feelings for a fellow student in high school after finding it impossible to fit in and that this was received negatively by her parents. They forbade Samantha’s bedroom door to be shut when the two students were home, insisted that Samantha was going through a phase and that she hadn’t ‘met the right boy yet’. The story presents a very natural, real story of homosexuality and coming to terms with it, alongside the repercussions of homophobia within a family. The game’s climax is heartfelt and real. It’s a coming-of-age tale that many people in the LGBT+ community can relate to on some level, showing the fight many have to feel comfortable in their own skin. The game doesn’t overcomplicate things or simplify things, it’s beautifully both raw and pertinent.


Friday 16 February 2018

David Craig


Screen Editor

This week’s Screen section in summary: everything is terrible. All of the reviews in this issue are pretty scathing. But fear not, good things are on the horizon. Black Panther finally hits cinemas this week and early reviews suggest that it is a fantastic new installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, the university’s very own Film Unit have a number




The Cloverfield Paradox

of treats around the corner (see our Screen Selects section at the bottom of this page). Also, be sure to check out their upcoming Oscars Week, which takes place from 26 February to 4 March and will see award-winning movies from seven different decades returning to the big screen. As always, thanks for reading and be sure to get in touch if you want to get involved in the next issue.



Harry Minogue


n paper, Winchester sounds like a fairly enticing prospect: a pair of well-regarded directors in the Spierig Brothers, Helen Mirren taking the lead role and the use of a genuine historical location lending the ‘inspired by actual events’ cliché a touch more credence. Sadly, none of this comes together to produce a film worthy of your time or money. The movie begins in 1906, as San Francisco-based Dr. Eric Prince (Jason Clarke) is hired by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to perform a psychiatric assessment upon their majority shareholder, the reclusive widow Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren). Prince is allowed to stay at Mrs Winchester’s mansion in San Jose which, since her husband’s death, has expanded beyond all recognition and reason into a sprawling jumble of hundreds of rooms, snaking stairways

You could say that this is an UNLUCKY clover. But you probably shouldn’t.

David Craig


he Cloverfield franchise has found success in the past with its smallscale accounts of an alien invasion, but sadly this attempt at launching into more ambitious sci-fi territory falls flat on its face. The Cloverfield Paradox lacks all the thrills and tension of the previous two films and totally squanders an interesting premise. From the very first scene something feels off. Gone is the naturalistic dialogue of 10 Cloverfield Lane, in favour of an awkward conversation between two characters who talk exclusively in melodramatic cliches. They tell us that the world is facing an unprecedented energy crisis, but the movie fails to show us any of the harrowing effects this would have (aside from a dimly lit queue outside a petrol station).


Reported amount Netflix paid for the movie

The action then moves to outer space, where the crew of a space station have been trying for roughly two years to create renewable energy with a particle accelerator. The team of astronauts is made up

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and implausible design choices. Sadly, Winchester is a jack-in-thebox of familiar haunted house horror tropes that never really springs to life. The movie follows a bland collection of characters alternating between dialogue scenes which serve no purpose other than to advance the plot and ‘scary’ bits which stick firmly to the quiet/BANG formula that defines so much of modern horror. It’s frustrating because there are inklings of some good ideas here and there. Prince’s abuse of his own medication leading to a blurring of reality and his mind’s invention is an intriguing plot line, but when the reviewer finds himself googling the protagonist’s name after the showing it’s evident the film is executed poorly. Ultimately, Winchester winds up feeling like an advert for the mansion (now a popular tourist attraction) that got way out of hand.

Movie DB

of a number of familiar archetypes including comic relief man, decoy evil person, actual evil person and lady who misses her family. Unfortunately, even a cast that includes such talents as Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Bruhl can’t make this stuff interesting. Chris O’Dowd is particularly bad, delivering a number of excruciating punchlines that are neither funny nor

Chris O’Dowd is particularly bad, delivering a number of excruciating punchlines appropriate given the apparently desperate circumstances. The set design is equally bland, presenting a space station so visually sterile and devoid of personality that it’s hard to believe people have been living on it for two years. Combined with a complete lack of style and creativity from Julius Onah’s direction, the movie ultimately ends up becoming a chore to watch. It’s a great shame, because there was certainly potential to

the film’s high-concept premise. Incorporating a number of sciencefiction ideas, it gradually devolves into a mess of unfulfilling plot resolutions and people running around explaining what they need to do and why. Interspersed between the main narrative is a dull subplot set on Earth which seems completely irrelevant for the majority of the runtime, before being exposed as shameless fanservice in the final minute. Despite a superb cast and interesting premise, The Cloverfield Paradox is only noteworthy for how spectacularly it drops the ball for this once-promising franchise.

When someone asks me if I’m having a good 2018.

Movie DB

The Killing of A Sacred Deer

16 February

Call Me By Your Name

25 February

A dark psychological thriller from the director of 2015’s fascinating The Lobster.

As part of LGBT+ History Month, Film Unit are screening this story of an age-gap romance which is also a best picture contender at this year’s Academy Awards.

The Silence of the Lambs

Screen Selects

2 March

Part of Film Unit’s Oscars Week, this chilling 1991 best picture winner features stunning performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.


Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018



U.S.S CALLISTER The first episode contains many of the problems encountered throughout this season. An intriguing set up is ruined by deviating into bland humour, one liners and a mediocre ending. This is made all the more painful when the most interesting theme (toxic masculinity with horrendous consequences through a blurring of fantasy and reality) is discarded for ‘computer code can be people’ which, while an interesting concept, has been done to death in Black Mirror. Some great Star Trek homages gave Callister some nostalgia, but overall this was only skin deep.

This concept has a classic black mirror feel to it, while still offering something new. There are so many interesting themes this episode could have explored, like the psychological effect of encountering high volumes of explicit materials after strict censorship. However, the chosen theme turns out to be rather boring, leading to an unrealistic and unsatisfying ending, echoing the problems with USS Callister.

CROCODILE Again, a case of a great premise executed poorly. Black Mirror excels when the technology propels the plot forward. In Crocodile, it is more a deus ex machina to create repercussions for the main character’s actions. The arc of the main character doesn’t feel grounded or tangible, and the story can’t feasibly be done in one hour-long episode. That said, this ending is the most ‘Black Mirror’ of the series and a lovely reminder that originally the show was a brutal black comedy first and foremost before becoming more nuanced in later seasons. However, this is not enough to save the episode’s weak build and implausible character development.


HANG THE DJ This has all the makings of a great episode: a beautifully simple but bleak concept and an interesting storyline with well thought out visuals. As the episode draws to a close, it seems it will be the saving grace of season four. What is most surprising however is how it manages to muddle and tarnish everything it had built in the space of the last 30 seconds.

BLACK MUSEUM With the overall narrative containing three different subplots, Black Museum is unique to any other Black Mirror episode. The first offers 20 minutes of dark, intense and interesting concepts. For the first time in the entire season it feels like Black Mirror. What follows, however, is yet another boring commentary on AI and personhood. A disappointing end to a disappointing series.

VERDICT METALHEAD One of the better episodes of the series, though that shouldn’t be confused for it being a good one. The protagonists’ chase is gripping, but more out of fear of the pursuer than investment in the protagonist. Ultimately, the famous ‘Black Mirror twist’ is interesting but not explored enough to deserve any merit. In short, tense in parts but certainly lacking that Black Mirror feeling.

It is fair to say that season four has all the Black Mirror traits and charm. The only problem is that no single episode had all of them. Whether it is an unrewarding ending to a great story or a bleak finale to a mediocre buildup, no episode manages to nail the Black Mirror feeling the past seasons have managed to capture. This isn’t to say that the show can no longer do anything new. Some of the best moments of this season do just that, but there are certain things Black Mirror can’t do. Retreading previous ground is one of them, along with light, bland humour. Ultimately, the show needs to recognise where it works best and that is in uncomfortable, gripping and horrifying stories that earn their endings. This doesn’t mean they can’t be happy endings - season three proved that with San Junipero - but at least justify them. Here is to hoping the next season is a return to form.


Friday 16 February 2018

Florence Mooney  | Music Editor


LGBT+ history and music go naturally hand in hand. With some of music’s greats being members or icons of the LGBT+ community, this special month gives us a great excuse to turn up the dial to 10 and blast out Diana Ross, Elton John, Madonna, Gaga and George Michael. For our editors’ picks this week, we’ve kept to the LGBT+ theme and made the difficult choice of our favourite LGBT+ pride classics. On a more local note, the Tramlines


lineup was announced earlier this week. The festival is the highlight of the Sheffield music calendar, and with 2018 being the 10-year anniversary along with the main stage moving to Hillsborough, there has been much anticipation surrounding who the headliners will be. Some may be disappointed that Sheffield music royalty Arctic Monkeys aren’t playing, but there is still plenty of amazing local and international talent taking to the stages. Check out what my fellow music editor, Ben Kempton, has to say about the changes and lineup. As always, Forge has been listening

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to the newest records around, with reviews for JT’s fifth solo album and a new album from Franz Ferdinand. It feels very mid-noughties over at Forge this week. Until next time, have a great week!

Editor’s Pride Picks. Flo’s Pick.

Ben’s Pick.

by Elton John and George Michael

by Frank Ocean

If we’re talking Pride icons, there is none closer to my heart than Elton John, the king of eccentricity and extravagance. But, this week I am going to be greedy and throw in another gay icon, George Michael. Elton’s songwriting coupled with George’s soaring vocals can only be a recipe for perfection, and on their 1991 duet of ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go

An LGBT+ icon, Frank Ocean famously wore the t-shirt ‘WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN U COULD JUST BE QUIET?’. When he came out in 2012 through his heartfelt letter it took the hip-hop scene by surprise. A genre often focused on sexualising women, Ocean was incredibly brave to break the mould and his success has since gone from strength to strength.

‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’

Album Review


Alex Bruce

Justin Timberlake Man of the Woods


an Of The Woods is the fifth solo studio album by US singer Justin Timberlake. Timberlake, once a member of US boyband NSYNC, has had a very successful solo career in which his most famous records have often had a groovy, experimental vibe. While Man Of The Woods is not a complete departure from this, it was billed by the confusing initial trailer as a transition to something a little more country. A female voice in the trailer describes it as sounding like “Wild West, but now”,whatever that is supposed to mean. The initial signs for this album are promising. Man of the Woods features an impressive array of writing and production credits which include Pharrell, Timbaland and The Neptunes. Lead single and first track ‘Filthy’ is a great mix of a funky bassline with some futuristic synths, and the last minute of the track is particularly excellent. Lyrically it’s awful, but I doubt anyone was coming to a Timberlake album looking for anything meaningful. It succeeds as a well-produced party song. The next track ‘Midnight Summer Jam’ is also a highlight, with an extremely catchy beat which mixes some of the country vibes Timberlake promised with strings and another equally groovy bassline.

After these strong opening tracks, the album fails to hit those heights again. Other tracks with potential include the title track ‘Man Of The Woods’, which is an weird blend of a good country track with some completely unsuited 808s, a trend which rears its head constantly across the album. Second single ‘Supplies’’s hip hop vibe has more in common with a Chris Brown track than a Timberlake one, and aside from some annoying ad-libs it’s a decent song with a mystical beat. ‘Say Something’ is probably the best of the barrage of generic country songs filling the second half of the album. In terms of negative highlights, ‘The Hard Stuff’ is a pretty dull track, and ‘Hers Interlude’ adds nothing to the project aside from a distinct feeling Timberlake thinks his work is more meaningful than his audience does. Man Of The Woods is the definition of OK. If it were a colour, it would be dark green. Most people probably own dark green clothing, but no one would describe dark green as their favourite colour. This album is fine but I doubt it will live long in the memory of listeners.


Album Review

Danny Brown

Franz Ferdinand Always Ascending


t’s been 14 years since Franz Ferdinand took the alternative scene by storm with their fistpumping festival anthem ‘Take Me Out’. A decade and a half later the Scottish indie rockers have managed to maintain their momentum, represented by the title of their latest

album Always Ascending. Never afraid to push the limits of their sound, the alt-rockers’ unique brand of indie-rock has covered everything from post-punk to glam rock. The influence of recent collaboration with artpop act Sparks, as well as departure of founding

guitarist and keyboard player Nick McCarthy means that their fifth studio album is yet another sonic transformation. Always Ascending is a sleek, pulsating blend of synth-pop sounds mixed with the same raw-indie rock energy that drove the band’s earlier releases. Frontman Alex Kapranos’ dry wit and wry humour is still present throughout, however his songwriting now delves into issues such as the NHS. Opening title track ‘Always Ascending’ is a contender for the strongest track on the album. It builds from an ambient piano intro into a soaring disco pop chorus, laced with synths and atmospherics, the

presence of the Shepard tone acting as a clever reference to the song’s title. ‘Lazy Boy’ is a creepy, sci-fi influenced bop that embodies all the band’s raw attitude perfectly. Its repeated chants of “I’m a lazy boy / I’m a lazy boy / Never getting up on time / I enjoy being a lazy boy” are mockingly defiant. The politically-motivated ‘Huck and Jim’ flaunts with the idea of exporting the NHS to the USA. Agitated guitar riffs and a stomping chorus are offset by an interlude, rapped by Kapranos, providing a refreshing change of pace mid-way point through the album. The influence of keyboardist Julian

Corrie, McCarthy’s replacement, can be heard best towards the latter stages of the album. Pulsating synthpop number ‘Feel The Love Go’ is perhaps the best example of this, it’s wailing saxophone solo reminiscent of 80s electro pop. Always Ascending is a record that sees a shift towards the new, rather than a complete overhaul of the band’s sound. The result is a solid effort at something new and proof that the band are still kicking it after all these years.

Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018


Tramlines 2018 Preview Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds After releasing their third studio album in November 2017, the former Oasis man and his band are headlining Tramlines on the Saturday night. ‘After the Moon’ was met with critical praise, with a hard-hitting arena sound sure to produce an epic show. Other popular hits from previous albums, such as ‘AKA... What a Life!’, ‘If I Had a Gun...’ and ‘Everybody’s on the Run’ are also sure to be crowd pleasers. Who knows, he may even throw in a bit of Oasis. Stereophonics The Welsh rock band made a comeback in 2017 with their latest album Scream Above the Sounds. Their classic British rock sound is as

prominent as it was in their prime, and their six UK number 1 singles and five consecutive number 1 albums are proof that Tramlines will be rocked on the 20 July. Craig David’s TS5 Garage royalty of Southampton, DJ/singer/songwriter Craig David provides that much-needed musical diversity to a festival line-up. His feature on the hit single ‘Re-wind’ rose David’s career to new heights and he is sure to provide a groove on the Sunday night. Blossoms Manchester indie band Blossoms known for their hit ‘Charlemagne’ have become festival regulars over

Ben Kempton

the past couple of years. Having played at Glastonbury, Reading and Bestival, their festival experience and flamboyant shirts along with the front man presence of Stockport’s Tom Ogden are sure to put on a show. De La Soul Last year Tramlines had The Pharcyde, this year they are sticking to their old school American hip-hop selection with trio De La Soul. For any fans of the genre, De La Soul are a must see for their creative lyricism, authentic DJ scratching and recognisable sampling. An insight into hip-hop history and also known for putting on an energy-packed show, the trio are a must-see and sure to take Tramlines by storm. Jake Bugg Raw British sounds of singer/ songwriter Jake Bugg are heard in his hits ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’. His self-titled album from 2012 took the music scene by storm and turned him into not only a musical success but a style icon. With similar style to old school Beatles and a sound that can replicate the likes of Johnny Cash, Jake Bugg has had an undeniable impact on British music that will be great to experience live.






Wednesday 7 February 2018

Another issue and another great theme. It’s LGBT+ History Month! From Leonard Matlovich, a US army sergeant who was the first in the Service’s history to be purposely out himself to fight the ban on gays, to California’s first openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, to Laverne Cox, the first openly transgender person to be


nominated for a Daytime Emmy award in the acting category, LGBT+ people have been faced with a seemingly endless series of obstacles and bravely fought them all. In an age of Brexit, LGBT+ History Month serves as an important reminder that there does still exist some humanity in the world. And how to better celebrate

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such a welcome festivity than to engage with a truly riveting crossword? Dave

LGBT Crossword! 1





5 7

6 8 10

9 12 11

1. ___ studies (subject covering LGBT issues) (5). 3. LGBT campaigner who was awarded the Thomas Cranmer Award for worship, Vicky_ (8). 4. The surname of a famous gay male fashion designer (6). 7. T of LGBT (11). 9. LGBT activist _Windsor (4). 10. Pink is one, representing the diversity of the LGBT community (6). 11. Celebratory time for the LGBT community: 2 words (8). DOWN 2. Former Stonewall award winner and co-founder of the British LGBT Awards, Linda_ (5) 3. UK’S “LGBT capital” in East Sussex (8). 4. The month the famous Stonewall Riots took place in (4). 5. LGBT ___ Month (5). 6. An American politician serving on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor, Ken_ (6). 8. The “G” of “LGBT” (3). 12. Lesbian stand-up comedian who is an activist for LGBT rights, ___ Clinton (4).

Arrowdoku Arrowdoku follows the same rules as regular sudoku. The only twist is that the sum of the digits along an arrow must be equal to the number in the circle at the end of that arrow.

Forge Press

Friday 16 February 2018


Sport Thoughts

VAR: If it’s going to happen, do it right Bryn Wilkinson takes a look at what more needs to be done to make VAR a success after recent critcism.

Bryn Wilkinson


wo weeks ago, Anfield fell silent. Not to mourn the loss of a fan or club legend, but, quite possibly, to mourn the death of football as we know it. West Bromwich Albion were 2-1 to the good in a pulsating FA Cup tie and had seemingly just scored again to take a two-goal lead. What followed was over two minutes of confusion as the referee, Craig Pawson, consulted with the video assistant referee (VAR) to decide whether the goal should stand. Anyone watching on TV could see exactly what the referee could but for everyone in the stadium, it was anyone’s guess as to what was going on. The atmosphere was ruined. Fast forward a week. Same venue, more controversy. The difference? The atmosphere. Yes, Liverpool fans can argue long and hard about certain decisions, but the fact is that, according to the referee’s association, had VAR been in place, no decisions would have been changed. What would have changed was the tempo and fluidity of the match. One of the best endings to a match in recent memory would have been flattened. And this is my point: football is loved across the world. For 90 minutes, it allows people to take a break from the stress of their lives and be immersed in a game they adore. But, ultimately, it is entertainment. A major part of the excitement is the instant emotion that the game provides. A last-minute winner, a game saving tackle or even a

dodgy decision; these all provoke an emotion. It is a chance to release anything inside you because, for those 90 minutes, this is all that matters. VAR takes away from that. It adds a clinical edge to the drama that just doesn’t fit. The instant emotion gone,

No longer can you celebrate, lose control of your senses and act like no-one is watching replaced with a question mark over every decision. The ball is in the net, but no longer can you celebrate, lose control of your senses and act like noone is watching. Instead, you must wait. Will that count? Was there a foul in the build-up? Of course, we all want correct decisions, but if it takes away from the game itself surely that is detrimental to the sport. The counter argument comes in the form of the sports that already use some sort of video technology. Cricket and rugby have had systems in place for years and only a few could argue that it hasn’t improved

VAR is a step in the right direction but more work is needed for it to work effectively

the sports and helped the officials. However, both sports have natural stoppages. After every ball in cricket the ball is dead, giving an opportunity for a decision to be reviewed without changing the dynamic of the match and losing the tension. Rugby is much more fast paced but the referee has a harder job. Without a television match official (TMO) it would simply be a guess as to whether a ball was grounded or a foot in touch. Even then, there are still contentious decisions (Mark Cueto in the 2007 World Cup final comes

Raúl Pérez Lara - Wikimedia Commons

to mind). Football must learn from them, because no matter what, VAR will be implemented in the Premier League very soon. And when it is, it needs to be done right.

8 Jan 2018 First time VAR used in English football history

The focus needs to be on the fans who pay vast amounts of money to

watch their team. For too long, the Premier League has pandered to the TV companies from which they gain all their money and making sure the global audience is happy. We need big screens in stadiums showing the decisions, maybe even mics on the referees. Simply, anything that will ensure the people who are paying their hard-earned cash are not disconnected from the game they love so much. Let them shout, disagree and give their opinions. Without them, football is nothing.

Billy brace gives Blades bragging rights over Leeds Tim Adams


harp by name. Sharp by nature. Three shots. Two goals. The first was so memorable that the second became a formality. A bicycle kick followed by a penalty. In the end it was good enough to down Leeds United 2-1, even after Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s stunning header had drawn them level. Emotions are high in derbies such as these. Both Sheffield United and their away opponents knew their form was inconsistent at best and downright dreadful at worst. So nerves would’ve been high. Questions asked about how quickly either would settle into the match. The wait wasn’t a long one. Mark Duffy’s return to the squad was not a surprise, and it was his tenacious attitude, combined with a lightning burst of acceleration, which penned the Leeds back-line into their box. His early cross from the right was a masterstroke, allowing Billy Sharp to take aim. Lining up, the crowd sensed Sharp’s plan. In seconds they were on their feet as the pace of the striker’s bicycle kick left Felix Wieldwald no chance. Sharp’s tenth goal of the season was probably his best. Leeds’ frustration was evident. Adam Forshaw’s late challenge on Jack O’Connell resulted in a yellow card, while Ezgjan Alioski’s attempt from long range was a sign that the away side’s patience to find the goal

was already dwindling. The Blades had not lost at home to the Peacocks at Bramall Lane since 1992 and it looked like that trend would continue. As Richard Stearman and End Stevens pushed up, Leeds became stretched with both Leon Clarke and Duffy again coming inches away to doubling the home side’s lead. Ever since Wilder altered United’s formation to 3-5-2 it has allowed the likes of John Fleck to express himself more in the centre of the park, and this was the case again. Leeds couldn’t close down that space quickly enough to make an impact. Where they could find the initiative was from a dead ball. Heckingbottom had installed a set-piece coach in the hope that it would add a different dimension to their game. And just before half-time it nearly worked. Hernandez’s whipped delivery was on point and if it wasn’t for the acrobatic reaction of Blackman then Pontus Jansson was certain to equalise with a bullet header. Just minutes into the second half the roles were reversed. While United had started the match in emphatic style it was now Leeds’ turn, Hernandez the protagonist. It was the Spaniard’s cross which found the head of Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The ball could not have been placed in the net any better. Delirium suddenly consumed the away end. An away fan jumped onto the pitch, ran over to the home end, and dived for all to see. It was that kind of match. The saying goals change games

could not be more fitting to this affair as Leeds’ energy suddenly returned. Man for man pressing became tighter. Passing was less sporadic. They had the momentum and everyone knew it. Yet the Blades were unbeaten in their last 17 Yorkshire derbies and were in no mood to end that run. With Duffy as the protagonist United dug deep, and two long range shots from the attacking midfielder were somewhat of a reminder to Leeds of the dangers of complacency.

The tone of the tie had tilted; United had, if you could call it, a secret weapon up their sleeve. It was introduced at a free-kick on the edge of the box, a plan which fooled the Leeds back-line, resulting in a penalty as O’Kane fouled Fleck. There was only one man who would take it and he didn’t miss. The wave of relief was palpable as Sharp’s seventh goal in six games against Leeds seemed to have proved the difference. Heckingbottom responded

instantly. On came Hadi Sacko and Caleb Ekuban looking to create an instant impact. The effect was positive and the game’s tempo altered once again. Hernandez again became the biggest threat from the right, looking for Lasogga at every opportunity. It wasn’t enough. With a brace Sharp brought up 200 league goals, becoming only one of three men since the turn of the century to reach that mark. The others? Rickie Lambert and Wayne Rooney. It’s not bad company.


Wednesday 16 February 2018

Adam May



Head of Sport

Welcome to this new edition of Forge Press as we look ahead to this weekend’s BUCS Nationals, which are being held in our very own city of Sheffield. Into its sixth year, the competition will see around 6,000 athletes from across the UK visiting South Yorkshire, with over 500 officials and volunteers helping to make it a success. Proceedings get underway today and run through until Sunday February 18 with athletes battling it out in


badminton, climbing, fencing, indoor athletics, judo, karate, rifle shooting and swimming. Take a look below to read Adam Bailey’s preview and a look ahead to Forge Sport’s coverage of the weekend. We also have match reports from Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, with the Blades earning local bragging rights after beating Leeds United thanks to a brace by skipper Billy Sharp last weekend. The Blades travel to Leicester City tonight in the FA Cup last-16. On page 27 we have an interesting

Ella Barrett is a medal contender in the women’s 200m and 400m event

Harry Russell

Sheffield set for BUCS Nationals


ver 6,000 students will descend on Sheffield this weekend (16-18 February) for three action packed days

of sport. The BUCS Nationals return to the city for its sixth year of competition and once again students from across the country will arrive in Sheffield in search of success across eight different sports. Students, including Olympians and world champions, will wear their university colours as they compete for national titles in badminton, climbing, fencing, indoor athletics, judo, karate, rifle shooting and swimming. The action begins on Friday before the competition culminates with the final medals being awarded on Sunday evening. Last year, the University of

Sheffield recorded their best ever medal haul, winning six gold, three silver and six bronze medals, and the athletes representing the black and gold will be hoping for further success this weekend.


Sports Thoughts article as Bryn Wilkinson’s debut piece for Forge Sport discusses VAR and what needs to be done to make it a more effective system of supporting match officials. It’s certainly worth a look. As ever, if you want to get involved in any way, shape or form then please email me at com and keep up-to-date with what we’re doing over at @ForgeSport on Twitter. Enjoy the issue!

Luhukay Claims First League Win Daniel Allen

Adam Bailey

Forge Press

athletes ready to take part

One of last year’s medallists aiming for a return to the podium will be Panayiotis Loizides, who has been a regular on the BUCS podium over recent years in karate. The Cypriot athlete won silver in the men’s under-75kg Kumite Division last year after claiming bronze the previous two years. Loizides, who competed for Cyprus in karate at the 2015 European Games, will take to the BUCS dojo once again, where he will be targeting the gold

medal which has so far eluded him during his University career. For some athletes this weekend will be their first taste of competition at BUCS Nationals. One of the black and gold athletes making their BUCS debut will be sprinter Ella Barrett, pictured, who will be one-to-watch in what is expected to be a hotlycontested women’s 200m and 400m competition. Barrett, who is coached by Jessica Ennis-Hill’s former coach Toni Minichiello, said: “I am really looking forward to wearing the black and gold for the first time. There are a few nerves and I find myself touching wood whenever I think about it. “However, competing for the University for the first time is very exciting and an honour so hopefully – touches wood again – I can do the team justice.” Forge Radio will be broadcasting live coverage from the BUCS Nationals, including live commentary from all three of the swimming sessions on Saturday, and the athletics finals from EIS on Sunday. Coverage from both days will be broadcast on Forge Radio Extra, which can be found by visiting

Lucas Joao scored twice as Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager, Jos Luhukay, claimed his first Championship victory with a 2-0 win against Derby County on Tuesday night. The injury ridden Owls welcomed Gary Rowett’s in form Derby side who were the favourites in a must win game for both teams. However, Wednesday defied the odds as their youngsters pulled out a fabulous team performance to take the pressure off their new managers shoulders. Derby looked the better of the two sides as they applied high pressure right from the off. Wednesday were forced to make an array of mistakes in their own half as they failed to string their passes together. Owls midfielder Adam Reach, started to change that as he began to run the show from the middle of the park and became the catalyst of his side from the 15th minute onwards. Derby attacker Matej Vydra was denied his 19th goal of the season when he appeared to sneak the ball into Wildsmith’s near post but was denied by the assistant referee’s flag for offside. This lead to a very well worked Wednesday counter attack which was finished off by Lucas Joao into the bottom right of veteran Goalkeeper Scott Carson’s net. The goal inevitably raised the tension between the two sides. Wednesday began to look more relaxed on the ball while Derby were more eager and quick with their pressing and attacking.

Scott Carson was arguably the most eager of the Rams as he charged 30 yards from his goal line and made a hash of his clearance which granted the hosts an opportunity to catch him off his line, but they failed to get a shot away. The rush of adrenaline soon fizzled out as both teams started to tire and make hasty decisions on the ball, giving way for a display of exciting end to end football as half-time approached. Lucas Joao’s second goal came just one minute into the second half as he struck a powerful effort from 25 yards passed an outstretched Carson. At the other end of both the pitch and their careers, young Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith made a couple of vital saves from Weinmann and Vydra to keep his side two goals up. Vydra’s bad luck continued as he blazed a golden opportunity high and wide into his travelling supporters shortly after. Rowett praised Joao for his performance but felt his players could have prevented his goals. Saying: “Joao was excellent tonight, but to allow him to have that much space is rare for us.” The Derby manager feels his team will bounce back well as they’ve been in “incredible form”. Jos Luhukay acknowledged his players will power after the game. He said: “It was a very difficult game, but we gave our best. This team gives 100% every game.” Next up, the Owls host former boss Carlos Carvahal in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Profile for Forge Press

Issue 117  

Issue 117