Atlanta’s annual LGBT film festival Out On Film has announced “Strike a Pose,” the highly anticipated documentary on the lives of Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour dancers, as its first film. The film is created by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaa and is approximately one of 100 films that will be featured in Out On Film 29.
It’s been 25 years since the talented troupe of gay men and one straight burst onto the scene in “Madonna: Truth or Dare,” the documentary that introduced them to the world and forever etched a place in pop culture and the hearts of millions of fans across the globe.
Six dancers appear in “Strike a Pose” - Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, Luis Camacho, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza, Salim Gauwloos and Oliver S Crumes III. (One of the original seven, Gabriel Trupin, died from complications due to AIDS in 1995 and is represented in the film by his mother, Sue Trupin).
“2016 is an exceptional year for LGBTQ films and ‘Strike a Pose’ is one of the standouts,” says Jim Farmer, Out On Film’s festival director. “Many of us in the LGBTQ community saw ‘Truth or Dare’ growing up and were inspired by the out and proud dancers in the film. 25 years later, they are just as vital and charismatic. I think their stories will resonate deeply with our audience.”
Out On Film 29 is scheduled for September 29 – October 6 at the Midtown Art Cinema. The full schedule will be announced approximately August 22.
Fulton County HIV/AIDS task force unveils strategy to ‘end’ AIDS
There are alarming rates of new HIV/AIDS infections in Fulton County, and in an ongoing effort to combat the problem, the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS on June 27 rolled out Phase II of their Strategy to End AIDS.
Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves and Commissioner Joan Garner created the Task Force in December 2014. The Task Force, which is comprised of a number of health professionals, community advocates and leaders in treatment and support services, unveiled Phase I of their preliminary objectives on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2015.
Phase II was unveiled at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, where Chairman Eaves and Commissioner Garner were joined by Congressman John Lewis, Fulton County Health Director Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, Fulton County HIV Task Force Co-Chairs Dr. Wendy Armstrong & Daniel Driffin, and Dr. Melanie Thompson, the Task Force’s “Strategy to End AIDS” Executive Editor.
Fulton County’s rate of new HIV diagnoses consistently remains at over 600 per year, more than double that of San Francisco’s. Gay and bisexual men make up over two-thirds of those new diagnoses, four out of five of them were black and more than half were less than 30 years old according to the report.
Georgia schools receive mixed reviews on inclusiveness
Colleges and public high schools in the Georgia school system are receiving mixed reviews on inclusiveness and their efforts to make their campuses safe for LGBT students.
According to the AJC, “LGBT activists say some schools discourage students from starting alliance groups with the word ‘gay’ in the name for fear of retaliation.”
However, “Kennesaw State University is lauded by LGBT students and organizations for creating housing specifically for LGBT students. LGBT community leaders say other positives include multicultural programs for LGBT students, along with gender-neutral bathrooms around campuses.”
Despite the national spotlight on access to bathrooms for transgender people, including students, Georgia’s six largest school districts do not track the number of transgender students in its system and are not required to do so by law.
Madonna’s ‘Blond Ambition Tour’ dancers reunite in new documentary, ‘Strike a Pose’ (Publicity photo)