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“Dirty Looks: On Location” brings queer history back to life in L.A.



Laura Aguilar’s “Plush Pony” series will be on display at the former site of the iconic L.A. lesbian bar or the same name on July 23, as part of “Dirty Looks: On Location” (Image courtesy of On Location)

Lovers of local queer culture have a fantastic opportunity to experience it throughout July with “Dirty Looks: On Location,” an arts festival which focuses on “celebrating L.A. queer history in the streets that wrote it.”

According to the festival’s planners:

“On Location began in 2012 in the bars and community centers that fill New York City. Putting screenings or performances in everyday spaces brought new life to the works, focusing on the social nature of art making in the city.  But there were other stories to tell. On Location 2018 was organized in Los Angeles by 13 local curators, artists and promoters, playing with venues and meeting places that defined queer life in Los Angeles – 31 spaces across the 31 days of July, charting a progression of culture(s) using one month’s time.”

“Dirty Looks” is a widespread program of events and “happenings” featuring local musicians, artists, cultural icons and community leaders.  It aims to capture the creative and historic queer pulse of Los Angeles by “animating and activating historic sites of queer cultural exchange.”

With events ranging from traditional film screenings to drop-in installations, and re-activations of long-closed historic Los Angeles LGBT venues and bars, On Location fosters community-minded dialogues to tell stories through a collage of film and urban space.

The festival explains it’s mission as follows:

“Ours is a distinct urban sprawl – there is no city that feels quite as diverse, vast or chaotic as L.A. We have also witnessed the erasure of many queer communal spaces, a byproduct of gentrification, apps and online culture or the AIDS crisis. Our festival celebrates thriving spaces while also paying homage to the lost lesbian bars, bookstores or significant storefronts from which political activism once erupted. Through fun summer screenings and shows featuring local musicians and artists, we look back to move forward with a deeper understanding.”

The festival kicked off on July 1 with a 50th Anniversary of L.A.’s first homosexual film festival held in the summer of ’68, at “the sexploitation-centric”  Park Theater.  It’s too late to catch that (a shame, it sounds like fun!), but there are still plenty of other special nights to plan for.

A list of highlights includes re-activations of three closed lesbian bars (Boyle Heights’ Redz, El Sereno’s Plush Pony and North Hollywood’s Moonshadow), along with other iconic closed LA spots (CUFFS, Piano Bar The Other Door, and others); there’s also a preview night for a documentary on Silverlake’s iconic Circus of Books, a retrospective of the work of Zackary Drucker, an event celebrating the work of the late photographer Laura Aguilar, a screening of Gregg Araki’s iconic LA film Nowhere, Future Ladies of Wrestling event at Moonlight Rollerway, and many more.

For festival information and tickets, you can visit

The full schedule of events is below:

Sunday, July 1, 7PM – A Most Unusual Film Festival (50th Anniversary of the first L.A. homosexual film festival) Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth

Monday, July 2, 7:30PM – Brontez Purnell’s Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock at Downtown Independent

Tuesday, July 3, 9PM – Mar Citlali & Fabian Guerrero at Plaza

Wednesday, July 4, 5PM – Future Ladies of Wrestling at Moonlight Rollerway

Thursday, July 5, 8PM- human bridge at Mota (formerly Circus of Books, Silverlake)

Friday, July 6, 8PM – The Masque (with Xina Xurner + Trap Girl) at World of Wonder

Saturday, July 7, 9PM – CUFFS at Hyperion Tavern

Sunday, July 8, 3PM –  Zackary Drucker: Hard to look at, REDCAT

Monday, July 9, 9PM – Jewel’s Catch One at Union Nightclub

Tuesday, July 10, 11AM – 11PM – Venus Flytrap at CineFile Video

Wednesday, July 11, 7:30PM – The Dark Side of Tomorrow at The Egyptian Theater Thursday, July 12, 8PM, Hustler White at The Studs Theatre

Friday, July 13, 9PM – Escandalos Angeles with sCUM at Club Chico

Saturday, July 14, 4PM – 2AM – Fred Halsted Retrospective at Eagle LA

Sunday, July 15, 7PM – A Peek inside Circus of Books: first look at the in-progress documentary, Circus of Books

Monday, July 16, 9PM – Queer Karaoke with Karen Tongson at The Other Door (formerly Moonshadow)

Tuesday, July 17, 7PM – The Night Is Young at Mercado La Paloma

Wednesday, July 18, 7:30PM – Myra Breckenridge at The Black Cat

Thursday, July 19, 9PM – Handbag Factory Rooftop Party

Friday, July 20, 7PM –  Oral Histories of Queer Resistance at LACE

Saturday, July 21, 4PM – The Pirate and MGM’s Freed Unit at Mandrake

Sunday, July 22, 9PM – San Cha, Sister Mantos + Anna Luisa Petrisko at Silver Platter

Monday, July 23, 8PM – Laura Aguilar’s Plush Pony Series at the former site of Plush Pony

Tuesday, July 24, 7:30PM – All About Alice at Echo Park Film Center

Wednesday, July 25, 12PM – 2AM – The Hanged Man, 1971 at Bullet Bar

Thursday, July 26, 8PM – Tetsuo: The Iron Man rescored by Lauren Bousfield + Naomi Mitchell at Akbar

Friday, July 27, 11:59PM – Gregg Araki’s Nowhere midnight screening at The Vista

Saturday, July 28, 8PM – The Obscured Sky, undoing (part of LA Freewaves’ AINT I A WOMXN festival) at Los Angeles State Historic Park

Sunday, July 29, 9PM – All the films of Xandra Ibarra at the former site of Redz

Monday, July 30, 7:30PM – Queer Wikipedia-thon at Cuties Coffee

Tuesday, July 31, 7PM – Tagame’s VHS Pornspiration, Tom of Finland Foundation

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July 4 travel woes in flight cancellations, record number Americans driving

A record number of Americans are expected to travel by car this upcoming July 4th holiday weekend, per the Triple A auto club



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – As the 4th of July weekend approaches, Americans getting underway to travel are facing heavy delays and cancellations amid staffing strains, weather, among other issues with U.S. air carriers.

On Friday according to tracking website as of 7PM Pacific there were 27,544 total delays, domestic flight cancellations were 2,975 and international flight cancellations within, into, or out of the United States were 571.

(See the MiseryMap for a live visualization of flight delays.)

CNBC reported that consumer complaints are piling up. In April, the latest available data, the Transportation Department received 3,105 from travelers about U.S. airlines, up nearly 300% from April 2021, and at nearly double the rate during the same period last year.

The unprecedented number of airline cancelations and delays is causing travelers to choose to drive and fly. Delta, American Airlines and United are all trimming their schedules even further to accommodate staffing shortages, despite passenger levels hitting post-pandemic highs.

Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration have sparred over who’s to blame. Airlines chalk up the disruptions to bad weather, their staffing shortages and staffing problems at the government’s air traffic control.

Yesterday, the FAA’s acting Administrator Billy Nolen and other top agency officials held a call with airline executives to discuss weekend planning, including the agency’s use of overtime to staff its facilities, traffic and routing plans, according to a person familiar with the meeting. The call was in addition to regular planning meetings with airlines.

U. S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks with reporters on Zoom call about flight cancellations and expected delays this July 4th holiday weekend.

U. S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “It is time for the airline industry to deliver.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters Friday that, “passengers have high expectations from an industry that we have supported with tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funding through the pandemic to keep it up and running so that it can serve passengers. Now we need them to deliver.”

Concerned about flight cancellation trends, Buttigieg said he has spoken directly with airlines.

“Something I’ve asked them to do so that if you’re selling a ticket, you know you can back that up, that you have the staffing to do it,” he added.

A record number of Americans are expected to travel by car this upcoming July 4th holiday weekend, per a new report from the Triple A auto club.

Screenshot/NBC News

Just in time for that Fourth of July travel, gas prices are continuing to drop from their record high points of two weeks ago as the Energy Information Administration reports that gasoline stockpiles across the country have increased, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by four cents to $4.85.

Despite the highest 4th of July gas prices on record, 42 million Americans are driving this holiday.

Travelers Driving This 4th of July Weekend To Avoid Airport Chaos:

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Welsh Olympic distance swimmer Dan Jervis comes Out

Jervis, who placed 5th in distance swimming at the Olympics in Tokyo said he was inspired by Blackpool FC soccer player Jake Daniels



Dan Jervis (Screenshot via British Swimming Livestream-archive)

NEATH, Talbot County Borough, Wales – In a recent interview with BBC Radio Cornwall, 26-year-old British Olympian distance swimmer Dan Jervis revealed that he had given considerable thought before announcing to the world that he is gay.

Jervis told the BBC’s LGBT Sport Podcast; “I was adjusting to everything else, just trying to fit in — until I thought, Just be you.”

Jervis, who placed 5th in distance swimming for the British team at the Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan, told the BBC he was inspired by 17-year-old Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels, the professional soccer player who made history as only the second person in the past 30 years to acknowledge their sexual orientation publicly in that sport in the United Kingdom.

The swimmer also told the BBC it was important to be seen as a role model as he readies to compete in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Jervis has previously competed winning a 1500m freestyle silver and bronze at the 2014 and 2018 Games in Glasgow, Scotland and Australia’s Gold Coast respectively.

“It took me 24 years to be who I am,” he said and added, “You know, we’re just before the Commonwealth Games and there are going to be kids and adults watching who will know that I’m like them, and that I’m proud of who I am.”

The Olympian reflected on his decision to announce he was gay: “For so long, I hated who I was – and you see it all the time, people who are dying over this. They hate themselves so much that they’re ending their lives.

“So if I can just be that someone people can look at and say, ‘yeah, they’re like me,’ then that’s good.”

Jervis then said he revealed his sexuality to a close friend when he was 24: “At that point, I’d never said the words out loud to myself.”

“I said to her: ‘I think I’m gay.’ I couldn’t even say: ‘I’m gay.’ I was basically punching the words out.

“She was quite shocked but great, and it was exactly the reaction I wanted. I’ve had all good reactions, and the way I’ve described it is I’m not going to change as a person.

“Everyone’s journey is different, but I think I’ve always known.

“It was something in the back of my mind, bugging me. I thought I was bisexual and had girlfriends that I loved – but it came to about three years ago where I knew I had to deal with this.

“It wasn’t affecting my swimming, but me as a human being. It sounds quite drastic, but I wasn’t enjoying my life. Yeah, I was smiling, but there was something missing to make me properly happy.

“I’m still the Dan you’ve always known. You just know something else about me now.”

The Commonwealth Games open in Birmingham, UK on July 28.


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Online Culture

FCC asks Apple & Google to remove TikTok app from their stores

Its pattern of surreptitious data practices that are documented show TikTok is non-compliant with app store policies and practises



Graphic by Molly Butler for Media Matters

WASHINGTON – In a series of tweets Tuesday, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr disclosed a letter sent to both Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet asking the two tech giants to remove TikTok from their app stores over his concerns that user data from the wildly popular social media platform is disclosed and used by bad actors in China.

In his letter dated June 24 to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Carr noted that because of its pattern of surreptitious data practices documented in reports and other sources, TikTok is non-compliant with the two companies’ app store policies and practises.

“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or meme. That’s the sheep’s clothing,” he said in the letter. “At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

Carr stated that if the companiest do not remove TikTok from their app stores, they should provide statements to him by July 8.

The statements should explain “the basis for your company’s conclusion that the surreptitious access of private and sensitive U.S. user data by persons located in Beijing, coupled with TikTok’s pattern of misleading representations and conduct, does not run afoul of any of your app store policies,” he said.

Carr was appointed by former President Trump in 2018 to a five-year term with the FCC.

In March of this year, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a nationwide investigation into TikTok for promoting its social media platform to children and young adults while its use is associated with physical and mental health harms to youth.

The investigation will look into the harms using TikTok can cause to young users and what TikTok knew about those harms. The investigation focuses, among other things, on the techniques utilized by TikTok to boost young user engagement, including strategies or efforts to increase the duration of time spent on the platform and frequency of engagement with the platform.

TikTok’s computer algorithms pushing video content to users can promote eating disorders and even self-harm and suicide to young viewers. Texas opened an investigation into TikTok’s alleged violations of children’s privacy and facilitation of human trafficking last month.

TikTok has said it focuses on age-appropriate experiences, noting that some features, such as direct messaging, are not available to younger users. The company says it has tools in place, such as screen-time management, to help young people and parents moderate how long children spend on the app and what they see, the Associated Press reported.

“We care deeply about building an experience that helps to protect and support the well-being of our community, and appreciate that the state attorneys general are focusing on the safety of younger users,” the company said. “We look forward to providing information on the many safety and privacy protections we have for teens.”

TikTok has also had a problematic relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. Recently The Washington Post confirmed that the ‘Libs of TikTok,’ an influential anti-LGBTQ account regularly targets LGBTQ individuals and their allies for harassment from its more than 640,000 Twitter followers while serving as a veritable wire service for Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media to push anti-LGBTQ smears.

Libs of TikTok regularly targets individual teachers and their workplaces – releasing their personal information that includes school and individual names as well as social media accounts, and leading its audience to harass the schools on social media.

A year ago, an investigation by Media Matters found that TikTok’s “For You” page recommendation algorithm circulated videos promoting hate and violence targeting the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, while the company celebrated the month with its #ForYourPride campaign. 

Numerous LGBTQ+ content creators have shared stories with the Blade about TikTok’s seemingly arbitrary algorithms that target otherwise benign content that is not listed outside of the platform’s polices and removed the content. In many cases restoring the posts after appeals or in the worst case scenarios banning the users.

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