Vancouver Queer Film Festival shines spotlight on Black Lives Matter

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      The reaction to Black Lives Matter's open letter to the Vancouver Pride Society, asking for the Vancouver Police Department to change its participation in the Pride parade, was fast and furious.

      However, if you want to understand and learn more about black lives in LGBT communities, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is presenting a spotlight, in partnership with the Vancouver BLM chapter (which began in 2016).

      The spotlight consists of three films and a dance party—because what's a festival without some dancing?

      The documentary Major! (August 18 at SFU Woodward's) tells the life story of Miss Major, a black transgender activist, leader, former sex worker, and Stonewall veteran.

      The 73-year-old Major explains her 40-year fight on behalf of trans women of colour, addressing such issues as injustices and inequities in the prison system.  

      Waiting For B.

      Waiting for B (August 18 at SFU Woodward's) looks at Brazilian members of the Beyhive who camp out for two months in a lineup for Beyoncé tickets for her 2013 concert. The documentary captures how Beyoncé fervour is more than just fandom, but has components of political and social movements, as the fans form relationships and even communities as they wait in line.

      These two films will be followed by a dance party at 10 p.m. at Alexander Gastown (91 Powell Street). The evening is free with a VQFF membership, and includes a voguing workshop with NYC choreographer and performer Jose Guiterez Xtravaganza (10:30 p.m.).


      The third documentary Kiki (August 21 at the Vancouver Playhouse) follows the coming-of-age stories of seven New York City queer youth of colour amid ball culture, the underground LGBT subculture in which competitors walk for trophies and are judged for costumes, dancing, and more.

      For full details, visit the VQFF website.

      The festival runs from August 11 to 21.