Wednesday, 20 June 2018

What you need to know about attending your first PRIDE

Bring your family, friends and self to one of the most memorable experiences this year.



So, in the back of your mind you've been playing around with the idea of going to your first PRIDE. You want to see what's it's all about. For me, the first Pride I went to was such an eye opener. It was an enlightening, uplifting day; I had so much fun and it was such a positive affirmation of who I was. 


"Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance." 

So here's some boring old man advice:

Travel Light.

EVERYONE IS STICKY AND SWEATY SO YOU WILL BE IN GOOD COMPANY.

If you are only going for the day you don't need to bring a suitcase. Have a small satchel or backpack but remember you want to keep your hands free and not be worrying. Also don't be bringing your expensive camera gear. Want to be able to freshen up? If it's a hot sticky, sweaty day; everyone else will be sweating too so don't worry. BUT, a small roll-on deodorant and a tester bottle of scent works well.

Avoid Pocket Disasters.

WEAR SOMETHING THAT HAS A ZIPPY POCKET PREFERABLY ON THE INSIDE.

Don't have your pockets crammed full of shit you don't need. (Remember you are travelling light). Don't have anything you cannot afford to lose like your passport, wallet or bundle of credit cards. Leave them all at home especially if you are only going for the day. Bring the cash you will be spending and maybe a little extra. This way you are not worrying about having your pockets picked. Don’t be waving your phone around. Stick it in the tightest pocket you have and experience the day through your own eyes not the screen of your phone.

Be prepared for hugs.

IT TAKES A WEIGHT OFF YOUR SHOULDERS

A common theme at Pride is Free Hugs. Spread Love not Hate. 



It is an opportunity to let your hair down and an opportunity for love and friendship to be openly shown. Don’t be surprised if an angel or nun runs up to you for a hug. What happens on holidays stays on holidays (or Pride). Just take it in your stride and embrace (literally) this display of exuberance and life. Obviously don’t do something you feel uncomfortable doing but for some people it might be the first time they hug someone of the same gender and it’s a fantastic experience. Yes, honestly, something as simple as a hug can lift a weight from your shoulders.




Be comfortable

ITS A LONG DAY SO BE COMFORTABLE.

Wearing a full leather outfit sounds amazing but might get uncomfortable. You will regret wearing those amazing boots you bought last year and haven’t had a chance to try out. You will regret bringing your heavy raincoat in case it rains. Wear comfortable clothes. If you will be doing a lot of walking or standing wear comfy shoes (Sketchers are my go to) and talc is worth its weight in gold. Yes. Honestly. If it rains, don’t worry, everyone else will be wet too. Remember the song...







It's raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men, amen
I'm gonna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet
It's raining men, hallelujah
It's raining men, every specimen
Tall, blonde, dark and lean
Rough and tough and strong and mean

Be prepared to see the unusual.

IT’S AN EYE-OPENER ALRIGHT.

You will see some people wearing (or barely wearing) some unusual outfits. TO YOU, some of it might be repulsive and some might be intriguing. Remember Pride is all about people being comfortable in who THEY are and showing to the World their inner self. Some people travel to Pride from different countries and show a side they wouldn’t show on their own high street and that’s ok. Just roll with it. If you see something that intrigues you, ask the person all about it. It’s a great ice breaker. If you want to explore the leather/fetish scene in Ireland check out GEARED IRELAND. They organise great events all year round. 




We are family.

PRIDE IS A FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT



Pride is a fun-filled, colourful carnival of music, dancing and high spirits. (Hold off on the drink until later in the evening). Previously it was a day of protest, now-a-days it’s a family friendly day out. For young LGBT people to see 1000’s of people supporting who they are is fantastic. 

WE ARE FAMILY is the theme of the 2018 Dublin Pride and it will be a celebration of love and togetherness. News that Mary McAleese will be attending with her family this year is amazing. If a family member or friend is going to Pride offer to go with them. What might seem like a small gesture at the time is a huge affirmation to them and it shows them that you accept and love them.





Finally, have fun, scream, shout, sing, wave your flag and enjoy yourself.

John The Captain Ryan





Friday, 15 June 2018

Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom...

I’m not going to do a review of Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom as I’m a bit late (a week after release) so instead I’m going to compare the original Jurassic Park filmed in 1993 (JP1) and Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom (2018; JP5)




If you want a review of Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom find one HERE from Billie Jean.



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Skip this blog to avoid spoilers ...

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For those who remember going to the cinema to see Jurassic Park all the way back in 1993 (some of you reading were probably not even conceived); I went to see it twice in the opening week; I’m delighted to report that the JP5 does credit to the franchise. Whilst JP4 was a little weak, the plot was limited and strangled by having to tell the same story all over again, JP5 stands out on its own, paying homage whilst adding to the Jurassic Park World as we know it.

One of the most iconic and memorable scenes in JW1 is when we see a living breathing dinosaur for the first time which is the Brachiosaurus. This was coupled with the amazing Jurassic Park theme tune composed and conducted by John Williams. In JW5 the first dinosaur Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) & Franklin (Justice Smith) see is also the Brachiosaurus.



One of the only negatives I can say about JP5 is that the original theme tune should have been played at this stage. For me, the theme tune helps transport you into the World of Jurassic Park and raises the hairs on the back of your neck. For me, music is an integral part of any movie and creates emotions and evokes memory.  It was an opportunity lost.



I loved the chase scene in JP1 when Tim, Lex & Grant are running across the field with multiple dinosaurs behind them and they eventually hide behind a tree. This is duplicated in JP5 when the crew and dinosaurs are fleeing the exploding volcano & also use a tree to hide.




I loved the edition of Maisie Lockwood’s character (Isabella Sermon in her debut role is really good btw). There was a part when Tim & Lex (played by Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richardswere in the kitchen hiding from the velociraptors in JP1. This is referenced twice in JP5. The first is when Maisie is hiding in the dumb waiter from the Indoraptor, she struggles to get the door closed. The same happens to Lex in the kitchen press.

Also when the Indoraptor is stalking the cast in JP5, this is very similar to the stalking scene in the kitchen in JP1.



When Eli Mills is killed by the T-Rex in JP5, this is the very same way the T-Rex gets to kill the coward in JP1 that abandons Lex & Tim in the jeep. A favourite scene of mine which is known as the “toilet death scene”. A similar scene also happens in JP4 when a park supervisor is killed.


When Owen (Chris Pratt) is looking for Blue (the velociraptor) there is a moment just before he finds her. There is an upside down jeep where the camera focus changes to looking in the mirror of the jeep back at Owen. There is text on the mirror reading “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. This is a reference to when the T-Rex is chasing the main cast in JP1 in the jeep.


Near the end of JP5, there is a great moment when the T-Rex says hello to a lion in a zoo. The T-Rex has just destroyed the zoo fence, which is a similar fence design in JP1.



At the end of JP5, there is also a nod to JP3. When the survivors are escaping the island, the pteranodons are flying beside them. At the end of JP5 when Claire, Owen and Maisie are driving off into the sunset the pteranodons are flying alongside them too.





The set-up at the end of JP3 of the dinosaurs roaming the planet has been set-up again at the end of JP5. This times it’s sure to be made.

I can’t wait for the next instalment of Jurassic World, hopefully we will see more of Jeff Goldblum who is hilarious and how humans will share the planet with dinosaurs will be interesting. Even though I haven’t given a review of Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom I’m stilll going to give it a rating of 8 out of 10 planets. The reason it loses 2 rating points is the same feeling of wonder is not achieved as the original (probably because JP1 was ground breaking in the use of special effects) and the soundtrack isn’t as memorably.




As I finish this blog I’m still humming the original theme tune. Listen to it here.



John The Captain Ryan

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

We all have closets - YES, really!

And they are all dark and lonely inside...

Just watched this video from TedX in Boulder. Ash Beckham is just fantastic. 




She just hits the nail on the head. We all have our closets, whether it's talking about having cancer, talking about your divorce or talking about your sexuality.

All our stories are hard because they are HARD stories to tell. We should stop comparing them because they are all hard.

Instead we should support each other.

What's important is to get out of that closet because it is dark and lonely in there and it is no way to live your life.

Fini.





Friday, 8 June 2018

Some reading suggestions for Pride month

June is Pride month all around the World so here are some LGBT suggested reads...


(https://gosparkpress.com/lgbt-pride-reads/)

The America Library Association have a brilliant resource called Rainbow books which can be found - HERE. For the last 10 years, they have writen reviews and provide suggested reading lists for libraries and schools.

I've been reading some LGBT books recently and blogging reviews, here's a summary of the best I've read:


Willful Machines by Tim Floreen HERE

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Boy meets Boy by David Levithan HERE

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde HERE

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When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid HERE

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Noah Can't Even by Simon James Green HERE

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AND FINALLY ... DRUM ROLL


Simon Vs The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli HERE

I've also done a blog on the history of the PRIDE flag HERE and the importance of LGBT movies HERE.

Hope you enjoy reading and have a great PRIDE month.

Live Long and Prosper
John The Captain Ryan.





Thursday, 7 June 2018

PRIDE flag history

It’s PRIDE month, yippee. A whole month of celebrating diversity and acceptance (in some countries) and for others a time for protest and being visual. But, what the hell is that rainbow flag all about...



Now before anyone says “I’m sick of pride month” or “why do the gays get a month of celebration”. Until LGBT+ people have EQUALITY and are SAFE all around the World there will always be a need for PRIDE month. Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one. And yes, I also agree there are other issues that need highlighting too, so get off your ass and do it!

You will see loads of Pride flags over the next few weeks so read on to learn more.

Before The Pride Flag.

A flag isn’t just a representation of a country, club or association. It is firstly borne from the need to identify oneself. This of course has been done for the wrong reasons in the past, the most notorious would be by the Nazi’s and their use of tattooing a number on a Jewish persons wrist. The Nazi’s also identified gay people with a pink triangle and lesbians and other “asocial” people with a black triangle. It’s sometimes forgotten that the Nazi’s didn’t ONLY want to rid the World of all the Jewish people. They also murdered 1,000’s of Gypsies and I’m sure would have worked through all the groups that didn’t fit into their perfect World order. A selection of the identifying patches can be seen below:




Even then the patch for gay people was bright and cheerful. This pink triangle was liberated and used by the LGBT community but the connotations from the War and the holocaust could never be forgotten. Gay victims of Nazism were not officially recognised in the immediate aftermath of the Third Reich but Berlin now has a memorial to homosexuals persecuted under Nazism next to the original Jewish Holocaust Memorial site. It takes the form of a concrete cube with a slit on one side – through which visitors can see video of two men kissing.





My Pride Flag.




One of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols today was created over 40 years ago by Gilbert Baker. It was against the turbulent times in the late 1970’s in America that San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person ever to be elected to public office in California, encouraged Gilbert Baker in 1977 to devise a unique symbol for the gay community – an insignia of pride capable of affirming social independence.

Baker loved the idea of using a field of stacked stripes as a symbol for many stitched together as one. The gay community, he believed, deserved a fabulous emblem entirely of its own fashioning. “We needed something beautiful,” Baker concluded, “something from us.” With his machine sewing skills (self taught drag queens always had to make their own outfits) he designed a flag of 8 stripes, two more than the version now recognised internationally as an emblem for the LGBT community – and each colour was assigned a symbolic meaning. A band of hot pink (representing sexuality) ran across the top of the flag in the original scheme, followed by red (which stood for life), then by orange (for healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (art/magic), indigo (serenity/harmony), and violet (spirit) at the bottom.






Displayed for the first time in the United Nations Plaza in downtown San Francisco in June 1978, this eight-striped version was produced by a team of 30 volunteers commandeering the washing machines of a public laundromat in order to rinse the dye from the fabric and the wide attic space of a gay community centre, where the individual strips were ironed and sewn together. When Baker approached a company to mass-produce the flags, he found out that “hot pink” was not commercially available. The flag was then reduced to seven stripes.



In November 1978, San Francisco’s lesbian, gay and bisexual community was stunned when the city’s first openly gay supervisor, Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Wanting to demonstrate the gay community’s strength and solidarity in the aftermath of the tragedy, the Pride Committee decided to use Baker’s flag. The indigo stripe was eliminated so that the colours could be divided evenly along the parade route - three colours on one side and three on the other. Soon the six colours were incorporated into a six-striped version that became popularised and that, today is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers.

It was not accidental that the day we voted for Marriage Equality in Ireland is also Harvey Milk Day - 22nd May.

Baker died on March 31st 2017 at the age of 65 but not before an original flag got a place of honour in the World renowned New York’s MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). Read more HERE




I’ll finish with this quote from Baker

“We needed something beautiful, something from us. The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it’s a natural flag—it’s from the sky!”





John The Captain Ryan

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