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‘Call Me By Your Name’ wins big at Dorian Awards

Greta Gerwig, ‘Get Out’ also receive top honors

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(Screenshot via YouTube.)

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics revealed the winners of its ninth annual Dorian Awards, which recognizes achievements in film and television, on Wednesday.

“Call Me By Your Name” earned Film of the Year while Timothée Chalamet received Film Performance of the Year for his role as Elio. Chalamet also was honored as the Dorian’s Rising Star.

Greta Gerwig was named Best Director for her coming-of-age film “Lady Bird” and the critically acclaimed film “Get Out” won for Screenplay of the Year.

For television, HBO’s hit series “Big Little Lies” won TV Drama of the Year and fantasy series “American Gods” won Unsung TV Show.

Meryl Streep was honored as the Dorian Awards’ Timeless Star. Previous receipets have included Jane Fonda, Dame Angela Lansbury and Sir Ian McKellen.

The winners will be celebrated at GALECA’s annual Winners Toast on Feb. 24 in Beverly Hills.

FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” – The Orchard
“Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
“Get Out” – Universal
Lady Bird” – A24
The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (FILM OR TELEVISION)
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project” – A24
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” – A24 (WINNER)
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk” – Warner Bros.
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” – Universal

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight (WINNER)
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya” – Neon
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” – A24
Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTOR
Nahuel Perez Biscayart, “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist” – A24
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” – Universal
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” – Focus Features

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound” – Netflix
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” – Universal
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” – Neon
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” – A24 (WINNER)
Michelle Pfeiffer, “mother!” – Paramount

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project” – A24
Armie Hammer, “Call Me By Your Name”- Sony Pictures Classics
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard
“Battle of the Sexes” – Fox Searchlight
“Call Me By Your Name “- Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
“A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics
“God’s Own Country” – Samuel Goldwyn Films

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard (WINNER)
“A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics
“First They Killed My Father” – Netflix
“The Square” – Magnolia Pictures
“Thelma” – The Orchard

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR (ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED)
James Ivory, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” – Universal (WINNER)
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” – A24
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” – Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” – Netflix
“Faces Places” – Cohen Media Group (WINNER)
“Jane” ­– National Geographic/Abramorama
“Kedi” – Oscilloscope

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
“Blade Runner 2049” – Warner Bros.
“Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
“Dunkirk” – Warner Bros.
“The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight (WINNER)
“Wonderstruck” – Amazon

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” – The Orchard
“Beach Rats” – Neon
“God’s Own Country” – Samuel Goldwyn Films (WINNER)
“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” – Annapurna
“Wonderstruck” – Amazon

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
“Baywatch” – Paramount
“The Disaster Artist” – A24
“The Greatest Showman” – 20th Century Fox
“I, Tonya” – Neon
“mother!” – Paramount (WINNER)

TV DRAMA OF THE YEAR
“Big Little Lies” – HBO – HBO (WINNER)
“The Crown” – Netflix
“Feud: Bette and Joan” – FX
“The Handmaid’s Tale” – Hulu
“Twin Peaks: The Return” – Showtime

TV COMEDY OF THE YEAR
“Better Things” – FX
“GLOW” – Netflix
“The Good Place” – NBC
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – Amazon (WINNER)
“Will & Grace” – NBC

TV PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTRESS
Clare Foy, “The Crown” – Netflix
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” – HBO (WINNER)
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan” – FX
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Hulu
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies” – HBO

TV PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” – Netflix
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” – NBC
Jonathan Groff, “Mindhunter” – Netflix
Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks: The Return” – Showtime (WINNER)
Alexander Skaarsgård, “Big Little Lies” – HBO

TV CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – TBS (WINNER)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – HBO
“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – NBC
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – CBS
“The Rachel Maddow Show” – MSNBC

TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga, “God Bless America,” “Born This Way,” etc., Super Bowl LI – Fox
Kate McKinnon, “(Kellyanne) Conway!” “Saturday Night Live” – NBC (WINNER)
Brendan McCreary, John Mulaney, “I’m Gay,” “Big Mouth” – Netflix
Pink, “Beautiful Trauma,” American Music Awards – ABC
Sasha Velour, “So Emotional,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” – VH1

LGBTQ SHOW OF THE YEAR
“Difficult People” – Hulu
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” – VH1 (WINNER)
“Sense8” – Netflix
“Transparent”– Amazon
“Will & Grace” – NBC

UNSUNG TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
“American Gods” – Starz (WINNER)
“Dear White People” – Netflix
“Difficult People” – Hulu
“At Home with Amy Sedaris” – TruTV
“The Leftovers” – HBO

CAMPY TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
“Dynasty”
“Feud: Betty and Joan” (WINNER)
“Riverdale”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Will & Grace”

‘WE’RE WILDE ABOUT YOU!’ RISING STAR AWARD
Timothée Chalamet (WINNER)
Harris Dickinson
Tiffany Haddish
Daniel Kaluuya
Daniela Vega

WILDE WIT OF THE YEAR AWARD
(honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
Samantha Bee
Stephen Colbert
Kate McKinnon (WINNER – TIE)
John Oliver
Jordan Peele (WINNER – TIE)

WILDE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)
Guillermo del Toro
Greta Gerwig
Patty Jenkins
David Lynch
Jordan Peele (WINNER)

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PHOTOS: Pride on the Pier and Fireworks Show

Washington Blade holds annual event at The Wharf

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2024 Pride on the Pier (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade and the Ladies of LURe held the Pride on the Pier and Fireworks Show at The Wharf on Saturday, June 8. The fireworks were presented by the Leonard-Litz LGBTQ Foundation.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key and Emily Hanna; Wildside Media photos used with permission; @marvimage photo used with permission)

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‘Queering Rehoboth Beach’ features love, loss, murder, and more

An interview with gay writer and historian James T. Sears

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'Queering Rehoboth Beach' book cover. (Image courtesy of Temple University Press)

James T. Sears book talk
Saturday, June 29, 5 p.m.
Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

When it comes to LGBTQ summer destinations in the Eastern time zone, almost everyone knows about Provincetown, Mass., Fire Island, N.Y., and Key West, Fla. There are also slightly lesser known, but no less wonderful places, such as Ogunquit, Maine, Saugatuck, Mich., and New Hope, Pa. Sandwiched in between is Rehoboth Beach, Del., a location that is popular with queer folks from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The dramatic and inspiring story of how Rehoboth Beach came to be what it is today can be found in gay historian James T. Sears’s revealing new book “Queering Rehoboth Beach: Beyond the Boardwalk” (Temple University Press, 2024). As educational as it is dishy, “Queering Rehoboth Beach” provides readers with everything they need to know (and possibly didn’t realize they needed to know) about this fabulous locality. Sears was kind enough to make time to answer a few questions about the book.

WASHINGTON BLADE: James, it’s been a few years since I’ve interviewed you. The last time was in 1997 about your book “From Lonely Hunters to Lonely Hearts: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life.” At the time, you were living in Columbia, S.C. Where are you currently based, and how long have you been there?

JAMES T. SEARS: It has been great reconnecting with you. After that book, we moved to Charleston, S.C. There I wrote several more books. One was about the Mattachine group, focusing on one largely misunderstood leader, Hal Call. Another book shared reminisces of a 90-year-old gentleman, the late John Zeigler, interweaving his diaries, letters, and poetry to chronicle growing up gay in the South at the turn of the last century. From there I moved to Central America where I chronicled everyday queer life and learned Spanish. We returned several years ago and then washed up on Rehoboth Beach.

BLADE: In the introduction to your new book “Queering Rehoboth Beach: Beyond the Boardwalk” (Temple University Press, 2024), you write about how a “restaurant incident” in Rehoboth, which you describe in detail in the prologue, became a kind of inspiration for the book project. Please say something about how as a historian, the personal can also be political and motivational.

SEARS: I want to capture reader’s interest by personalizing this book more than I have others. The restaurant anecdote is the book’s backstory. It explains, in part, my motivation for writing it, and more crucially, introduces one meaning of “queering Rehoboth.” That is, in order to judge this “incident”—and the book itself—we need to engage in multiple readings of history, or at least be comfortable with this approach. I underscore that what is accepted as “history”—about an individual, a community, or a society—is simply a reflection of that era’s accepted view. Queering history challenges that consensus.

BLADE: Who do you see as the target audience for “Queering Rehoboth Beach?”

SEARS: Well, certainly if you have been to Rehoboth or reside there, this book provides a history of the town—and its queering—giving details that I doubt even locals know! Also, for those interested in the evolution of other East Coast queer resorts (Ptown, Fire Island, Key West) this book adds to that set of histories. My book will also be of interest to students of social change and community organizing. Most importantly, though, it is just a good summer read.

BLADE: “Queering Rehoboth Beach” features numerous interviews. What was involved in the selection process of interview subjects?

SEARS: I interviewed dozens of people. They are listed in the book as the “Cast of Narrators.” Before these interviews, I engaged in a systematic review of local and state newspapers, going back to Rehoboth’s founding as a Methodist Church Camp in 1873. I also read anecdotal stories penned by lesbians and gay men. These appeared in local or regional queer publications, such as Letters from CAMP Rehoboth and the Washington Blade. Within a year, I had compiled a list of key individuals to interview. However, I also interviewed lesbians, gay men, transgender individuals, and heterosexuals who lived or worked in Rehoboth sometime during the book’s main timeframe (1970s-2000s). I sought diversity in background and perspective. To facilitate their memories, I provided a set of questions before we met. I often had photos, letters, or other memorabilia to prime their memories during our conversation. 

BLADE: Under the heading of the more things change, the more they stay the same, the act of making homosexuality an issue in politics continues to this day. What do you think it will take for that to change?

SEARS: You pose a key question. Those who effectuated change in Rehoboth — queers and progressive straights — sought common ground. Their goal was to integrate into the town. As such, rather than primarily focus on sexual and gender differences, they stressed values held in common. Rather than proselytize or agitate, they opened up businesses, restored houses, joined houses of worship, and engaged in the town’s civic life. 

To foster and sustain change, however, those in power and those who supported them also had to have a willingness to listen, to bracket their presuppositions, and to engage in genuine dialogue. Violent incidents, especially one on the boardwalk, and the multi-year imbroglio of The Strand nightclub, gradually caused people to seek common ground.

That did not, however, come without its costs. For some — long separated from straight society — and for others — unchallenged in their heteronormativity — it was too great of a cost to bear. Further, minorities within the queer “community,” such as people of color, those with limited income, and transgender individuals, never entered or were never invited into this enlarging public square.

The troubles chronicled in my book occurred during the era of the “Moral Majority” and “Gay Cancer.” Nevertheless, it didn’t approach the degree of polarization, acrimony, fake news, and demagoguery of today. So, whether this approach would even be viable as a strategy for social change is debatable.

BLADE: In recent years, there has been a proliferation of books about LGBTQ bars, a subject that is prominent in “Queering Rehoboth Beach.” Was this something of which you were aware while writing the book, and how do you see your book’s place on the shelf alongside these other books?

SEARS: Queering heterosexual space has been a survival strategy for generations of queer folks. These spaces — under-used softball fields, desolate beaches, darkened parks, and out-of-the-way bars — are detailed in many LGBTQ+ books, from the classic, “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold,” to the recently published “A Place of Our Own” and “The Bars Are Ours.” Of course, these spaces did not encompass the kaleidoscope of queer life, but they provide us a historical gateway into various segments of a queer community and culture.

This was certainly true for my book. Unsurprisingly, until The Strand controversy, which began in 1988, all of Rehoboth’s queer bars were beyond the town limits. There were, however, homosexual watering holes in the liminal sexual space. For instance, you had the Pink Pony on the boardwalk during the 1950s and the Back Porch Café during the 1970s. So, in this sense, I think “Queering Rehoboth Beach” fits well in this ever-enlarging canon of queer history.

BLADE: As one of the most pro-LGBTQ presidents in U.S. history, how much, if it all, did the Biden Delaware connection have to do with your desire to write “Queering Rehoboth Beach?”

SEARS: It is just a coincidence. Interestingly, as I was researching this book, I came across a 1973 news story about Sen. Joe Biden speaking at a civic association meeting. One of the 30 or so residents attending was James Robert Vane. The paper reported the senator being “startled” when Vane questioned him about the ban on homosexuals serving in the U.S. civil service and military. Uttering the familiar trope about being “security risks,” he then added, “I admit I haven’t given it much thought.” In Bidenesque manner, he paused and then exclaimed, “I’ll be darned!”

Biden was a frequent diner at the Back Porch Café, often using the restaurant’s kitchen phone for political calls. Like the progressives I spoke about earlier, he had lived in a heteronormative bubble—a Catholic one at that! Yet, like many in Rehoboth, he eventually changed his view, strongly advocating for queer rights as Vice President during the Obama administration.

BLADE: How do you think Rehoboth residents will respond to your depiction of their town?

SEARS: Well, if recent events are predictive of future ones, then I think it will be generally positive. My first book signing at the locally owned bookstore resulted in it selling out. The manager did tell me that a gentleman stepped to the counter asking, “Why is this queer book here?”— pointing to the front table of “Beach Reads.” That singular objection notwithstanding, his plan is to keep multiple boxes in stock throughout the summer.

BLADE: Over the years, many non-fiction and fiction books have been written about places such as Provincetown, Fire Island, and Key West. Is it your hope that more books will be written about Rehoboth Beach?

SEARS: My hope is that writers and researchers continue to queer our stories. Focusing on persons, events, and communities, particularly micro-histories, provides a richer narrative of queer lives. It also allows us to queer the first generation of macro-histories which too often glossed over everyday activists. So, as the saying goes, let a thousand flowers bloom.

BLADE: Do you think that “Queering Rehoboth Beach” would make for a good documentary film subject?

SEARS: Absolutely, although probably not on the Hallmark Channel [laughs]! It would make an incredible film — a documentary or a drama — even a mini-series. Because it focuses on people: their lives and dreams, their long-running feuds and abbreviated love affairs, their darker secrets, and lighter moments within a larger context of the country’s social transformation. “Queering Rehoboth Beach” details the town’s first gay murder, the transformation of a once homophobic mayor, burned-out bars, and vigilante assaults on queers, the octogenarian lesbian couple, living for decades in Rehoboth never speaking the “L word,” who die within months of one another. It, too, is a story of how the sinewy arms of Jim Crow affected white Rehoboth — gay and straight. In short, “Queering Rehoboth Beach” is about a small beach town, transformed generation over generation like shifting sands yet retaining undercurrents of what are the best and worst in American life and culture.

BLADE: Have you started thinking about or working on your next book?

SEARS: The manuscript for this book was submitted to the publisher more than a year ago. During that time, I’ve been working on my first book of fiction. It is a queer novel set in early nineteenth century Wales against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars and industrialization. I want to transport the reader into an era before the construction of homosexuality and at the inception of the women’s movement. How does one make meaning of sexual feelings toward the same gender or about being in the wrong gender? In the process of this murder mystery, I integrate Celtic culture and mythology and interrogate how today’s choices and those we made in the past (and in past lives) affect our future and those of others.

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PHOTOS: Capital Pride Parade

Annual LGBTQ march takes new route

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Cheer DC marches in the 2024 Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 8. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 Capital Pride Parade was held in downtown Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 8. The 49th annual march was moved this year from the Dupont Circle area to 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Billy Porter and Keke Palmer served as the parade’s grand marshals. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff made an appearance at the beginning of the parade.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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