WBEZ | lgbt http://www.wbez.org/tags/lgbt Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Transgender teenager named Prom Queen http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 150116 Reyna Ortiz A bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When he was 12, Ray Ortiz packed a blue duffel bag and prepared to leave home forever.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s just no way in hell that I&rsquo;m going to live a life that I&rsquo;m not happy with,&rdquo; Ortiz remembers thinking.</p><p>&ldquo;At the time I didn&rsquo;t know what transgender was,&rdquo; Ortiz says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. Kids at school called him &ldquo;Gay Ray,&rdquo; so he assumed that he was gay.</p><p>He wrote his mom a letter saying &ldquo;not only was I gay, but that I wanted to be a girl.&rdquo;<br />She was supportive and gradually Ray transitioned to living life as a female, going by the name Reyna and using female pronouns. &ldquo;I just made a mental decision like: I&rsquo;m going to do what I want. And I don&rsquo;t care what anybody else has to say.&rdquo;</p><p>Ortiz has three brothers, one older and two younger. And they provided a lot of support when it came time for her to attend Morton East High School in Cicero.</p><p>Other students were &ldquo;horrendous,&rdquo; Reyna said. She told her older brother and she says he went to her high school, into her classroom and confronted her bully. She says kids never bothered her again.</p><p>Ortiz became friends with the most beautiful girls in school. &ldquo;And they were willing to fight and slap somebody if they disrespected me,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But eventually people just got used to me. By my junior year, I can honestly say, I ruled that school.&rdquo;</p><p>Emmanuel&nbsp;Garcia was a sophomore at Morton East when Ortiz was a senior. Garcia was struggling to come to terms with his identity as a gay Latino man. &ldquo;Seeing someone who was so open and out with their gender identity, it was intimidating,&rdquo; Garcia said in an interview recently. &ldquo;She carried herself so fearlessly.&rdquo;</p><p>During Reyna&rsquo;s senior year, she was nominated for Prom Queen. She went without a date, and sat by herself when the court was announced.</p><p>Then, they announced the winner: &ldquo;&rsquo;And the winner of Prom Queen of 1998 - Ray Ortiz.&rsquo; And I just remember everybody coming to the stage. When I turned around it was just flashing lights and paparazzi. Pictures everywhere and people applauding.&ldquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We always hear that the Latino community is full of machismo and we never hear about a community embracing their own,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;To have this person kind of pioneer sexuality and gender identity in 1998 was unheard of.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 08:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 US announces protections for transgender workers http://www.wbez.org/news/us-announces-protections-transgender-workers-111265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flag.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &nbsp;&mdash; The Justice Department is now interpreting federal law to explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender people, according to a memo released Thursday by Attorney General Eric Holder.</p><p>That means the Justice Department will be able to bring legal claims on behalf of people who say they&#39;ve been discriminated against by state and local public employers based on sex identity. In defending lawsuits, the federal government also will no longer take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans sex discrimination, does not protect against workplace discrimination on the basis of gender status.</p><p>The memo released Thursday is part of a broader Obama administration effort to afford workplace protection for transgender employees. In July, President Barack Obama ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the U.S. government or for companies holding federal contracts.</p><p>The new position is a reversal in position for the Justice Department, which in 2006 stated that Title VII did not cover discrimination based on transgender status.</p><p>&quot;The federal government&#39;s approach to this issue has also evolved over time,&quot; Holder wrote in the memo, saying his position was based on the &quot;most straightforward reading&quot; of the law.</p><p>The memo covers all components of the Justice Department as well as all U.S. Attorneys&#39; offices. The Justice Department does not have authority to sue private employers, and the new memo does not affect that.</p></p> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-announces-protections-transgender-workers-111265 HIV diagnosis leads two friends down different paths http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/hiv-diagnosis-leads-two-friends-down-different-paths-110823 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps-140919-Mark-Rick-bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&ldquo;Drug addiction is really exhausting,&rdquo; Mark S. King says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps, recorded at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago&rsquo;s Loop, in conjunction with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association&rsquo;s annual convention. &ldquo;I was here in this very hotel maybe eight years ago, and was in a room upstairs for five days and never left my room.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Why&rsquo;s that?&rdquo; his friend Rick Guasco asks him.</p><p>&ldquo;Because I had a crystal meth pipe in my mouth and was smoking and injecting crystal meth for five days.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s kind of surprising to hear you say that,&rdquo; Guasco says. &ldquo;So how did you fall into it?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What happened to me&hellip;It was about 1996 and we had just gone through 15 years of pure hell in the gay community, with AIDS. And I had certainly seen that. I had lived through the &lsquo;80s as an HIV-positive person in West Hollywood. And in 1996, at long last, we had these medications that came out&hellip;and for the first time almost since the crisis began the dying seemed to almost stop in its tracks.</p><p>&ldquo;And It was kind of at that nexus of new medications beginning and gay men looking for a reason to celebrate. And it wasn&rsquo;t long until crystal meth started creeping into that equation, creeping into our community.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s where drug addiction takes you: It makes your world very, very small. You keep shutting out everything else and you&rsquo;re left in a small room, in a hotel room, with you and the drugs and nothing else.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Those of us who have lived with HIV for a longtime&hellip;We came out of it one or two ways: Either we came out of it with a strong sense of empathy and sadness and wanting to do our best to help and understand. Or you come out of it with a real sense of judgment and bitterness, as if this is a new phenomenon amongst young people.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I do feel a little sad and scared for younger gay men. I&rsquo;m not judgmental. I worry for them,&rdquo; Guasco says. &ldquo;I had developed Kaposi&rsquo;s Sarcoma&hellip;the spots. And there were more of them on my legs, and I started to get nervous, worried. And I fell into the sense of denial. The first spot came in May. I didn&rsquo;t get tested until December. And a week before Christmas that year, I found out that yes, indeed, I was HIV-positive.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We have two HIV warhorses here,&rdquo; King says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re learning as we go along. And that&rsquo;s what I try to keep in mind when we are speaking to other gay men, young or old, about how best to get a handle on this epidemic.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/hiv-diagnosis-leads-two-friends-down-different-paths-110823 Morning Shift: LGBT blue collar workers still face adversity http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-06-20/morning-shift-lgbt-blue-collar-workers-still-face <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ex.png" alt="" /><p><p>We take a closer look at an Illinois exoneree and how he&#39;s trying to put his life back together. And, we talk about the risks some LGBT blue collar workers still face. Then, the sounds of pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, who previews Make Music Chicago.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-lgbt-blue-collar-workers-still-face/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-lgbt-blue-collar-workers-still-face.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-lgbt-blue-collar-workers-still-face" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: LGBT blue collar workers still face adversity" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 07:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-06-20/morning-shift-lgbt-blue-collar-workers-still-face The music of Brazil's favelas http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-11/music-brazils-favelas-110320 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP392232449892.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The 2014 World Cup begins in Brazil tomorrow. There&#39;s an official World Cup song, but it doesn&#39;t necessarily include any of the homegrown sounds coming out of Rio&#39;s favelas. &nbsp;We&#39;ll explore the roots of favela funk with Morning Shift and Radio M host Tony Sarabia.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-music-of-brazil-s-favelas/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-music-of-brazil-s-favelas.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-music-of-brazil-s-favelas" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: The music of Brazil's favelas" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-11/music-brazils-favelas-110320 Life in Northwest Indiana's steel closet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/life-northwest-indianas-steel-closet-110264 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/steel.PNG" style="height: 470px; width: 325px; float: left;" title="" />As Illinois gears up for its first legal same-sex marriages, across the border in Indiana gay marriage is still officially banned.</p><p>Hoosiers say attitudes there are starting to soften, but some workplaces are still more closeted than others.</p><p>A new book reveals a little-known community of LGBT steelworkers who punch in every day at Northwest Indiana&rsquo;s huge steel mills.</p><p>&ldquo;Steel Closets&rdquo; by the author <a href="http://www.annebalay.com/" target="_blank">Anne Balay</a>, documents life in the macho environment of the steel mills where LGBT workers face discrimination and are often afraid to report it to the union.</p><p>Balay, a former English professor at Indiana University Northwest in Gary and the University of Illinois at Chicago, spent five years interviewing some 40 current and former steelworkers for her book.</p><p>She and retired lesbian steelworker Jan Gentry joined WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente at our Crown Point bureau.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 10:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/life-northwest-indianas-steel-closet-110264 Morning Shift: A look at the latest rideshare legislation http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-16/morning-shift-look-latest-rideshare-legislation <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cover Flickr kaysha.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get an update on the future of the rideshare industry. We compare the office styles of baby boomers and millennials. And, a preview of prom weekend taking place for some CPS students.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-at-the-latest-rideshare-legis/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-at-the-latest-rideshare-legis.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-a-look-at-the-latest-rideshare-legis" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: A look at the latest rideshare legislation" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 08:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-16/morning-shift-look-latest-rideshare-legislation Could Illinois' next governor undo same-sex marriage? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/thumb_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicagoan Christie Pettitt-Schieber has spent a lot of time thinking about the future of same-sex marriage in Illinois. Apparently, so has her girlfriend of two years.</p><p>As Pettitt-Scheiber tells it: &ldquo;She goes on Etsy all the time, and she will, pull up, like, hundreds and hundreds of engagement rings, and then force me to look at the website and go, &lsquo;Do you like this one? Do you like this one? What do you think about this one?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>But before they take the plunge, Pettitt-Schieber, 26, asked Curious City a more fundamental question about Illinois&rsquo; gay marriage law, which was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">approved by the legislature</a> late last year and is set to take effect statewide on June 1st.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Could the next governor reverse the same-sex marriage legislation that just passed?</em></p><p>Gay marriage has been a hot-button political issue in Illinois for a few years, and the allegiances and beliefs involved don&rsquo;t always break along party lines. After months of furious lobbying and nose-counting by both backers and opponents, the bill to legalize same-sex marriages passed by a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">narrow margin</a> in the state House in early November.</p><p>But the foundation of Christie&rsquo;s question gets to an apolitical issue: the relationship between the branches of Illinois government.</p><p><strong>Illinois Civics: 101</strong></p><p>To find out whether an Illinois governor could unilaterally undo the state&rsquo;s same-sex marriage law &mdash; or any law, for that matter &mdash; we called up Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield and an expert on the state constitution.</p><p>Wheeler&rsquo;s answer is pretty straightforward: &ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p>But there&rsquo;s a civics lesson behind that &ldquo;no.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The Illinois governor has no ability to unilaterally rewrite the statutes,&rdquo; Wheeler said. The only way a governor could undo a state law was by the same way it was done in the first place: with the approval of a majority of state Senators and Representatives.</p><p>The closest an Illinois governor can get to ruling by fiat is an executive order, Wheeler said. But the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con5.htm" target="_blank">Illinois Constitution</a> only lets governors use that power to reorganize parts of state government, not to magic away laws they dislike. And even then, the legislature can overturn an order.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean governors haven&rsquo;t tried.</p><p>When former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois House in 2009, the charges against him weren&rsquo;t limited to the corruption that would later send him to prison. Buried in the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/95/HR/09500HR1671.htm" target="_blank">laundry list</a> of Blagojevich&rsquo;s misdeeds was Article 9, which accused him of &ldquo;utter disregard of the doctrine of separation of powers&rdquo; when he unilaterally expanded a state healthcare program that the legislature rejected.</p><p>Complicating matters more recently is a ruling <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/judge-allows-same-sex-couples-marry-cook-county-starting-now-109751" target="_blank">last month</a> by Chicago Federal Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, ordering that gay couples in Cook County must be issued marriage licenses immediately, rather than waiting for the new law&rsquo;s original June 1 start date. Coleman <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/140221%20Federal%20gay%20marriage%20ruling%20Cook%20County.pdf" target="_blank">wrote</a> that the state&rsquo;s current prohibition of same-sex marriages (which is still in effect until June) violates the U.S. Constitution. That ruling <a href="http://www.senatormccarter.com/index.cfm?sectionid=22&amp;parentid=21&amp;sectiontree=21,22&amp;itemid=532" target="_blank">put an end</a> to one downstate Illinois Senator&rsquo;s move to repeal the gay marriage law.</p><p>For Wheeler, all of this adds up to one conclusion: &ldquo;I would be willing to bet any amount of money that Illinois will not repeal same-sex marriage.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Answers from the candidates</strong></p><p>Given that any repeal of the gay marriage law would take an act of political will (versus executive decree), Curious City asked the two Democrats and six Republicans running in the March 18th gubernatorial primary whether they would work to overturn same-sex marriage.</p><p>Some answers required some tooth-pulling (as you&rsquo;ll hear in the <a href="#playlist">audio excerpts</a>&nbsp;below), but here&rsquo;s what they had to say.</p><p><strong>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn:</strong> &ldquo;The Governor led the charge to make Illinois the 16th state to embrace full marriage equality, and he is proud to have gotten the job done,&rdquo; spokeswoman Brooke Anderson wrote in an email. &ldquo;This was a major step forward for Illinois. As long as he&rsquo;s Governor, he will defend this law and make sure all couples have equal rights in Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democrat Tio Hardiman, anti-violence advocate:</strong> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the law. If somebody was to bring some legislation to my desk, we would look at it. But ... I plan to enforce that law. People need to be happy in their lives. I&rsquo;m not here to, you know, try to play God with people&rsquo;s lives.&rdquo;</p><p>The four candidates running for the Republican Party&rsquo;s nomination <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/79102861/Live-Republican-candidates-for-Illinois-governor" target="_blank">were asked a similar question recently</a> by the Chicago Tribune editorial board.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady:</strong> &ldquo;I&rsquo;d be consistent with my position,&rdquo; Brady said. He clarified that he would sign a repeal &ldquo;if it came to me,&rdquo; but added &ldquo;it&rsquo;s unrealistic to even address the issue.&rdquo; Brady <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner: </strong>&ldquo;I would not sign it if there hasn&rsquo;t been a referendum on it. I wanna see what the voters want on that issue. I won&rsquo;t take any action on that issue unless I see what the voters want.&rdquo; Rauner has repeatedly refused to reveal how he feels about gay marriage.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard:</strong> &ldquo;If [a repeal] got to my desk [I would sign it], but that&rsquo;s not gonna happen. Let&rsquo;s focus on things like the economy and how we&rsquo;re gonna fix the state&rsquo;s finances.&rdquo; Dillard <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford: </strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not gonna get to the desk. It&rsquo;s not gonna pass. It&rsquo;s not gonna get there. It is the law. ... I did not support the bill from the religious standpoint of it.&rdquo; Rutherford was out of the legislature when the same-sex marriage bill was passed, though he previously <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/96/senate/09600SB1716_12012010_006000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted in favor</a> of same-sex civil unions when he was a state senator.<a name="playlist"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/26498163&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>It&rsquo;s all politics</strong></p><p>If the unilateral repeal of gay marriage by an Illinois governor is legally impossible, it&rsquo;s also politically improbable, said Gregg Durham, an Illinois pollster who has worked with many Republican candidates (though he said he is not currently working for any gubernatorial campaign.)</p><p>Durham said the Republican candidates&rsquo; hesitation to talk about repealing gay marriage &mdash; even if they believe it should be repealed &mdash; is because it&rsquo;s a losing issue for the Illinois GOP.</p><p>&ldquo;I would tell them to run away as fast as they could from the question,&rdquo; Durham said.</p><p>Why?</p><p>Public opinion, for one: Durham&rsquo;s polling reflects growing approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois, and more resignation from people who are still opposed to it.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re starting to hear less and less about changing it, and more about, &lsquo;Fine, can we get onto more important issues now?&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Durham also cites the political math in Springfield. Democrats enjoy large majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, and the party has two powerful leaders &mdash; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Both exercise broad control over which bills are actually called up for a vote.</p><p>And even with those hefty majorities, and the support of some heavy-hitting Democratic pols, the gay marriage vote was still a tough one for rank-and-file lawmakers. And the difficulty wasn&rsquo;t just for Republicans, whose party platform defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.</p><p>Durham&rsquo;s own polling also showed opposition from some Democrats in Chicago and southern Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;No one likes to pay for real estate twice,&rdquo; Durham said. &ldquo;The passage of that bill took a long time and a lot of effort by a lot of people. Now they don&rsquo;t wanna go back and have a second vote on it &mdash; anybody, probably on either side of the issue.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p><p><em>Note: This report received additional support through <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center">Front &amp; Center</a>, an occasional WBEZ series funded by The Joyce Foundation. </em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 LGBT members in NW Indiana fight against same-sex marriage amendment proposal http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Indiana LGBT two-way.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana is a step closer to cementing the state&rsquo;s ban on same-sex marriage for possibly years to come. The state already outlaws same-sex marriage.</p><p>On Monday a senate committee passed a measure that would enshrine the ban in the state&rsquo;s constitution. Pushed by Governor Mike Pence, it goes before the full Senate later this week.</p><p>But not everyone supports the constitutional ban, known as House Joint Resolution 3. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce says it could hurt in attracting top talent to the state.</p><p>And some members of the LGBT community wonder why the Hoosier state is moving in the opposite direction of neighboring Illinois.</p><p>They recently sat down for a conversation with WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente at our bureau in Crown Point, Ind.</p></p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 Reeling Film Fest returns with a different take on queer cinema http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-10/reeling-film-fest-returns-different-take-queer-cinema-108773 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/reeling photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After three decades, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/reeling.filmfest">Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival</a> is making a few changes.</p><p>There&rsquo;s the new name, which now includes bisexual and transgender in the title (though most still know the fest by its shorthand name, Reeling).</p><p>The fest also has a new location, at the <a href="http://www.thelogantheatre.com/">Logan Theatre </a>in Chicago&rsquo;s Logan Square neighborhood.</p><p>And there&rsquo;s a new approach to what constitutes queer cinema, thanks to new programming director <a href="http://www.knightatthemovies.com/Knight_at_the_Movies_About_Me.html">Richard Knight Jr</a>. The lineup was announced Wednesday night.</p><p>&ldquo;I wanted to bring some films into the festival that were not exclusively gay, gay gay,&rdquo; said Knight. &ldquo;... It&rsquo;s certainly there. But it&rsquo;s not like two guys meeting in a bar sort of thing.&rdquo;</p><p>One of those films will close the fest. Ludwig II is about a 19th century Bavarian monarch. The film isn&rsquo;t explicitly a work of queer cinema, but Knight saw it differently.</p><p>&ldquo;When you see the movie, it&rsquo;s gay. He&rsquo;s in love with the horsemaster, he has erotic dreams, he kisses him,&rdquo; said Knight. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not very often that you see a $70 million epic around a gay figure.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>As the longtime film critic for Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/windycitytimes.php">Windy City Times</a>, Knight said he took the job at Reeling because he loves queer cinema and the thought of showing these films was &ldquo;tantalizing.&rdquo;</p><p>But getting audiences onboard hasn&rsquo;t been as easy. In recent years the festival has struggled to find funding. Last year organizers took a break to assess the situation and, as it turns out, retool the festival.</p><p>Knight said he&rsquo;s had had to learn in short order how to balance his artistic interests with commercial realities.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s more of a consideration than I thought it would be,&rdquo; said Knight. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know how (executive director) Brenda Webb has done this for 30 years.&rdquo;</p><p>The 31st Reeling Film Festival opens Nov. 7.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-hosts the WBEZ podcasts <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels</a> and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/strangebrews">Strange Brews</a>. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-10/reeling-film-fest-returns-different-take-queer-cinema-108773