Culture Feature

On Transgender Day of Remembrance: 5 Iconic Trans Men From History

While we memorialize victims of transphobia, we should take the time to remember the historic contributions of trans men.

Philanthropist Reed Erickson

November 20th is known as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

First marked in 1999, it's now part of Transgender Awareness Week, and an occasion to memorialize victims of transphobic violence who have died in the course of the year. Trans women of color in particular have long been disproportionately targeted by violent transphobes.

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MUSIC

Grimes' New Song Connects Assault on Women and Assault on the Earth

The single, "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth," comes in two forms.

Grimes has finally released the first single from her forthcoming album, Miss Anthropocene, due February 2020.

The single, "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth," comes in two forms: a six-minute "Art Mix" and a four-minute "Algorithm Mix," the latter more radio-ready, the former more expansive and dreamlike.

In March 2019, she told Pitchfork that her next album, Miss Anthropocene, was going to be "a concept album about the anthropomorphic goddess of climate Change." Each song, she said, would be "a different embodiment of human extinction as depicted through a Pop star Demonology."

NME.com

It's not exactly clear what form of apocalypse "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth" describes, though it does appear to be about some kind of assault. "Oh, silly love," she sings. "Coming here / when I say go." Back in April, she told The Fader that the song is about "when a dude comes inside you, you become in their thrall—how it's an attack on your feminist freedom."

Below all the layers of synth and abstraction, it does seem like the single is critiquing patriarchal abuse of women. In light of her description of the album's overall theme, it could also be a critique of mankind's aggression towards the Earth.

These two impulses—man's impulse to dominate women and humankind's insistence on dominating the planet—are, in some ways, quite related. They're also connected (though certainly not equivalent) to white people's habit of colonizing, enslaving, and dominating the rest of the planet, and on capitalism's insistence on building up a select few on top of the bodies of others.

Humans, particularly those in positions of power, have always dominated others, at terrible costs, in order to maintain their status. Today, that tendency threatens to destroy the world. Perhaps, by connecting various forms of oppression and embodying Earth's and humanity's growing frustration with them, Grimes is tapping into a truly revolutionary sentiment. Time will tell if it's enough to cut through the haze.

Grimes - So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth (Visualizer) www.youtube.com

This week's episode of Game of Thrones left fans to deal with a lot of feelings.

Our bodies are full of the adrenaline of battle, grief for fallen friends, and the trauma of the horrible things we saw on that long, cold night. Yet, here we all are, wearing pencil skirts in our cubicles, expected to partake in the slow churn of capitalism as if we didn't see an undead ice dragon murder all our friends just last night.

While you work on physically unclenching and emotionally returning from the hellscape of Winterfell to the real-life hellscape of America, we're sure your head is swimming with questions about what exactly happened last night. Ours too, so let's remain in Westeros together just a little longer, shall we?

Couldn't Melisandre have done a bit more?

We aren't particularly clear on the intricacies of the red lady's relationship to the lord of light, or what exactly the lord of light's whole schtick is anyway (we do know he occasionally demands the murder of small, charming children), but it just seems like maybe the duo could have contributed more to the battle. Sure, Melisandre lit some curvy swords and pointy sticks on fire and said an annoyingly vague thing about blue eyes, but what about sending some fireballs raining down on the undead army? Or just setting the night king on fire?? Honestly, we would even have been satisfied with just a tad more visibility.

BRAN WE WOULD HAVE LOVED SOME UPDATES

Where are you, spooky boy? We know you're off enjoying the feeling of wind in your feathers but do you wanna share any of that newfound wisdom? Maybe even just let Theon know to dodge to the right a little?

Is my TV broken? Why can't I see anything?

Everyone knows Game of Thrones is dark, but most people thought that descriptor primarily applied to the content and themes, not the quality of the actual cinematography. But last night millions of Americans questioned the functionality of their TV screens as they screamed at friends and spouses, "PAUSE IT I'M GONNA TURN THE KITCHEN LIGHT OFF AND SEE IF THAT HELPS, TURN OUT THE LAMP!" Alas, even watching the show in total darkness did not help visibility, and we all continued to squint at our respective screens until the dragons burst above the clouds and we all winced as our pupils were flooded with unexpected moonlight.

DID NO ONE THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT CRYPTS ARE FULL OF DEAD PEOPLE?!?!

Listen, we know you had a lot of singing and drinking and fucking to do before the battle, but did it not cross ANYONE'S mind that the night king's whole thing is making dead bodies into bony murderers with dreamy blue eyes? At least their stupidity earned us that tender hand kiss between Sansa and Tyrion.

Do we kind of want a Sansa and Tyrion romance to happen?

I mean, did you see that tender hand kiss? Sure, he's probably in the later stages of syphilis and liver failure by now, but nobody's perfect and DID YOU SEE THAT TENDER HAND KISS? Sorry, I'll try to stop yelling.

Was Jon Snow riding the other dragon really the best move?

We get it, he wants Dany to call him Aegon in bed now, he rides dragons, WE GET IT. But isn't Jon's whole thing that he's really good at swords? Was he really helping by getting severe windburn on the back of a dragon that's realistically gonna do whatever it wants? Also, RUN A LITTLE FASTER AT THE NIGHT KING JON WHAT WAS WITH THAT LIGHT JOG?! LETS SEE SOME HUSTLE! Ugh.

Has Daenerys ever held a sword?

Sure, she's small, but if Arya has taught us anything its that size does not matter when it comes to kicking ass in Westeros. As he has since the days of desert wandering and Emilia Clarke agreeing to on-screen nudity, Jorah shows up to save the dragon queen's life, and in doing so, dies as he lived: deep in the friend zone.

Arya's dagger drop is the fan service we all deserved for sticking with this hell show for 8 seasons

Was Arya's appearance out of nowhere a moment of extreme deus ex machina? Absolutely. Was it debatably lazy and too easy? Absolutely. Was it the coolest damn thing we've ever seen? ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY.

Hopefully, by next week, we'll all have recovered enough to dive into the battle's afterm—

WAIT WHERE IS THE SECOND DRAGON IS HE OKAY? WAIT, HOLY SHIT, IS GHOST OKAY?! WHERE DID GHOST GO?

OH MY GOD IF WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANOTHER DRAGON DEATH OR ANOTHER DIRE WOLF DEATH I SWEAR TO GOD I AM OUT THIS TIME!!!! I REALLY MEAN IT I SWEAR I'LL STOP WATCHING THIS TIME I'LL DO IT!!!

NO I WILL NOT STOP YELLING.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.



While we're admittedly disappointed by the lack of nipples featured in Season 8, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones, we're really over-the-moon about Arya's unexpected sexual dominance over that filthy, filthy blacksmith. Sure, we didn't get any particularly unexpected moments or well-written dialogue, but we did get plenty of unnecessary exposition! As usual, we're left with more questions than answers.

Is Sansa going to be disappointed by Theon's lack of equipment?

What were we supposed to have gathered from that long gaze between Sansa and Theon? Are they about to apocalypse bang? Isn't he kind of gross? Doesn't he lack the necessary equipment to make that happen? How does Joe Jonas feel about this?

Is this an allegory for climate change or is it just zombies vs. dragons from the mind of someone who stopped emotionally developing at 13?

There is absolutely an argument to be made that there are some pretty high-minded metaphors going on in this wet dream of a TV show, but there is also convincing evidence that a dragon vs. ice zombie fight with an HBO budget is going to be the coolest thing anyone's ever seen. So, honestly, who cares if the world is ending?

Why did they try to copy that scene from Lord of the Rings where Pippin sings while Faramir gets shot?

Pippin's Song: Edge of Night (LOTR) HQ + Subs/Lyrics www.youtube.com

Yes, a haunting ballad is an excellent backing track to a significant plot moment, but that doesn't mean you can just straight up steal from Peter Jackson. Sure, the man desecrated his reputation with The Hobbit movies, but we still owe him at least a shred of respect for the way that grape tomato represented Faramir's life!

Why didn't Jon or Dany mention the incest elephant in the room?

Yeah, we get it, Dany is supposed to be all power hungry now and we're all questioning her ability to lead, she's complicated, WE GET IT. But seriously, not a single mention of the fact that Aunt's usually don't have passionate boat sex with their nephews? Nothing?

Arya has boobs?

In theory, we knew this. But I don't think we really knew until today. How do we feel about this? Honestly, kind of like we saw our cousin naked. But then again, in Westeros, that's not really a big deal.

Why did Jon stay in the crypt the whole time?

So we hate to say it, because there is no question that the man broods deliciously, but is Jon...getting boring? You're really going to spend the whole damn day with your dead relatives underground instead of fucking your hot aunt before you turn into a zombie?

Is Jaime...a feminist?

Sure, Hillary lost the election but Brienne was knighted.

Will the white walker dragon breathe dry ice?!

This isn't even a question. If the white walker dragon doesn't blow ice into his dragon brother's fire so that the two elements mix in the air to create a magnificent, high budget explosion, we're cancelling our HBO subscriptions.

Can we PLEASE just see Jon Snow's butt again?

That's it. That's the whole question. There is no farther explanation needed.

Is Bran...okay?

We get it, you're spooky now, but my god the room-clearing one liners are getting out of hand.

Is Tormund saying "suckled at her teet" the worst or best line ever uttered on this god forsaken television program?

First of all, Tormund is a gift. Second of all, did he get any of that beer in his mouth?

As always, valar morgulis, nerds. Check out the trailer for episode 3 below!

Game of Thrones | Season 8 Episode 3 | Preview (HBO) www.youtube.com



Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


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FILM & TV

HBO announces 4 'Game of Thrones' spinoffs: what could they be?

The network is hiring experienced writers to explore different time periods in the history of Westeros and Essos

YouTube

George R. R. Martin's giant fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire has, since its first book came out in 1991, created an entire world of characters and settings. Now, HBO is looking to expand the onscreen world based on Martin's books by planning four—four—spinoff series by different writers and in collaboration with the author. With the penultimate season of the show set to start on July 16 (only seven episodes this year, folks), the network is rightfully looking for ways to continue its massive revenue machine.

An HBO spokesperson said that they have talked to four writers: Carly Wray, whose writing credits include Mad Men; Brian Helgeland, of Mystic River; Jane Goldman, of X-Men and the Kingsman movies; and Max Borenstein of Kong: Skull Island. The spokesperson said that the network wants to "explore different time periods of George R. R. Martin's vast and rich universe."

With such a wealth of world-building already done by Martin, the spinoffs could be any combination of prequels and sequels, or even alternate stories taking place at the same time as the main show. The spokesperson said that there is no schedule for the spinoffs, that they will let the writers determine the schedule (letting the writer set the deadline: bad decision). So we could see new Game of Thrones stories in 2019 or (probably) later.

What the spinoffs will cover is anybody's guess.

Twitter

Maybe one will take on the history of the Dothraki, following the warring culture on its conquests of Essos, the clashes between the khalasars, and their sieges on the Free Cities. Or it could follow the childhood and rise to power of Khal Drogo before he marries Daenerys Targaryen.

Twitter

With all of the money from the main show, HBO could develop a CGI-heavy spinoff about the last time dragons flew over Essos, when House Targaryen used them to unify the Seven Kingdoms three hundred years ago. The Dance of the Dragons civil war between the siblings of House Targaryen would be a climactic finale to the age of dragons, at least until Daenerys hatches the three petrified dragon eggs in the Season 1 finale. They've been underused, anyway: the dragons deserve more attention (and maybe this time they won't be locked in a cave for episodes at a time).

Twitter

Still miss Ned Stark, even though the story has moved well past revenge and most characters have stopped talking about him at this point? His life is prime subject matter for a spinoff. After all, his death started this whole chaotic civil war. The legacy of the mad king, his relation to the King of the North, the story of his past that instilled in him such morally righteous ideals—Ned left us too soon and it would be nice to see him get some more airtime. Although, if they cast Sean Bean, he'll probably die in the first season, again.

YouTube

Game of Thrones has won best drama series at the Emmys two years running. It's the most awarded scripted series in the history of the awards and is worth more to HBO than anything else on the network. It also rivals (though not quite surpasses) the size and depth of the universe created by J. R. R. Tolkien for the Lord of the Rings, a world that Tolkien gave mythologies and languages before he even wrote the novels.

HBO will be looking to keep its plans for these shows and the main series top secret. After years of leaks by photographers, hackers and even cast members, it has now taken extra steps to protect unreleased material. They've cut the amount of people who receive scripts. They've required two-factor authentication on all email accounts because the cast isn't allowed to print the scripts. Even rehearsal notes have to be signed out onset and returned before the actor leaves.

While future plans for the show and its spinoffs stay under wraps, fans will have plenty of time to speculate about what the subjects of the spinoffs will be: the Mad King, Uncle Benjen's journeys into the northern forests, that badass White Walker king?

And dragons. Hopefully dragons.

Follow Game of Thrones on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Watch the Season 7 teaser and official promo below:


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