Tag: lesbian (page 1 of 2)

Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending

Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending

What do you think when you hear that there is a lesbian movie from Kenya? Is that even possible? Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, so my biggest fear was that the movie was going to be full of hurt and pain, with no hopes of a good future. Can you imagine my surprise when I found out Rafiki actually has a happy ending?! This movie is wonderful, and I want to share with you what I liked about Rafiki and where you can watch it. You can read the blog post but you can also watch the video below this image.

‘Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending’ What do you think when you hear that there is a lesbian movie from Kenya? Is that even possible? Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, so my biggest fear was that the movie was going to be full of hurt and pain, with no hopes of a good future. Can you imagine my surprise when I found out Rafiki actually has a happy ending?! In this blog post, I share with you the 3 things I liked about Rafiki: http://bit.ly/RafikiKenya

Feelings

Let me first tell you that you will have lots of feelings. Knowing the situation there, I was constantly scared for Kena and Ziki. You follow Kena, so you’re more scared for her as you see her in more situations.

The moments when she talks to friends and families, you are constantly wondering whether they are going to ask something or whether Kena reaches a point where she can’t take it anymore and yells out something. For instance, she is not “the only gay in the village.” There is a gay man, and everybody knows about him. Her friend laughs at him, has probably beat him up at one point, and bumps into him on purpose.

When Kena and Ziki find moments together, you are constantly worried they will get caught. And as I was not familiar with Kenyan culture, I did not know what the consequences would be if that were to occur. That adds to the tension even more.

A lot of feelings

Yes, they do get caught. Yes, bad things happen. It is bound to happen; you know it will at one point, and you will feel every fiber of your body object when you see the consequences.

And you will have a lot of feelings about the two town gossips. My biggest question is: what does it bring them, to hunt them down like that?

You will also have feelings about the two dad’s different responses. And then, you will have a LOT of feelings about the happy ending.

Basically, Rafiki is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but you can now be assured that you will not be crying for days. In fact, now that I know about the happy ending, I might want to watch it again just to be able to enjoy the story without having these feelings of tension the entire time.

The first thing I liked about Rafiki: the sheer fact that it is a lesbian love story from Kenya

Yes, critics who might say that Rafiki is another coming out and another coming of age movie are right. We get it: we want different narratives too. However, for a movie from Kenya to talk about a lesbian romance is huge. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and signs of it will be met with violent responses.

In fact, Rafiki was banned from screening in the country by Kenya’s Film and Classification Board (KFCB). KFCB said it banned Rafiki because of intent to “promote lesbianism” in the country: “The film has been restricted due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.”

Lawsuit

Director Wanuri Kahiu filed a lawsuit earlier challenging the censorship board’s ruling. She won, and the ban was temporarily lifted for seven days. This way, it could be eligible to be submitted for the Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Academy Awards. As a result, Kenyans went to the cinema’s “en masse” to watch it.

Can you imagine the impact Rafiki can have on Kenyan queer women watching this movie? The hope and sense of community it can bring? And it does not even end badly, which I had to experience often growing up. I am so very happy for Kenyan queer women to be able to watch a high-quality lesbian movie with a happy ending.

The second thing I liked about Rafiki: getting a glimpse of Kenya

Not all is bad about Kenya. As a queer woman, I find it easy to be against everything Kenyan when I know about the situation there for my community. Consequently, I was hesitant to find Kenya’s beauty in this movie. However, the colors, the people, the language, the accent when they speak English, the games played in public, its nature; there was just so much to enjoy for me in my first introduction to Kenya. I always love seeing different cultures and countries, so this movie being set in Kenya definitely adds something for me.

The third thing I liked about Rafiki: the chemistry between Kena and Ziki

The chemistry between Kena and Ziki is certainly there. It is well played. Being in such a restrictive environment, you find ways to find a connection with a person. It starts with looks and with small talk. I was actually surprised that they went on a date quickly. It was at night, in the dark, but it still took me by surprise that they found that opportunity.

I also think that because it is illegal, a lot of people are not used to seeing our community. Therefore, they might not recognize things. I think that if you put Kena in the western world, many gaydars will go off. Here, she constantly gets hit on by men. When she puts on a dress, she is described as a proper lady. People do not seem to see it.

When the two town gossips start staring at them, I think it is more because they are the daughters of two political enemies rather than because it might be a starting romance.

Where can you watch it?

January 23-February 3, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) takes place again and there, Rafiki will be screened.  Also, you can follow them on social media to find out when and where their movie will be screened. These are their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

According to a Facebook post, “Rafiki screened at over 100 film festivals and won 14 awards since May 2018, and this year is starting strong! In January you can catch the film in the US, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands.” Therefore, there is a good chance you will be able to see the movie at a festival near you.

Want more tips on what to watch? How about The DateDifferent for Girls or Anne+? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear my suggestions the moment they are uploaded!

The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss

The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss

I watched a new lesbian short film called The Date and I can’t wait to share with you how awesome it is and how soon you should watch it. It is the happy modern love story we have been waiting for. I have seen many short films this past year but none of them made me feel as happy as this one did.

‘The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss’ I watched a new lesbian short film called The Date and I can’t wait to share with you how awesome it is and how soon you should watch it. It is the happy modern love story we have been waiting for. I have seen many short films this past year but none of them made me feel as happy as this one did: http://bit.ly/TheDateLesFilm

Biased

Okay, I am coming out right from the start: I am biased. Writer and director Emma contacted me online to talk about the movie. We had some fun conversations and were able to meet at ClexaCon London. I now call her my friend and naturally, you want your friends to succeed. So, there you go, that is my bias.

However, do you know how sometimes friends ask you to share something and you’re not really a fan but you share it anyway because that person is your friend? Well, that was completely not the case with this film, fortunately! I tweeted about the Indiegogo campaign quite a few times and was happy to see the movie got funded 113%.

The reason I wanted this crowdfunding campaign to succeed is that I was able to receive a sneak peek of some footage and I could immediately tell it was the good stuff. I knew this short was going to be of good quality if they just had the funds. Can you imagine how nervous I was when I was finally able to watch it?!

By the way, it is not just Emma’s work. Hansof Waller was a great help writing the script.

The Date’s promise to you

“The Date is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century.

Lizzy and Olivia might be total opposites when it comes to careers and dress sense BUT they do have one thing in common… They both swiped ‘right’ on each other. After swiping right, the two hit it off almost immediately but there’s still one thing left to do: meet.

In this day and age, where meeting new people happens mostly online, we wanted to write a story about the good relationships that come from online dating.

Our aim is to also have real interviews at the end, with couples who have met on dating apps and are the happiest they’ve ever been.”

The first thing I liked about The Date: the dialogues

The dialogues in this short film are sooooo good. You know how some short films try to be as artistic as possible and make the characters say these really special lines to showcase how intellectual the creators are? That is not the case in The Date.

The Date shows the date you can have. The characters make the jokes you would make. And they have the exact same insecurities as you and me. Is this next date going to be as bad as the previous one? Will she be who she says she is? Will she be a serial killer? Am I going to be stood up?

Nope. This is a happy movie. You know, the one we do not always get.

The second thing I liked about The Date: the chemistry

What can I say about their chemistry? You will feel it. Big time. And you will want them to end up together.

The third thing I liked about The Date: the happy feelings

The Date reminds me of when my wife and I just started dating. We often went clubbing and loved dancing together. So, seeing their first date start with dinner and end with dancing brought back so many good memories.

My wife and I actually watched this movie together. I sometimes looked at her to see what she thought of the movie and she had happiness written all over her face. She even grabbed my hand at one point. That is how this movie will make you feel.

By the way, her review of The Date: “Is this it?! I hate short films. I want to see the rest of the story!” 😉 I think that if you have accomplished that as a short film, you did something right. Over the past year, I have seen some shorts that I wished had been shorter, so…

The fourth thing I liked about The Date: the editing

The editing tells you there is a highly skilled team behind this movie. I do not want to give anything away but the keyword here is delayed gratification. You will get it when you watch it.

The fifth thing I liked about The Date: the credits

So, the credits actually play an important part in this movie. The movie is 9.5 minutes long and the credits are six minutes long.

You will want to stick around for those six minutes because, in these credits, you will watch videos of real couples who met online. They tell you how they met and how happy they are.

How brilliant is it to have actual people from our community participate in the project?! I greatly appreciated it and I loved seeing some familiar faces and names. It really takes a village to make such a project happen!

Where can you watch The Date?

Because the movie had a successful Indiegogo campaign, that page will continue to be open. That means you can still buy the perks that will grant you access to the movie before release. This way, you can support their project AND you will have the movie ASAP. Sounds like a good plan to me!

In addition, their plan is to make a festival run before releasing the movie to the public. That means that if you want to see this movie ASAP, you will have to visit a film festival near you that will show this movie. Consequently, it would be wise to follow the movie on social media to see when and where this will happen. This is their Twitter account and their Instagram page.

Want more tips on what to watch? How about Different for Girls or Anne+? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear my tips the moment they are uploaded!

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

In November, Sheetal Sheth (actor), Shamim Sarif (director), and Hanan Kattan (producer) visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. Not the entire fifteen-minute interview is written down below, so if you want to know more, please watch the video below this image.

‘I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London’ In November, Sheetal Sheth, Shamim Sarif, and Hanan Kattan visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. You can find the interview here: http://bit.ly/CantThinkStraight

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would you change about I Can’t Think Straight if anything?

Shamim: The changes would be subtle: the shot making, the editing, some of the direction. I think that is just part of evolving as an artist. I think you would feel that for a song you have written ten years ago or a novel. So, what I tried to do at the end of that screening [ClexaCon held an anniversary screening of the movie on Friday] was think: “Wow, look at the impact it is having. People get the core of it.” So, I should not be pernickety whether a steady cam would have been nice here or there. But I think it is just having more tools […], that would be fun to experiment with.

Hanan: And very expensive [laughs].

Shamim: And very expensive. And often I think time is a pressure for movies. With a bit more time, actors would be able to explore their characters more, there would be more ideas, and we would have been able to shoot scenes that were supposed to be in the film but never made it. That would be great. I think it is time that would be more of a luxury.

More time and money

Sheetal: I think it is the same. For more time, you need more money, so that is usually why you do not have a lot of time. For an actor, it is really about having the space to do your work and generally, in smaller movies, you do not have that much, you know. You have to deliver the moment you get there because of time. I am very proud of the film but of course, if we had more time, we could have maybe expounded something else or explored something else or maybe done a cool shot from a different angle. You know, you can spend a day on a scene, which a lot of movies are afforded to do and you can really find so much in that.

On the other hand, there is also something really organic and spontaneous that happens in an environment of small films. I have done so many independent films. If you have the right people involved and the right kind of hearts involved, and everybody knows what to expect when they go there and do not get caught up on the fact that you do not have that stuff, you can really create in a different space, which is also very exciting.

Pre-sale distribution

Hanan: For me, besides the money factor and time, is to have some pre-sale distribution in place, because it guarantees a wider release. For that to happen, people need to know they can invest the money and know that there is a bigger release. But if you are a first-time or second-time movie, that is not that easy.

As queer women, what are your feelings on the importance of having queer actors portraying queer characters?

Shamim: It is actually something that has come up more recently for me as we cast our next film Polarized. It gives queer women more opportunity. I think there are two things. Here has been such a taboo in Hollywood for women to come out because it feels it is killing their career as a heterosexual portrayal. So, I think it is nice to share the other side of that. That you can have queer women play queer characters.

At the same time, I do not think it should be a limitation. In the same way that I do not think queer women should not play heterosexual characters. On a practical level, sales and distribution, sometimes people want a name. If the only name you can think of is Kristen Stewart and she is busy that moment, there are probably not enough queer actors with enough profile to pre-finance a movie. That is another consideration that people do not want to talk about but it is a reality of making film.

Hanan: Whoever suits the role the most. I think it is limiting. It is really the person, do they fit, the chemistry there, can they do it and do it with justice? For me, it is irrelevant as long as they portray the character well.

Tricky

Sheetal [not queer]: I think it is a very tricky thing. First of all, I think the labeling of an actress in any way is the problem. You are not a queer actress: you are an actress who in your personal life is gay. To me, your sexuality should be irrelevant in the sense that you are in your workspace.

But I totally understand the idea that if that somehow has become something you are labeled with, and you are not able to get jobs as a heterosexual person in a movie… This whole conversation is like… But this is the world we live in, right? If it is a problem, then, of course, you should be able to have the roles that are written for someone who is gay.

But to me, as an actress, I am not interested in playing myself. It is about stretching. There is no point in being an actress if you are only going to do the same thing over and over again. But I do think, as a producer and a content creator, you should just be open to hiring people of all backgrounds, making sure there is a seat at the table for everybody, whatever that may mean. But I do not think that can be the only factor; I think it is a more holistic way of making movies.

What does it mean to you personally and to your career to be at an event like ClexaCon London?

Sheetal: It is so exciting. I still cannot believe I Can’t Think Straight has been ten years. Obviously, The World Unseen as well. I could never have imagined the impact that these movies have had on so many. You hope for that. You know, you hope that when you make art, that impacts somebody at some point other than yourself. I think to be invited and welcomed in this way is really sweet and lovely.

The things that I am hearing from meeting everybody and also being able to meet fans that have been messaging and tweeting me and then finally being able to put a face to a name has been really exciting. And then also hearing what it is. What is the story? Hearing in person what the story is and what it has done and why.

Happy ending I Can’t Think Straight

Sheetal: What I keep hearing about I Can’t Think Straight is the happy ending, which I did not realize, is so rare in stories having to do with two women. I am like: “Is that true?” And they are like: “Yeah, actually, either someone dies or there are drugs or there is something.” How is that supposed to give anybody hope? I just do not even understand. Honestly, it blew my mind when I kept hearing over and over ‘thank you for this.’ I did not even write the movie. I learn. I am learning a ton. The fact that that seems to be the reality for this type of content is troubling. It is shocking.

She asks Shamim if she knew this. Shamim: I did not actually, but I am terrible…

After I Can’t Think Straight

Hanan: No, it is after I Can’t Think Straight. It is based on us really [points to Shamim, her wife], some fiction. So, it is amazing how it has affected women. Many women have come out as a result of this film in particular.

Sheetal: The coming-out scene. Word for word, people will quote me. They say: “This is what I said too.” I am like: “Oh my Gosh, you did?”

Hanan: Yes. A lot of women have felt more comfortable in their skin. Maybe some have not come out still but they feel better about themselves. That it is okay to have such feelings or to go through this and to come out. So, coming to events like this is very important to continue with spreading the message and reaching more people.

Sheetal: And giving it the space and the pedigree that it deserves. You do not want to be in the corner. You absolutely have… Everybody has the right to have their own voice and space heard. And so, for ClexaCon to do that, that is really great for them.

More I Can’t Think Straight

As mentioned, this is not the full interview. You can hear more in my video. Do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and share my videos. That really helps with future trips to LGBT+ cons and with me bringing the cons home to people who cannot go to them themselves, for various reasons. It only takes a few seconds to help our beautiful community!

Have not watched I Can’t Think Straight yet? You can find the movie on Amazon or in iTunes.

Want to read about other cons that I have visited? This is where my ClexaCon Vegas adventure started and this is where my Love Fan Fest adventure in Barcelona started. Enjoy!

With a Kiss I Die [Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review]

With a Kiss I Die [Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review]

In this Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Review, I discuss With a Kiss I Die, which was released a few hours ago. It tells the story of Juliet Capulet (of Shakespearean fame), who is plucked from death and turned into a vampire. She is forced to live all eternity without her sweet Romeo. Now, 800 years later, Juliet meets a young woman, who captures her heart again. But Juliet’s new family, headed by a blood-thirsty patriarch, disapproves of the pairing. Juliet must once again choose between love and family obligations, terrified that repeating her past mistakes will lead to even more tragedy.

The combination of Shakespeare and vampires had me intrigued but also scared: would it be any good? I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the preview. Below, I will list three things that I like about With a Kiss I Die and at the end of the blog post, you will read what the perfect mood is for watching this movie.  If you prefer video, you can watch my three-minute review below this image.

‘With a Kiss I Die’ In this Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movies Review, I discuss With a Kiss I Die, which was released a few hours ago. The combination of Shakespeare and vampires had me intrigued but also scared: would it be any good? I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the preview. Here, I list three things that I like about With a Kiss I Die and describe the perfect mood for watching this movie: http://bit.ly/WithaKissIDie

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: not intended to be an LGBTQ movie

With a Kiss I Die was never intended to be a lesbian or LGBTQ movie. As I was informed, director Ronnie Khalil was looking to give the best parts to the best actors, not just actors that fit the mold. He made the decision to cast a woman as Juliet’s love interest as well as the decision to cast a black woman as Juliet, who historically is an Italian character.

“It was originally just a boy/girl love story but when we were casting, we liked a lot of the girls auditioning and my casting director suggested pairing them up,” says Khalil. “I was open to the idea and when we had them read together, it really made the script pop.”

Khalil and his writing team then decided not to rewrite the script because characters changed gender. That means you will find no lesbian clichés in this movie. It is not a coming-out story or any other story we have seen over and over again. The two main characters being two women in love never is a topic of discussion. It just is. I find that very refreshing.

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: almost like watching a play

With a Kiss I Die feels like watching a play. It is very theatrical in a way. I think it is in the way the colors change subtly. It is definitely in the slower pace. It is also in the way the actors have specific spots on the screen, especially during the meeting with the patriarch at the end. Without a doubt, this movie is very different from other vampire movies you may have seen.

What I liked about With a Kiss I Die: the international look and feel

With a Kiss I Die gives you a unique international look and feel. The movie was shot at two different Greek islands, which allows for beautiful colors and scenery.

In addition, the two main characters have a British and an American accent and the main supporting characters have a Greek accent when they speak English. You can tell they are all very talented. I particularly liked the actor who played the cousin. He was so animalistic, which for me was expressed mostly in the way he used his mouth. All in all, the cast was a pleasure to watch.

What is the perfect mood for watching With a Kiss I Die?

This movie is perfect if you want a bit of a slower night. It is also perfect if you want to watch a Shakespeare-themed movie without watching the classic adaptions over and over again. Finally, the movie is perfect if you simply want to watch two beautiful women being in love without the being women part posing the main problem of the movie.

Where can I watch it?

On the movie’s website, you can find all the ways you can watch the movie. I will share some of them with you here. You can order the DVD. For instance, Barnes and Noble has it and so does BestBuy.com. The movie is also widely available with Video on Demand. Examples include Amazon, iTunes, and Verizon. The only social media account that I found was on Facebook so you can follow the movie there. I hope you enjoy the movie!

You may also like my other Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movies Reviews: Nobody Famous, Love, Simon, and Becks.

I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – Part 6

I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 6 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 3)

This is part six of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. Let me tell you, it was so worth the jetlag! You can find part one, part two, part three, part four and part five here. In this blog, I will tell you all about ClexaCon 2018 Day 3. This Sunday, I visited three panels: YouTube 2.0, Doccubus and Valkubus, and Shethority. And now I know that something called post-con blues exists. The horror!

If you need more info about what ClexaCon is, you should first read my blog post ClexaCon 2018 in Las Vegas: The Media and Entertainment Convention for LGBTQ Women and Allies.

‘I Had My Mind Blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 6 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 3)’ This is part six of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. In this blog, I will tell you all about ClexaCon 2018 Day 3. This Sunday, I visited three panels: YouTube 2.0, Doccubus and Valkubus, and Shethority. And now I know that something called post-con blues exists. The horror! http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20186

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3: breakfast

I missed the first panel today. Yup, that was a direct result of the Ascension Party. My body and head just worked at a slower pace this morning. So, I decided to go for an extensive breakfast. Given the time, one might as well call it brunch 😉  After that, I was ready for the final ClexaCon day!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – first panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

You know, I have never watched reaction videos. It just did not occur to me to watch other people watch my favorite shows. I would much rather spend that time watching the shows myself. When I saw this panel mentioned on the website prior to my visit, I was intrigued. I guess I never knew it was such a big thing.

It helped that I saw a Dutch name in the list of panelists. Elke van der Iest was going to be present. My Dutch pride took over: if ClexaCon has a panelist all the way from the Netherlands, I should be there to watch it, right?

The popularity of reaction videos does make sense to me now. Yes, you watch other people watching your favorite show while you could be watching the show yourself (or do you watch simultaneously?). Still, these YouTubers comment. In addition, people in YouTube’s comment section comment. And that is where this whole discussion about current LGBTQ issues takes place.

How interesting is that? If you are looking for like-minded people, these YouTube channels and their subscribers are a great hub. This realization might sound very idiotic to some of you but hey, I seriously had no idea!

Elke van der Iest

After the panel, I wanted to ask Elke if she had a moment to talk to me. Therefore, I walked up to her and asked her this in Dutch. Woopsy, I scared her because she was only expecting English. Sorry about that, Elke! Luckily, she agreed to talk to me for a bit.

During the panel, I learned that she was a film student. How cool is it to have a substantial YouTube channel (over 20,000 subscribers) about films and TV shows while majoring in film? I asked her how she ended up at ClexaCon and what she thought of the event. You can find it in the vlog!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – second panel: Happy Wife, Happy Life

As you can read in my previous blog, I promised the Tello team of Happy Wife, Happy Life on the red carpet to come watch the taping of their show on Sunday. It was the same time as the Doccubus and Valkubus panel, so I had to make it a short visit. It was actually pretty cool because I could watch the entire preparation before the taping. As you may have heard in my vlogs, I love watching all the things a production requires backstage. I decided to film that and stop when the actual taping started. You can find the preparations in the vlog!

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – third panel: Doccubus and Valkubus

I was right on time for the Doccubus and Valkubus panel. I was curious to see what they would talk about since they had already been on stage with Emily Andras and the others on Friday. WayHaught had also been on a larger panel earlier but that relationship is still on a current show, so it seemed much easier to talk about.

Unfortunately, the moderator asked the same type of questions as the ones that the actresses had been asked in the previous panel. I had expected them to zoom in on those two relationships but it was more the general stuff about shooting Lost Girl and the characters’ sexual orientation.

Do not get me wrong, I can watch Anna Silk, Zoie Palmer, and Rachel Skarsten any day but this separate panel did not add anything. Okay, it added laughter to the day. They sure have humor!

Want to watch Lost Girl? Try Amazon! Want to own the DVD/Blu-Ray? Try Amazon, eBay, Booksamillion, Zoom, Bestbuy, Zavvi, HMV or Bol.com.

 

 ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 – fourth panel: Shethority

Afterward, I went to the panel on Shethority not knowing what Shethority is. Shethority is a website founded by Chyler Leigh, Caity Lotz, and Maisie Richardson-Sellers to empower women through shared stories, support, and inspirational guidance. The website is not live yet but they were actively inviting everybody in the audience to share their stories there once it is live and create a sense of community.

End of ClexaCon

That was the final panel of ClexaCon for me. I walked around the vendor hall one more time to soak in the last ClexaCon vibes. I was feeling sad that it was over. My new-found friends Immy and Denise (more info in previous blogs) and I recorded some more videos. We recorded two together and in the ClexaCon recording booth, Immy used my mic to get her video done. She helped me get some photos on The Throne and I took her bag of fan pics up to my room for safekeeping. See, we really were a team 😊

Las Vegas sightseeing

We decided to walk the Strip together to do some sightseeing and get some food. It turned out we walked way more than we had initially intended. Even though we are not the biggest fans of Las Vegas (if you have been there once, you pretty much get the gist of it), we just kept going. I knew a nice spot that was a bit un-Vegassy (it is a word now), so I wanted to show them. They did not really trust me as we were all getting hangry and tired but man, once we were there, they loved it. Where? The botanical gardens in the Bellagio. You can see it in my vlog!

I finally said out loud that I was feeling very sad. I just had to share it. Immy said something about post-con blues and it was like a light switched on in my head. That makes sense! That is exactly what it was! Post-con blues. Wow. I never knew something like that existed but yes, it is real!

Finally, we ended up at a taco restaurant where we had a great meal. As Immy and Denise had tickets for the Blue Man Group, we had to rush back. They barely made it but still. I left Immy’s photos at the front desk and went to bed.

Final Last Vegas moments

On Monday, I walked around the Strip once more. Seeing actual daylight and feeling the sun on my skin was a new sensation as I had hardly been outside all weekend. My eyes caught a big sign saying that a patio was meant for brunch, which seemed too funny after the ClexaCon brunch joke. My Instagram followers agreed.

 

At 5 pm, my flight left and I had to switch planes in Salt Lake City. I tried to see that big temple but unfortunately, it was nowhere to be seen. Maybe on the other side of the plane? My flight home was good and arriving home felt great. I unpacked all my stuff immediately and went to the daycare center to pick up my son. He was really happy to see me but he was also a little mad that I had been gone for six days. I persuaded him with a gift though, so all was forgotten soon.

When we came back home, my wife was there. Home Sweet Home! Nope, I hardly suffered from a jetlag that week. Apparently, my body never adjusted to Las Vegas time, ghehe.

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5

I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5 (ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont.)

This is part five of my ClexaCon 2018 adventure. April 4-10, I went on a trip to Las Vegas for ClexaCon, all the way from The Netherlands. Let me tell you, it was so worth the jetlag! You can find part one, part two, part three, and part four here. In this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog, I will tell you all about the Shoot and Hollstein reunions. Sarah and Amy came to the press room after their panel. I was also present at the red carpet event before the Cocktails for Change party. That means there will be much backstage footage this week! ClexaCon Saturday gave me such an adrenaline boost that despite the jetlag, the Ascension Party was no problem at all.

PS If you need more info about what ClexaCon is, you should read my blog post ClexaCon 2018 in Las Vegas: The Media and Entertainment Convention for LGBTQ Women and Allies.

‘I had my mind blown at ClexaCon 2018 – Part 5’ This ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog is about the Hollstein and Shoot reunions, about the red carpet, and about the Ascension party. There is also much backstage footage this week. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/ClexaCon20185

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – fifth panel: Shoot reunion

Ok, I am going to come clean in this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog and say that I have never watched Person of Interest. What?! I know, I know…

So, yes, this was not the panel I absolutely had to attend because I love the show so much. However, this was my chance to finally see Sarah Shahi because, helloooo, Carmen…. I cannot tell you much about the POI stuff; all I can tell you is that that the view from the front was very, very nice.

 

Sarah and Amy’s press room visit

Amy and Sarah came to the press room after the panel. They shared a few laughs when posing for the photos and after that, they both sat down at a table to answer some questions. They stayed for quite a while actually, which was really nice of them. Naturally, the first question was about the L Word reboot.

I also asked a question, the same I asked Dot-Marie Jones: if they were able to pick any award they could win, what would it be and why? Sarah jokingly named a few awards from countries abroad so that she could travel to beautiful places but when I asked her about awards for personal causes, she said that children and the LGBTQ community had a special place in her heart. Watch the interview material in my vlog (and subscribe to my YouTube channel)!

Want to watch Person of Interest? You can find it on iTunes or buy the DVDs and Blu-ray at Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Walmart, Zavvi or Bol.com.

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – sixth panel: Hollstein

I am going to be honest again and confess that the Hollstein panel was my biggest reason for coming to ClexaCon. I started following this web series right before the second season dropped and so I was lucky enough to be able to binge watch the whole first season. As I had not told my wife about it, she was not really aware of this show.

Then the second season came and subsequently, the third season came. And then there was talk about this movie. And then there was a crowdfunding campaign. Oh, and then I backed the campaign. And then the release date of the movie was getting closer and I got really excited.

That is when I told my wife about Carmilla and how happy I was to see this movie soon. I watched it by myself (my wife had to work a lot around at that time, so she could not watch it with me). I told my wife how awesome it was. Naturally, she wanted to see the movie too but when we watched the movie together, she told me she did not get it and wanted to watch the series as well. NO problem at all, ha ha! So, we binge watched the three seasons and the movie. I love her…

On stage

I thought it was so cool to see them on that stage! This panel was my little fangirl moment. My big fangirl moment came a few hours later when I was able to talk to them on the red carpet, although I did my best to hide my excitement. Go watch the red carpet vlog and let me know how good or bad I was at hiding the fangirl in me!

 

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. – red carpet

I had to leave the Hollstein panel early as I wanted to secure a good spot at the red carpet event. It was my mission to record an awesome YouTube trailer at ClexaCon and this event was my best shot at getting amazing content. Want to see the result? Here it is.

Yup, leaving early meant that I completely missed the announcement that Natasha and Elise are coming to ClexaCon London

As I was told that we were only allowed to talk to guests about thirty to sixty seconds, I figured I asked the guests to pronounce my name first and then see whether there was still some time to talk about anything else. I ended up being able to ask Natasha Negovanlis how Clairevoyant is going, Nicole Pacent about her two panels in the morning, Rachael Hip-Flores when she is going to record another video with Nicole, and Tamara Duarte how (un)comfortable it is to shoot a show while being pregnant. Oh, and the Happy Wife, Happy Life cast and Christin Baker pretty much interviewed me 😉

 

Press collaborations

On my left was Immy and on my right was Jessica (see previous blogs for explanations) and since the place was crammed, we had to work together to get our interviews. I think we had a nice system going.

I had my back to Immy, so I had the right camera angle and she had room to interview people. Jessica would stand straight when interviewing guests and when I was interviewing people, she would move her shoulder away so that she would not be in my shot. It was quite funny.

This way, we gave each other room but we also ended up in each other’s interviews as guests just started talking to the two of us (me with Immy or me with Jessica), depending on where they were standing. It made our interviews more fun and it helped us greatly if one of us was not so very familiar with the guest standing in front of us 😉

 

Are you kidding me?

This event was THE thing that made me most nervous before ClexaCon so I was really happy with how it all went down and how chill some of the conversations were. One moment I particularly cherish is when Holly, co-founder of ClexaCon, was told to move forward on the red carpet but decided to walk back to me, touched my arm, and thanked me for being there, coming all the way from The Netherlands. Are you kidding me? Thank YOU for ClexaCon and having me!!

 

ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 – Ascension party

Because of my jetlag, I had only slept for five hours. So, that morning, I expected I was not going to be very energetic at the Ascension party. Who wants to miss a party like that though? Luckily, I was so pumped from the red carpet that I had an abundance of energy!

Also, a Dutch/American couple had contacted me on Instagram because they had seen me walking around in my Meemoeder.com T-shirt. They were going to the party and I wanted to meet them. That means missing the party was not an option. I loved talking to them. Apparently, I take terrible selfies (note to self: try not to take selfies when a real photographer is present).

What a great party! At 1 AM, though, I had been awake for twenty hours so it seemed best to go to bed. I mean, I had to put my face in front of the camera the next day. I wanted to look reasonably okay…

ClexaCon 2018 Day 3 (Sunday)

That means the end of this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog. Next week, you will read all about the final day of ClexaCon. That means you can read about the following panels: YouTube 2.0 – reaction videos, Doccubus & Valkubus, and Shethority. Also, you can see me being a tourist in Las Vegas. If you sign up for my newsletter, you can be sure you will be the first one to read it. You can find the sign-up form on the top right of this page or in the footer. Again, do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! Thanks for reading this ClexaCon 2018 Day 2 Cont. blog!

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