T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on June 14, 2019


Kittens, here are all the posts, articles and essays that caught our eyes, piqued our interests or tickled our fancies this week.


Moving to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), he made friends with future icons such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna, and Kenny Sharf, and found a new home amongst the thriving art and heaving club scenes. He was revered for his desire to make art accessible for all, whether through his now-famous Subway Drawings on New York’s train carriages, the protest posters he made and handed out at Aids rallies and anti-nuclear demonstrations, painting the body of Grace Jones for her electric performances, or his many public murals and artworks. Remembered as an extremely generous person, his want to give back to those less fortunate has continued after his death through the work of the Keith Haring Foundation, set up in 1989 to protect his legacy but also to provide imagery and funding to Aids and children’s charities worldwide.

The story of Keith Haring as told through his iconic artwork by Ashleigh Kane at Dazed



The debate over cultural appropriation and fashion intensifies.

Homage or Theft? Carolina Herrera Called Out by Mexican Minister By Vanessa Friedman at The New York Times



“Well, it’s such an interesting point, because beyond the specific policy and the specific number of people that were fired, the actions of the government sent off this wave of homophobia through the entire country. You know in addition to government employees, private companies that held contracts with the government fired their gay workers, the US commanded of all our NATO allies that they conduct purges in their countries, and the Eisenhower administration threatened to cut off all funding to the United Nations if the UN didn’t fire its gay employees. Even beyond that, the official policy of the US government was that gay people are criminals and disloyal and immoral, and that just fermented in people’s minds that image of gay people and so this policy had much more impact than just individuals losing their jobs. It created this whole anti-gay atmosphere in this country.”

Exclusive Interview: “The Lavender Scare” director Josh Howard by James Kleinmann at The Queer Review


VH1 may have nudged drag into pop culture, but an impresario in Los Angeles has been staging his own “weird brand” for 25 years.

Long Before ‘Drag Race,’ There Was Mr. Dan By Frank DeCaro at The New York Times



Summer reading—so much expectation and anxiety and judgment is compressed within those two words! June hardly has a chance to throw on a bikini and step onto the deck before morning shows, magazines, and Web sites descend with their “Beach Reads” and “Summer Reading Lists” and “Summer Fiction Top Tens.” .

The Invention of the “Beach Read” By Katy Waldman at The New Yorker



Miles, who died on Wednesday at the age of 94, slowed her social adventuring in recent years, and her name was no longer as current as it had been as a shorthand for social stamina. (From a New York article on the durable nightlifing of the intellectual beau monde, 1981: “How are they able to flit around like Sylvia Miles and still get up to think?”) Legend has it that the dig that one would “attend the opening of an envelope” — attributed to the comedian Wayland Flowers, or possibly to his puppet, Madame — was coined for her and Andy Warhol. Warhol, in his diary, recorded his own version of the joke: That he’d run into her and said they had to go to a gallery show called “Opening of a Loo,” so they could “both finally say we’ve been to the opening of a toilet.”

The Death of the No. 1 Partygoer in New York by Matthew Schneier at The Cut



With the aid of fall’s most directional collections, photographer Cole Sprouse calls attention to Iceland’s receding glaciers.

Cole Sprouse Shoots Fashion At the Ends of the Earth By Bonnie Tsui at ELLE



Billy Eichner, MJ Rodriguez and more share the early moments of representation that struck a nerve and helped form their developing identities.

Billy Porter and 6 More LGBTQ Stars Share First Memories of Onscreen Queerness By Chris Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter



Ten years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible to make this list of the country’s most powerful drag queens. There were drag queens scraping out a tinseled living all over the country, playing dance clubs and gay-pride events. RuPaul Andre Charles, the self-styled “Supermodel of the World” (as his 1993 debut album named him), had all but created the mainstream-famous drag queen for the modern era, but he was about it. Then came RuPaul’s Drag Race, the reality competition, which yanked drag from the periphery and not only returned RuPaul to stardom but gave contoured, breast-plated birth to some 140 new little novas.

America Has a New National Pastime by Matthew Schneier at The Cut



“The significance of Stonewall is that it marked a turn in the way we queers thought of ourselves and our oppressors. (Similar uprisings had happened before this, but Stonewall was the biggie, the one that hit like a lightning bolt.) We weren’t going to take shit anymore, and as a result, the community mobilized, the parade started, and we kept marching more and more into visibility and pride. We may not throw beer bottles or bricks anymore, but we kick ass with our words and actions.”

Michael Musto on Stonewall 50 by Tim Teeman at The Daily Beast


Together, Rodriguez and Moore portray the very particular dynamic of a mother (Blanca) and daughter (Angel), in all its love and difficulty. Blanca is firm with Angel, obsessed with her potential, and generous with her affection. Angel is restless and hesitant, but quickly blooms under Blanca’s care and encouragement to seize opportunities as best she can. They have plenty to teach each other, though as Season 2 emphasizes, the fact that Angel can pass and Blanca often doesn’t means that they can never completely understand each other’s experiences. But since they’re family — and the kind of family that chooses to bond together for life rather than leave things up to genetic chance — they try to bridge that gap as best as they can, anyway.

In Praise of Indya Moore and MJ Rodriguez, the Beating Hearts of ‘Pose’ by Caroline Framke at Variety



[Photo Credit: Joseph Szkodzinski]

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