Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars!

Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars!

The Most Mind Blowing Documentary Ever…

Okay, so I’m only fourteen years late to the game, but I just watched the most mind-blowing documentary ever and had to share it with those of us who also haven’t seen it! I’m not really the biggest fan of documentaries unless it comes to LGBTQ staples such as Gay Sex in the 70s, Mapplethorpe, or Paris is Burning. But, any time I do come across a gay-themed documentary I tend to become glued to my screen. I have yet to see such a fascinating story as the tragic death of Venus Xtravaganza in Paris is Burning, but this next documentary focusing on convicted felon, David Mendenhall JR, is giving Xtravaganza some stiff competition.

Mendenhall, who was allegedly arrested for murdering his daughter, was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He is the primary focus in the documentary, Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars, released in 2004. The film estimates 20% of men serving in US prisons have been raped and looks into the prisons which allow this type of violent, sexual behavior. It's in the title: They get turned out...yikes. Mendenhall, with a prison nickname of “Mindy”, and many others discuss how sex is used as currency and random spurts of actual love, even though rape and sex with multiple others are involved. Mendenhall details being discovered immediately by someone who would become his Master, you could say. This person would essentially sell Mendenhall for whatever was necessary to survive, while maintaining a sexually abusive, but oddly loving relationship with him.

The documentary continues to detail how prison relationships work. It appears to be all about power and a terrifying, continuous game of who is on the top and bottom of any totem pole. It even includes footage of a prison guard being caught about to attempt rape, after he had in the past, and to much dismay: The guard only gets fired and serves no time. The horrific stories of these men detailing their sexual assault is enough to chew all of your nails off within the hour. They absolutely are criminals, but they are still people too. There’s so much emotion with this, you’ll be hooked within moments. It's even narrated by Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn)!

According to Lipstick Alley, Mendenhall was released from prison in March 2017. I wonder if he’s ever seen his own documentary? Seriously, this should be shown to those kids on that show Scared Straight, because a documentary like this would definitely make you second guess participating in any crime…outside of you know, having a conscience!

If you haven’t seen Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars, you can watch it on YouTube below:

Documentary "Waiting For Color" Presents Chechen Gay Purge Testimonies Through Dance

A Columbia University student is trying to represent the horrors and trials that gay men in Chechnya went through with a dance documentary.

Kosta Karakashyan is a senior studying the therapeutic uses of dance. On top of that, he is engaging in the art of dance through choreographing for the Columbia Ballet Collaborative and two upcoming music videos.

But it’s a dance documentary called "Waiting For Color" that has gotten our attention.

Last month, Karakashyan released the below video of himself using his body and dance to interpret 33 individual testimonials from survivors of the Chechen Gay Purge.

News of the Gay Purge happening in Chechnya spread last year, and horror stories of the abuse, torture, sexual assault, and murder of gay men haunted news sites.

Hearing of these tragedies and testimonies, Karakashyan decided to start working on his own video to express those true horrors.

“We started making the soundscape with my composer, Jude Icarus, and it slowly started coming together,” Karakashyan told LGBTQ source Them. “I would read the material and try to come up with how it would live in my body. I worked a lot with tension, where we hold tension in the body, to make those contorted positions that are based on the sound and emotional impact of the stories.”

Warning, the stories are graphic and the dance is sobering, but the message and tales are deeply true. Everyone should watch the video below. For the men who have been persecuted and punished for merely existing, that is the first thing we can do.

In addition, the next step that we can all take is to support organizations like the Russian LGBT Network, which has supported and rescued many victims of the Chechen Gay Purge.

h/t: Them.

Four Iconic Actresses Spill The Tea In 'Tea With The Dames'

Truly, no one throws the friendly shade like a Dame.

And by 'Dame,' I mean those delicious British divas, Dames Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Eileen Atkins, who are featured in the upcoming documentary, Tea with the Dames.

Set in a British country house, the four actresses spend a day together allowing cameras to capture friendships dating back more than half a century. The four icons chat on their careers and spill the 'tea' a bit.

The film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the one-minute teaser below, Judi Dench shares her belief that “We’re going to work forever, if we’re asked.”

Without a pause, Maggie Smith, who knows how to drop a good line, replies, “But, you’re always asked first, if I may say so.”

“I’m turning on you, it’s all coming out now,” Smith says with a hint of smirk.

Plowright, after adjusting her hearing aid, chimes in saying her American agent has told her in the past that they are always on the lookout for “a nice cameo that Judi Dench hasn’t got her paws on.”




EW also reports that the grand 'Dames' didn't go easy on the film crew either.

The session gets off to a shady start right from the get-go as the women pose for a photo while cutting the crew down to size.

“That’s an awful angle. It’s not fair to old ladies,” Atkins quips as Smith cackles before asking an off-camera photographer, “Is it your first day?”

When asked about working with their husbands, Plowright admits, "Obviously mine was the most difficult."

Smith, again with the dry retort, "Well, we all found him tricky."

For those who miss Smith’s drop-dead delivery, you’ll be happy to know the upcoming Downton Abbey movie has announced a release date of September 20, 2019.

Here's the full trailer for Tea with the Dames. Take a break and enjoy the shade with the ‘Dames.’

Tea with the Dames is in limited release on September 21.



(h/t OUT , EW )

"American Circumcision" Is The "Definitive" Documentary On The Topic

Some of us have a preference for an uncut c*ck, some of us like the look of a cut one, and there are those of us who don’t really have too much of a partiality.

Brendon Marotta’s new documentary American Circumcision is clear in its motives: it argues for the end of circumcision in the United States.

The talking-heads doc presents that, among other reasons, the surgery itself is traumatizing to young infants, who don’t get to choose whether or not to keep their foreskin, and that the procedure is painful. The doc suggests that this leads to lifelong and trust issues.

The filmmakers call themselves “Intactivists” (intact meaning they have a foreskin) who fight for a man’s right to choose the fate of his c*ck.

As a circumcised man, I for one have a hard time taking any of this seriously. I certainly don't remember the operation. And if someone tried to tell me I’m not intact because I don’t have a foreskin I’m not sure if I’d be offended or if I’d just dismiss them as insane or both. Right now I’m in kind of a “choose your battles” mindset.

In the trailer, American Circumcision bills itself as “the award-winning definitive documentary on the issue.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

“Circumcision is the most common surgery in America, yet America is the only industrialized country in the world to routinely practice non-religious infant circumcision. Why does America continue to cut the genitals of it's newborn baby males when the rest of the world does not? American Circumcision explores both sides of the circumcision debate, including the growing Intactivist movement (intact + activist), which believes all human beings have a right to keep the body they were born with intact. This is the first documentary of its scale to comprehensively explore this cutting edge issue, which involves sex, politics, and religion, all in the most personal way possible.”

American Circumcision is now available to stream. Visit, the website here, where you can also watch the trailer: circumcisionmovie.com

What are your thoughts on circumcision? Are you an Intactivist? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

h/t: The Advocate


New Documentary "Hot to Trot" Dives Into The Same-Sex Ballroom Dancing Scene

A new documentary is taking a look into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing, and we couldn’t be more excited for it.

According to Vice News, the documentary Hot to Trot is just on the horizon.

Hot to Trot follows several dancing pairs through a four-year period as they compete in the world of ballroom dancing.

While same-sex pairs are not allowed in the mainstream sport, there are several smaller competitions that give them a chance to shine. These competitions include the April Follies and the Gay Games. Both of which are depicted in this documentary.

“We say at the end of the original trailer that it’s a film about living your passion, breaking boundaries, and personal power and political muscle,” said Director Gail Freedman to Vice News. “I wanted it to be something where by the end of the film you really cared about these people and that their struggles were recognizable to any of us.”

The film is set to premiere in New York City tonight and then in Los Angeles on September 14th. Afterwards, it'll move to Lafayette, San Francisco, and Pleasantville, New York. For more information about their showings, you can click here.

And while Hot to Trot won’t be hitting streaming platforms just yet, you can get excited for the movie by watching two trailers below.

In addition, you can click here to read the full interview with the film’s director.

h/t: VICE News

Gay Documentary "When The Beat Drops" Spotlights The "Bucking" Scene Flourishing In The US South

Many people, gay or otherwise, are in love with the history and culture of the Ballroom scene after the season one finale of tv hit Pose. Now, it’s time for another black gay dance scene to get a turn in the spotlight.

Logo is premiering its latest documentary tonight titled When The Beat Drops. The documentary, directed by Jamal Sims, follows several black gay men as they perform in and explore the world of the “bucking” dance scene. This Southern-centered dance scene is much like the ballroom scene of old and new, but with its own competitions, groups, and personality.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, the dance style started to appear back in the ‘80s when Black female majorettes performed it at football games of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). While this dance spread throughout all of America, it found its home in the American South.

The dance then became popularized by Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” video and was eventually absorbed by black gay men who formed a community much like black trans people did with the ballroom scene.

Since premiering in indie circles, the film has won several awards such as the Documentary Centerpiece at this year’s Outfest and the Outstanding Documentary Jury Award at this year’s Frameline.

But now, the general populace will be able to enjoy the movie as well. To prepare, you can watch a special clip, courtesy of Out Magazine, and the trailer for the documentary down below.

In addition, the film will premiere tonight at 8/7c on the Logo channel. Afterwards, it will play on that channel throughout the month and appear on streaming sites starting August 10.





h/t: Out Magazine, The Bay Area Reporter

Tom Daley's Been Secretly Filming A Documentary About Surrogacy And Fatherhood

This past June, Olympic diver Tom Daley and tv producer Dustin Lance Black became first-time fathers to a lovely baby boy named Robbie Ray.

The two fathers were gifted with Robbie Ray through surrogacy and now Daley shares that he’ll be exploring the world and law of surrogacy through a tv film for the BBC.

According to The Sun, Daley will travel between the UK, the US, and undisclosed countries where surrogacy is illegal.

Not only will Daley document the surrogacy process, but he will compare the systems in both the UK and the US.

In addition, the film will show Daley and his husband discussing the challenges they faced while on the journey to meeting their son.

Back when they announced that they were going to have a baby through surrogacy, Daley and Black faced an onslaught of homophobic abuse online. Many religious-inclined homophobes rejected the idea of two men raising a baby and doing so through surrogacy. This may play a part in the discussion held in this documentary.

According to the Independent, Tom McDonald, the head of commissioning, natural history, and specialist factual at the BBC, spoke about the program:

“Surrogacy is one of the most complex issues in modern society and the laws which govern it are radically different across the world."

“As new fathers through surrogacy, Tom and Lance are both committed to exploring all of the nuances around this very emotive subject. I’m thrilled that Tom is going to be our guide in this deeply personal and intelligent film.”

So far, the untitled documentary is set to air sometime next year.

h/t: The Sun, The Independent

New Documentary "Gay Hollywood Dad" To Premiere On Amazon Video

We’ve just discovered an adorable and fun documentary that will air in the near future.

Margin Films has announced the upcoming release of the documentary Gay Hollywood Dad by and starring Quentin Lee.

According to Broadway World, the film follows Lee has he adapts to becoming a father of a newborn baby through surrogacy. “What have I gotten myself into!?” thinks Lee as he explores the first six weeks of being a single father living in Los Angeles. Viewers witness that timeline starting from cutting the umbilical cord to bringing the baby to his first independent film premiere.

Gay Hollywood Dad was originally planned to be a web series, but was later changed into a feature-length film that will now premiere on August 2nd at the New York Asian American International Film Festival. Then, it will appear online on August 3rd through Amazon Instant Video.

Quentin Lee, and son Casper, are joined by filmmakers Adrian Ho and Viet Dang, gestational carrier Crystal Primavera, and actresses Tamlyn Tomita ("Teen Wolf", The Joy Luck Club), Julia Nickson (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Half-Life), Akemi Look (The Unbidden) and Elizabeth Sung (Memoirs of a Geisha, LETHAL WEAPON 4).

While most of us will have to wait until August 3 to watch the feature-length film, the first episode of the web series was uploaded online last year. To get a better idea of what the film will be like, you can watch the series pilot down below.

h/t: Broadway World

Rocker Dan Reynolds Teams With AT&T For Pro-LGBTQ LOVELOUD Festival

How much do we love Grammy Award-winning Imagine Dragons frontman, Dan Reynolds?

Raised Mormon, Reynolds has spent years fighting for greater LGBTQ acceptance within the church.

Growing up, the native Utahn had a middle school friend who was Mormon and gay, and he watched how the struggles of trying to resolve the two worlds wore on his friend. Reynolds also says he's lost high school friends to suicide.

Determined to affect change, he and former Mormon rocker Tyler Glenn teamed up last year to create the annual music festival LOVELOUD which aims to raise money for LGBTQ charities and organizations like The Trevor Project and the Tegan and Sara Foundation.

This year the event takes place on July 28 featuring, in addition to Imagine Dragons, artists like Zedd, Grace Vanderwaal, Vagabon, and others  at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

AT&T has also teamed up with Reynolds for the LOVELOUD festival as a sponsor.

A longtime LGBTQ ally, AT&T has generously donated $1 million this year to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people.




“I think the LOVELOUD stage is the most important stage I will ever stand on,” the 30-year-old recently told Queerty. “The festival has helped facilitate vital conversation about what it means to truly love and accept our LGBTQ youth.”

For a chance to win a free VIP trip to the LOVELOUD festival including tickets, travel and accommodations, download the AT&T THANKS app and enter the sweepstakes on the app.

Plus, from July 11-16, 2018, AT&T THANKS will be running a Social LOVELOUD Giveaway Contest for 10 pairs of concert tickets to the show. Customers are asked to share why they want to “Turn Up the Love” to enter for a chance to Win tickets to the LOVELOUD Festival

The new documentary, Believer, follows Reynolds as he launched the music festival last year and also explores how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

"I hope people understand the importance of fully accepting and loving our LGBTQ youth," says Reynolds about the film. "I hope people are able to watch and feel the harsh realities that our LGBTQ youth are facing in faith-based communities. I hope it perpetuates change."

Watch the trailer for Believer below.



Documentary: The Over-the-Top Life & Career Of Hollywood Producer Allan Carr

Emmy Award-winning documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz has delivered his latest peek behind the scenes of Hollywood in exploring the life and career of producer Allan Carr, The Fabulous Allan Carr.

The documentary chronicles the enormous successes of Carr (Grease, La Cage Aux Folles) as well as his most infamous disasters (Grease 2, You Can’t Stop The Music, the 1989 Academy Awards Show).

Back in the day when “flamboyant” was as direct as you could be in terms of addressing someone’s homosexuality, Carr boldly lived his life out loud. 

Born Allan Solomon (he changed his name to Carr because he rhymed with “star”), Carr moved from his hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles to become a part of the world he had only dreamed of.

Donned in caftans to hide his up-down-and-up again weight gains, the producer/manager threw lavish pool parties at his glamorous mansion entertaining Hollywood A-listers as well as the town’s hottest gays. According to legend, it was when the stars departed that the party would devolve into an orgy to satisfy Carr's voyeurism for observing hot LA boys.


His early career consisted of managing celebrities like Marlo Thomas, Ann-Margret, Tony Curtis, Peter Sellers, Rosalind Russell, and Dyan Cannon. Carr was instrumental in helping Ann-Margret shift from young sex kitten into a full-fledged star on the Las Vegas Strip as well as taking on roles in movies like Tommy and Carnal Knowledge, for which she would be nominated for an Oscar.

After working in a promotional capacity on films Tommy and Saturday Night Fever with producer Robert Stigwood, Carr moved into full-on producing with a pet project that would put him on the Hollywood map, the massively successful film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease.

Starring up-and-coming John Travolta, who was known at the time for his turn on TV’s Welcome Back Kotter, and Grammy Award winning pop star Olivia Newton-John, the musical film became Carr’s ticket to the big time.

Unfortunately, he followed that enormous triumph with the late-to-the-disco-party musical film, You Can’t Stop The Music. Meant as a vehicle to introduce The Village People to the world, the 1980 film, which starred Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine and Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner, was a major misfire that was ripped by critics and avoided by movie-goers.

Carr shifted back to more familiar terrain in 1982 with the Michelle Pfeiffer/Maxwell Caulfield tuner Grease 2, which also failed at the box office although it has carried on as a camp classic.

Then came redemption as Carr produced the smash Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles in 1983. Not only did the show win six Tony Awards (including one for Carr as producer of the “Best Musical”) but it brought him some of the “respectability” he had always craved. And in true Carr style, the show gave Broadway its first-ever openly gay musical love story.

Carr’s last final big-time moment came when he was tapped to produce the 1989 Academy Awards which featured the now-infamous Rob Lowe/“Snow White” opening number.

While most remember the opening number, Schwarz makes a point to give credit to Carr for two lasting changes at the Oscars.

It was Carr who came up with the new announcement “and the Oscar goes to…” instead of “the winner is.”

And he is credited with creating the now-show-biz-standard release approach of opening a film the last month of the year in one theater in Los Angeles and one theater in New York City to create Oscar buzz.

But the Academy Awards debacle and criticism hurt Carr deeply, and he became something of a recluse after that. He did manage to have a last hurrah attending the 20th anniversary of Grease re-release in 1998 before succumbing to cancer in 1999 at the age of 62.

The documentary rightly makes a point to highlight Carr’s self-promotional skills as he was one of the first producers to make himself a celebrity of sorts. Rarely had a Hollywood producer appeared on so many of the top talk shows of the day before Carr.

Like his earlier documentaries  I Am Divine and Tab Hunter: Confidential, this should be required viewing for the gay history alone. Based on the larger-than-life personality along with spectacular hits and notorious misses that touch on so many gay-centric projects (he gave us The Village People, folks), I recommend the film. 

Carr himself is a compelling subject in light of his personal over-the-topHollywood flair, but also his darker, injured moments.

The film is now available via Video-On-Demand. Find more info about the film at the official website.

Watch the trailer below: