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My Big Fat Gay Weekend July 1, 2010

Posted by therealgirlsguide in Blog.
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Hello, Dear Real Girls Fans!  Robin Daléa (Rasha) here.  I had the pleasure of being in NYC last weekend not only for Pride Weekend, but also for the first ever Out Of The Box LGBTQ Web Series Festival! Sadly, my Real Girls co-stars couldn’t join me, but I did my very best to represent! I took some drinks – I mean, notes – so I could relay the evening back to all of you.  So grab a cosmo…or a Hefeweizen …or a hazelnut latte…and read on…

The Festival…

On Saturday, June 26, the cool folks at Novo Novus Productions (also the producers of the quirky web series Drama Queenz) hosted the festival in the funky, intimate bar at New World Stages. Yummy hors d’vours and sangria were provided and the atmosphere was laid back and welcoming. (After all, it was 93 degrees and humid in the city that day, so your attire had to be casual and your attitude grateful for air conditioning!)

The mission statement of Out Of The Box goes like this:

Out Of The Box is dedicated to bringing greater awareness to the high-quality LGBTQ programming making waves on the web, and honoring the visionaries and artistic trailblazers who are filling the diversity void in traditional media.

So, needless to say, it was an honor for Real Girls to be a part of the first annual festival. And I can personally say that the evening lived up to the festival’s goal.  Although I knew of some of the series there that night, I had not had a chance to really view them all prior to the event.  I was more than pleasantly surprised by the diverse, original and high-level productions included in the line up.  (Check them out for yourself – a list of all the screened web series and attendees can be found here: http://otbfest.blogspot.com/)  Broken down into segments of “Life,” “Love,” and “Laughter,” each segment screened about six shows (five minutes each) and then a talk back.  (Real Girls was in the Laughter section, ‘natch.)

With all the great stories and topics covered in the screeners, the interviewers had their discussion topics cut out for them.  Here are just some bullet points of core discussions that could have gone on for hours:

  • utilizing the accessibility of web series to reach people in the fly over states who may not have access to an LGBTQ community
  • demonstrating inclusiveness by showing that LGBTQ folks are in every neighborhood and their lives and dreams aren’t much different than straight folks
  • creating talk shows that cover the diverse LGBTQ artists in every city
  • building a show around characters without it being an “issue” show
  • casting around chemistry, not race
  • questioning if the search for love is different in the LGBTQ community
  • using real stories like ex-gay recovery movements to create comedic storylines
  • using comedy and silly stereotypes to access the real topics so discussions can follow

So you can see, each of these discussions could’ve been the focus of a festival. The hosts kept the evening tight though, and made sure everyone was finished in time to move on to other late-night pride weekend events.

Overall, the evening had a great display of talent, support and potential media-changing shows.  Clearly, the LGBTQ community continues to get more and more coverage as the Internet reaches further and further. And this is how we normalize diversity, my sisters and brothers.

Out Of The Box photos on their FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Out-of-the-Box-LGBTQ-Web-Series-Festival/133419193338363?ref=ts

It’s a PARADE….

Sunday was my last day in the city, so I sweltered in the subway down to Christopher Street and then sweltered in the humid 90 degree day to see what I could of the parade.  I wasn’t disappointed.

For any New Yorker like myself that now lives in L.A., returning to the Big Apple is like returning to civilization. It’s not just the sheer number of people, nor the fact that you’re forced to rub elbows with all of them that makes the city feel like home.  It’s the real, down home, inescapable diversity that reminds one that the world is filled with a variety of colors, ages, shapes, sizes and styles – a diversity that is under-represented in mainstream TV and film. Which is why web series like The Real Girls and all of the Out Of The Box participants strive to represent those communities through new media.

What I enjoyed most about the Pride Parade were the diverse cultures represented not only in the parade, but also in the crowd. And of course, the drag queens who rocked those heels better than I ever could. And the fabulous outfits (and lack thereof) that would outdo even Vanna. And the spontaneous spanking I got from a stranger and her Pleasure Chest paddle.

I took tons of pictures and they really speak better than any words I could offer.  So take a look.  Enjoy.  Pretend you were there. Wave your rainbow flag and spank somebody.




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