Victor/Victoria

Title: Victor/Victoriadvdcover_7435
Year: 1982
Director: Blake Edwards
Genre: Musical
Date Watched: April 28, 2017
Category: #24 A musical

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Julie Andrews from my seven year old obsession with The Sound of Music which I insisted on watching at least once a week for several months (maybe even a year). Of course, Mary Poppins was also a favourite of mine growing up. And then as a teenager it was the Princess Diaries and Princess Diaries 2. Somehow, this one slipped past my radar, I’d heard of it at different times but never actually looked it up. It doesn’t hurt that Julie Andrews reminds me a little of my grandma.

At any rate, I finally found this movie and was pleasantly surprised. Right from the start it was funny and of course the music was fantastic. In so many ways this movie was way ahead of its time, treating the gay character of Toddy as just another character in the movie rather than a novelty. Of course, I do have a few issues with how it was treated throughout the movie as well. For example, throughout the movie King Marchand expresses his displeasure at being perceived as gay given his relationship with Victoria who has been presenting herself as a man. The fact that Marchand is displeased with this is understandable to me, even now, as he is being perceived as something he is not, and given the stigma associated with being gay in the early 80’s this is even less surprising. What I do find frustrating is that Victoria who during her professional career has met and associated with many gay people, including her best friend Toddy, does not find issue with Marchand’s behaviour. She does not discuss his opinions with him, nor does it seem to impact her own feelings towards him in any way.. This could have been a great opportunity for the writer/director to call out the behaviour as unacceptable though they chose not to. Honestly, I don’t really hold it against them because ultimately the film really is far ahead of its time in depicting a largely positive gay character as well as a gay relationship and many other ways. However, if the film was made today, I would hope that it would address some of these issues.

Perhaps my favourite part of the film is the running gag involving the waiter from early in the film who then appears several times, each more confused than the first.

Honestly, if you haven’t seen this film then it is well worth a watch even though it’s not quite old.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Descent – Julie Cannon

Title: Descent7835680
Author: Julie Cannon
Genre: Romance/LGBT
Pages: 208
Category: 4. Read a romance and/or erotica book
Format: Ebook

Date Started: February 11th 2017
Date Finished: February 14th 2017

Okay, yes, this is a trashy romance book. And yes, the only difference between this and any other romance book you pick up is that it’s the story of two women. But let’s be honest, sometimes what you want is a trashy romance book.

I wouldn’t say that Descent is the best I’ve read in this genre, or even from this author but it certainly follows the formula one would expect from the category. Two women meet, in this case they had met many years earlier and dated at school. There’s tension between them because of their past relationship but also because they’re two of the best mountain bikers in the world.

Honestly, for me at least this is a genre that is still somewhat in it’s infancy and Bold Strokes Books who published this book is one of the more established publishers out there. As a lesbian it’s refreshing to pick up a book with a relationship that’s more reflective of my own experiences even if it’s never going to be a bestseller so I really do hope that people continue to support authors in this category especially as ebooks make it a lot more accessible for everyone.

Sadly, the quote at the top of this article continues to be true. We still live in a world where there is a great deal of inequality. I live in a country where it is still illegal for me to marry my partner, many others experience much worse discrimination. Books like this normalise our experiences and can hopefully bring a little peace to those who have no one to show them their experiences are nothing to be ashamed of. My hope is, that one day there will be so many LGBT characters in books that young people will never need to search for them like I had to growing up.

Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing to make this book stand out within the genre as either better than it’s counterparts or worse. I probably won’t be able to tell you anything about it in six months . But if you’re looking for a nice easy read with some enjoyable tension and cuteness then this will do the trick.

Rating: 2.5/5