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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Victory for Constance McMillen

A Mississippi court ruled that the Itawamba County School District violated the First Amendment rights of Constance McMillen when it canceled the school’s prom rather than allow the openly gay student to attend the prom with her girlfriend, wearing a gender-bending tuxedo. What?! Girls in tuxedos? What is the world coming to?
Good for the court for making the right ruling here. And wow, do I ever admire Constance, who has been open about being a lesbian since eighth grade. Ponder that a moment, if you would. I grew up in Oklahoma, not exactly what I would call the most welcoming, safe place to come of age and realize you are gay or lesbian or bisexual. Constance, growing up in Mississippi, had the courage to come out as who she is in eighth grade.
That, my friends, takes courage, and a remarkable sense of knowing who you are and believing in yourself at a very young age. Good for her, and I hope she and her girlfriend have a swell time at the alternative, open prom being planned by parents. Shine on in that tux, girl, and make some great memories.

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“People used to love to call me a maverick, because I had a big mouth, and I’d say, ‘That bum!’ or something like that when I was young. Mainly, because I believed it, and I didn’t know there was anybody’s pain connected to the business. I was so young, I didn’t feel any pain. I just thought, ‘Why don’t they do some exciting, venturesome things? Why are they just sitting there, doing these dull pictures that have already been done many, many times, and calling them exciting? That’s a lie — they’re not exciting. Exciting is an experiment… That reputation keeps with you, through the years. Once the press calls you a maverick, it stays in their files. I’ll be dead five years, and they’ll still be saying, ‘That maverick son-of-a-bitch, he’s off in Colorado, making a movie.’ As if they really cared. You know, in this business, it’s all jealousy. I mean, this is the dumbest business I’ve ever seen in my life. If somebody gets married, they say, ‘It’ll never work.’ If somebody gets divorced, they say, ‘Good. I’ll give you my lawyer.’ If somebody loses a job, everyone will call him — to gloat. They’ll discuss it, they’ll be happy, they’ll have parties. I don’t understand how people that can see each other all the time, and be friends, can be so happy about each other’s demise.”
~ John Cassavetes


“There’s a culture of friendship in Latin American cinema, between people like Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro, which they in turn inherited from others. They’re a sensation of brotherhood, that people care abut you, look after you, which we’ve sought to maintain consciously. That ‘brotherhood’ is the best way to survive, to make better films, but it also a way of coming close to the biggest reason to make films. Filmmaking for me is like a fraternal act, like being with your family, and feeling that what we’re doing, when the film is over and makes some impact, is worth it. That intense encounter with all those people flowers, emanates for ever. You’re a kind of cousin, brother, lover, father, son of all those people with whom you worked. It’s a beautiful sensation.”
Gael García Bernal


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