Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Open TV's 'Nupita Obama Creates Vogua' explores queer love
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Ben Sanders
2015-08-18

This article shared 5307 times since Tue Aug 18, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


As a network executive for Open TV, an online platform for indie arts and artists, Aymar Jean Christian would rather promote the careers of others than worry about himself. But even he admitted that the network's latest pilot, Nupita Obama Creates Vogua, which he wrote and directed, was influenced by his own affairs.

The episode ( player.vimeo.com/video/134807299, vimeo.com/134807299 ) explores a queer love triangle, and features a few original performances. In the beginning, it's revealed that Reyes and Curtis are former lovers, but Curtis ended things when Reyes fell in love with Gia, who moved into their apartment. Curtis finds himself in a difficult position, because he can't afford to move out. Tensions eventually ease between the three of them through dance, as Reyes and Gia encourage Curtis—a vogue dancer—to bring out his alter ego "Nupita Obama," before teaching a vogue class. The three of them end up giving a final performance together that combines Reyes' specialty, yoga, with Curtis' talent for vogue to create "vogua."

Based on what Christian was going through during the writing process, it's clear how the relationship dynamics in the episode loosely mimic his own reality.

At the time, he was in an unstable place in his relationship with his partner of eight years, Derek McPhatter. Christian was living alone in Chicago while Derek was in L.A. on a writing fellowship for television. While Derek was gone, Christian developed many relationships with other queer people in Chicago, and so it took a while for Christian to adjust to living with Derek once he returned from L.A. after two years.

Christian emailed that he "took parts of his relationship—being in a committed relationship like Curtis/Reyes but having that person be new to my home like Curtis/Gia—and split it up amongst the characters."

Christian's personal story aside, he believes that the show will surprise viewers in a couple of ways. For one, the three stars—Chicago-based dancer and hip-hop artist Erik Wallace ( Curtis ); yoga and performance artist Kiam Marcelo Junio ( Reyes ); and drag performance artist Saya Naomi ( Gia )—are all queer people of color. Second, all the actors embrace their femininity in the episode.

"When we look at TV representations of gay people generally, but especially gay people of color, you don't necessary see a lot of gender nonconforming people of color on television," Christian said. "In the world that I live in there's people of all gender expressions and they are all very different and interesting and creative so I wanted to showcase that."

Another goal that Christian had in mind with this episode was to highlight what non-normative relationship configurations look like today. He felt that in 2015, at a time when a post-gay marriage America is a reality, it's time for networks to start representing same-sex configurations that aren't monogamous, because there are many couples who choose to live differently than that.

In fact, a 2013 study by San Francisco State University discovered that approximately 50 percent of gay male couples were deciding to be in non-monogamous relationships.

Aside from being Christian's brainchild, Nupita Obama Creates Vogua also happens to be the first pilot in the Open TV Presents series about artists exploring alternative relationships.

The inspiration behind this series is the show High Maintenance, created by Emmy-winning casting director,Katja Blichfeld and her husband, Ben Sinclair. Each High Maintenance episode features a different person who's buying weed from a nameless drug dealer. Christian liked this idea of featuring different actors one show after another, and that's what he originally intended to do with the first pilot; instead, the Open TV Presents series quickly morphed into a series of shorts. The next one on deck is Zackary Drucker's Southern for Pussy, and they are also scheduled to shoot Rashida Khanbey's pilot, Let Go and Let God, at the end of the month.

As Christian put it, he's "planting seeds on the Internet," and would eventually like to make more episodes of each show as long as more money heads Open TV's way.

And, if that happens, Christian doesn't see an end in sight.

"We're going to keep going until we can't go no more," he said.


This article shared 5307 times since Tue Aug 18, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Hulu's 'Love, Victor' draws to a proud conclusion with season three
2022-07-02
Love is in the air for Pride Monthas the television show Love, Victor concludes with its third season. The gay rom-com Love, Simon came out in 2018 and inspired the Love, Victor Hulu series two years ...


Gay News

Production based on Larry Kramer speech at Center on July 22-31
2022-06-28
Open Space Arts announced its inaugural production of The Kramer Project, directed and adapted by David Zak from activist Larry Kramer's watershed speech "The Tragedy of Today's Gays." This will be the first production for Open ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2022-06-27
"I'm not gay. I'm not straight. I don't know what I am. I love people. … I refuse to be anything, really, except for open to it all."—Kesha (without the dollar sign) makes this revelation in ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez
2022-06-26
Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

'General Hospital,' Kelly Clarkson among Daytime Emmy winners
2022-06-25
ABC's General Hospital—already the winningest sudser in daytime history—was named Outstanding Daytime Drama on June 24 while The Kelly Clarkson Show took home the prize for Outstanding Talk Show at the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. ...


Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Einbinder to perform additional show July 16
2022-06-25
Due to popular demand, The Den Theatre announced a third stand-up performance for comedian/actress Hannah Einbinder (the TV show Hacks) on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The ...


Gay News

'Hacks,' 'Euphoria' lead LGBTQ+ critics' Dorian TV nominations
2022-06-23
-- From a press release - JUNE 22, 2022 - The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics—now composed of 385 professional critics and journalists covering film and television—announced its 14th Dorian TV Awards nominations for the best in all of TV, mainstream to ...


Gay News

Lynda Carter releases new single, 'Human and Divine'
2022-06-23
Many people are familiar with actress Gal Gadot as superhero Wonder Woman. However, decades before, Lynda Carter wore the bracelets and wielded the golden lasso as the Amazon princess who set many hearts (of men and ...


Gay News

Photos of Chicago's Daniel Sotomayor included in new Smithsonian exhibit
2022-06-22
The Smithsonian's first gallery dedicated to Latino history and culture has opened its doors to the public at the National Museum of American History, NBC News noted. Billed as a precursor to a national Latino museum ...


Gay News

TELEVISION John Early and Kate Berlant discuss 'Would It Kill You to Laugh?'
2022-06-21
Peacock is releasing a new sketch comedy show called Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early, the show debuts Friday, June 24. This one-hour special features a comedy duo who have ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Rutherford Falls' returns for season two with double the diversity
2022-06-19
Peacock's hit comedy Rutherford Falls is back with season two. (It started June 16.) The story follows two lifelong friends—Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) and Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding)—as they navigate ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Queer as Folk' defines a new generation on Peacock
2022-06-15
An all-new version of Queer as Folk is currently streaming on Peacock, with some big differences from the two past incarnations. This 2022 production is a reimagining of the two previous series—one with a British cast ...


Gay News

ART 'Immersive Monet' in Chicago starting June 17
2022-06-14
Vincent Van Gogh and Frido Kahlo have gotten the "Immersive" treatment. Now, it's time for the public to experience Claude Monet and fellow Impressionists. Lighthouse Immersive is shifting its focus to the Impressionist movement of the ...


Gay News

Reality-TV couple convicted of committing fraud
2022-06-08
A jury found reality-TV couple Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty of fraud, including charges related to a tax evasion scheme that went on for years, according to NBC News. The couple, known for their USA Network ...


Gay News

WTTW celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month with special content
2022-06-08
WTTW recently released its schedule of special programming in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. Highlights include: True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs (NEW) Wed., June 8 at 9:30 pm Offering a unique look at the ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.