Why pioneering queer drag documentary Paris Is Burning continues to inspire LGBTQI+ youth 30 years on

It’s 1987, the streets of New York City are pitch-black and still, but inside the packed venue of Paris Dupree’s annual ball, the world couldn’t be more different. Multicoloured lights illuminate a room crammed with dancing figures as synth-heavy 80s music pulsates. The dancers are clad in feathers, sequins, and outrageous make-up. Here, gender is subverted and rewritten.

Six photojournalists that revolutionised their craft

The storming of the Capitol; the tangled tubes of an intensive care unit; the latest snaps of the prime minister’s dog – rarely is an event (or non-event) left uncaptured by photojournalists.  

In the modern age, with a camera in every pocket, it’s never been easier to be a photojournalist. But who were the true innovators of photojournalism: those that pioneered new styles and techniques, or irreversibly altered what was acceptable to be photographed? 

How Gay News paved the way for LGBTQI+ journalism in the UK

“It’s hard to imagine the diverse, thriving LGBTQI+ landscape we live in today without publications like Gay News.”

These words were spoken by DIVA editor Carrie Lyell about the British LGBTQI+ newspaper which ran between 1972 and 1983. Filled with wit, satire, and biting critiques of heteronormativity, the paper constantly pushed boundaries in a time when gay love faced huge barriers. 

With the 50th anniversary of the iconic publication fast approaching in June, XCityPlus spoke to pioneering LGBTQI+ journalists about the legacy of Gay News and what it means to them.

The critics’ choice of lockdown films

Film critics have played an important role throughout the pandemic. Lockdown pushed one in five UK households to sign up for a new streaming service last year and film writers helped identify the hidden gems. They compiled extensive lists of the greatest movies and TV shows, and provided some much-needed joy in doing so. XCityPlus asked four film critics what their own comfort films were over the past year, check out the list below.