Painting the Spectrum 11 Opens with Nhojj’s “Out on the Tracks”

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Now in its 11th year, “Painting the Spectrum,” SASOD’s annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival, opens this Tuesday, June 2. This year the film festival moves to a new venue, SASOD’s office, located at 169 Charlotte Street, Lacytown, Georgetown for eight entertaining evenings of thought-provoking films.

From June 2 to 25, patrons are invited to enjoy screenings every Tuesday and Thursday; the dates to remember are June 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 and 25. Showtime is 6 pm every evening.

A documentary by Guyanese-American songwriter and singer, Nhojj, and a romantic drama are slated to open this year’s festival. The documentary, “Out on the Tracks” – features Nhojj’s ground-breaking “Made to Love Him” recording sessions which affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships. This gentle and soul-soothing documentary explores themes of love, hope and self-acceptance, the recording process and the power of music. The movie, “Shank”, is a gritty coming-of-age drama about secrets, sex, acceptance, love, loyalty and conflict that threaten friendships and destroy relationships. Read the full article

My Secret Love Affair… with Plants

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Over the summer, my green thumb brother gave me 3 plants: a hibiscus, a purple heart and a spider plant. Hibiscus plants bring back sweet memories – they grew in our yard in Guyana, and if you picked the flower at the right time between bud and blossom, you could taste the nectar. Of course that perfect time was a bit of a mystery to me, so I didn’t enjoy much hibiscus nectar growing up.

Hibiscus flowers aside, I never really had a thing for plants. My mom had a garden and tried desperately to get me involved, but it never took. My interest never went beyond climbing trees, picking fruit, and… well, the occasional hibiscus flower. That changed oh course when I started decorating my first apartment. I wanted to add some natural beauty to my Staten Island pad, so I tried my hand at the cactus – they must be the easiest plants to care for… right? Not so much in my case, alas they perished, and I figured my thumb must be yellow or red or something.

However Life is change and now I think I’m falling in love with plants and maybe they with me, at least a little. They sit on my desk and slowly turn and dance in the sunlight. Their movement slow like a meditation.

I was so mystified the other day when the hibiscus flowered. It seemed like magic had occurred over night transforming the bud into a perfect flower. I reached out to touch its petals – they were almost human, soft… baby skin. A few days later, I watched as the flower began to close her petals. I reached out to touch them again, and this time they felt as fragile as my grandmother’s skin – Gods rest her soul.

Life expresses life through everything. Plants are so different from us, they don’t look like us, they don’t act like us, they don’t even procreate like us… but I’m happy their are here.