Queerantine Survival Guide

If I have one more person recommending Joe Wicks’ daily exercise videos, I may finally snap. Self-isolation with my other half has, at the time of print, been harmonious and civil, but the barrage of self-help tips about meditation, yoga and HIIT exercises we receive from the social media ether is getting on our last nerve. And while wellness is paramount, what is equally as important is making sure you find some enjoyment in the quarantine. And to quote Mel B in the bittersweet Spice Girls classic “Goodbye,” you’ve got to search for the rainbow in every storm. Yes, I may be losing my grip of reality on day 15 of self-isolation.


Here is your guide to surviving the quarantine in style. We, in turn, are open to your own suggestions on ways to make the most out of self-isolation: get in touch at @SnackMag on Twitter and let us know what’s keeping you busy.


JOHN WATERS MOVIE MARATHON

Over time, John Waters has been on the receiving end of some absurd honorific titles: Guardian lists these achievements – “the pope of trash, the prince of puke, the ayatollah of crud” – yet they only scratch the surface. For the unfamiliar, John Waters is the infamous director of trash cinema classics like Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and Multiple Maniacs. His films explore all things grotesque, outrageous and camp.

My personal favourite is Serial Mom, in which Kathleen Turner plays a maniacal suburban housewife who indulges in homicidal activity on a whim. Nothing will allow you to block out the absurdity of 2020 like entering the twisted, hilarious universe of John Waters: nothing is sacred, and thank God for that.


EUROVISION

Followed by a gay gasp echoing throughout the world, Eurovision made the sensible decision to cancel Rotterdam 2020 following COVID-19. This marks the first time in the competition’s 65-year history that the show has been cancelled. However, there are several fun Eurovision events to keep its spirit alive until next year. For one, they are running a series of events, Eurovision Home Concerts, starring Eurovision artists posting live music on social media from their living rooms.

Each episode of Eurovision Home Concerts will feature iconic Eurovision artists, including singers from 2020, as they perform their own song and a cover version of another Eurovision hit.

Meanwhile, on Saturday 16th May, Graham Norton will host – at a safe distance – Eurovision Come Together, which will boast classic Eurovision performances, a look at what would have been in 2020, and entertaining interviews. So, while we may not have the contest itself, what we instead can enjoy are a series of events that remind us that Eurovision is so vital because it has unity at its core.

So, we will get the world’s gayest disco this year, just in a slightly different format.

Eurovision 2020


READING IS FUNDAMENTAL

Okay, so my resolution to read as much as possible during self-isolation has not been without its hiccups. But this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on the books gathering dust on your shelf or eating up space on your Kindle. Even better, think of this quarantine as an excuse to broaden your awareness of LGBT+ writers. From trailblazers like Langton Hughes and Virginia Woolf, to up and coming writers like Adam Silvera and Juno Dawson, there is an endless list of queer writers whose stories deserve your undivided attention.

Picks from my personal list include any of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, Nella Larsen’s Passing, Alan Cumming’s heart-wrenching autobiography Not My Father’s Son and Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart.

Tales of the City


ONLINE DRAG SHOWS

Yes, RuPaul’s Drag Race is currently airing on Netflix UK each Saturday and Dragula’s three seasons are all available to stream. But the experience of drag in the flesh is hard to replicate, and some may need a drag fix during quarantine. Plus, queens used to playing regular gigs find themselves out of a job when no one can come to the show.

However, a plethora of queens are ensuring their audiences are satisfied during these trying times by streaming online drag shows. A handful of drag queens scheduled to perform at Werq the World, turned their world tour show into a livestream  benefitting local queens that have been hit economically by the coronavirus.

The April 4th show was hosted by the one and only Bianca del Rio herself. However, there are other platforms to support your favourite drag queens: for one, I caught a superb show from Alaska’s bathroom on Stage It, so keep your eyes peeled on social media channels to catch your favourite queens, especially our local Scottish queens, in action from the comfort of your sofa.

OUTTV REACHES THE UK

2020 boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to streaming platforms and the good news is that the UK now finally receives a premium TV and movie channel focussed specifically on LGBT+ content.

OUTtv, the only British TV channel dedicated to queer programming, presents movies, documentaries and gameshows that appeal to everyone.

You will have access to 500 LGBT+ specific titles, from RuPaul’s Gay for Play and Drag Race Thailand to documentaries like Being Divine. They also report from international film and TV festivals, ensuring only the best and freshest content is at your disposal.

You need to subscribe to OUTtv through your Sky box. Perfect for a weekend (or let’s face it, permanent) TV binge celebrating queer stories and storytellers.

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