Underwear and clothing giant, Andrew Christian, made a stop in Albuquerque to promote his new, provocative book, Sex=Power=Freedom. Teresa Ewers of Pride & Equality had the opportunity to sit down and interview him prior to his appearance at Effex Nightclub downtown.
Sex=Power=Freedom. What was the inspiration?
“Sex = Power = Freedom” is something I have been wanting to undertake for many years. It gives voice to the ideals and beliefs that I hold dear to my heart. A person’s openness to their sexual identity directly relates to their emotional freedom. Furthermore, society’s acceptance of the LGBT community constitutes our political freedom. When Trump was elected president, I knew it was important to tear into these notions in my heart and share them publicly. My initial vision of “Sex = Power = Freedom” was simple: a book of sexy photos of my half-naked models -- as one might expect from Andrew Christian. But as the idea developed, I realized that this book could be so much more: a platform to express my views toward promoting LGBT empowerment – a view that I share with the majority of Americans.
Why is sex necessarily an important thing to talk about?
My artistic vision for the book was to show all facets of sexuality, without any judgment or morality. I didn't consider anything to go too far for the book. I think it's especially important at this time in history that Andrew Christian stand up and show LGBT sexuality in a positive representation. My intent is to get people talking about how SEX = POLITICAL FREEDOM. You are only politically free if you can fuck who you want without any negative consequences, such as being fired from your job or, in some counties, jailed, tortured, or killed.
Do you feel this book will just add to the perception that the LGBTQI community is all about sex?
Sex is a major part of any relationship – gay or straight. I’m not afraid to admit that, and I am not afraid to showcase that in my work. For too long homosexual relationships and physical affection between two men have been taboo. Even today, you would be hard pressed to find a physical relationship between two men on any daytime or primetime program on any major network. The LGBT+ community is not all about sex, it is about love. That is what my book is about, too. The overall message of "Sex=Power=Freedom" is that we need to love ourselves and love one another.
You've been dealing with the human form for years now. In the book you say, "We are all works of art, some of us are just harder to understand." Is that what Andrew Christian is, a work of art?
Everything we do at Andrew Christian is art. From the design of the technology in our underwear to our outward approach on political issues. It’s how we express ourselves. I truly believe that we are all works of art. In the book I say this because even those that oppose the LGBT community were handcrafted by their unique upbringing and personal experiences. We are all exclusive owners of ourselves, and the work is never done.
We are living in a different world after the election. How do you feel about moving from an Obama presidency to a Trump presidency?
The past three weeks have been pretty telling. Though the religious freedom bill has been shot down for now, the Trump administration is rampant with discrimination. People, no matter gay, straight, bi, transgender, should be scared for their futures and the futures of those they love. Trump is clearly determined to make changes to our country that citizens do not agree with. Watching him time and time again try to repeal the Supreme Court’s decision to block his Muslim ban has been horrifying. It seems that once he gets an idea in his head, his stubbornness will not allow him to let go. I am sorry for our Muslim brothers and sisters who are undergoing such hatred right now. Hate crimes have risen exponentially since the election for both Muslims and the LGBT community. If our president will not stand up against the hatred, it is up to us to do so.
What is your biggest fear with this new Administration?
My biggest fear is that things will continue to go in the same direction they have been over the past three weeks. A lot has changed since the inauguration, and it is time for more politicians to stand up for the American people. So far, celebrities and a small handful of corporations have made public statements against Donald Trump. We need political allies in Washington who will hear our voices and act upon them. I am afraid that hate crimes will continue to rise. I am afraid that public education will greatly diminish. I am afraid that more people like Arad will be sent back to their home countries and will be killed because of it.
What should we as a community and community-allies be doing right now to protect our freedoms?
As a community, we need to remember that we are all like-minded brothers and sisters; we need to stick up for each other no matter where in the world we live. Let’s lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. Let’s spend our time thinking about important social and human rights issues that have real meaning and spend our efforts helping those we can. Right now, the LGBT community needs to band together and use our collective voice to ensure that our civil rights are not eroded by people who would be all too happy to silence us. If you want to be heard, you must be visible. I am hoping this book and book signing tour provides another avenue of visibility for our cause.
What do you want people to walk away with when they read and view the book?
The LGBT community, especially our youth, need a medium to remind them to be concerned about our LGBT brothers and sisters living in hostility around the world. SEX=POWER=FREEDOM does this without lecturing, without diminishing the intelligence of our audience — it peaks people’s interest and hopefully motivates them to be outspoken and keep the conversation going. I am not sure if “SEX=POWER=FREEDOM” will change anyone's opinion, but hopefully it reinforces the idea that we need to take care of each other. We need to be aware of others and empathize towards their struggles. We need to teach compassion and acceptance.
One word to describe "Sex Power Freedom?"
Learn more about Sex=Power=Freedom at www.andrewchristian.com
“LA LA LAND MEDLEY” STARRING SAM TSUI & MEGAN NICOLE - NEW VIRTUAL REALITY MUSIC VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
Here’s to the ones who dream in LA LA LAND MEDLEY, a new music video, starring YouTube stars Sam Tsui and Megan Nicole that was shot in virtual reality to pay homage to the Oscar-nominated film as part of YouTube Space LA programming that brings together the most creative people in the world to learn, connect and create cutting edge content.
Watch as a young valet (Sam Tsui) and waitress (Megan Nicole) sing and dance their way through some of LA’s iconic neighborhoods, streets and parks as they ”climb these hills, reaching for the heights” until they stumble “on a view that’s tailor made for two” at a beautiful pier overlooking the ocean at sunset.
Directed by Untold Tales, Randy Redroad and Gilbert Salas, and produced by Two Bit Circus VR, LA LA LAND MEDLEY launches exclusively on Sam Tsui’s YouTube channel today, February 9, and was
shot entirely in VR using Google’s Jump cameras for the YouTube VR app, available on Daydream View, Google’s VR headset. The video can also be easily viewed on Google Cardboard and a 360-degree version is available for mobile and desktop viewing on YouTube, so anyone can check it out.
The music video was shot over two days in Los Angeles with music arrangement by Sam Tsui and performed by Sam Tsui and Megan Nicole. Dance sequences were choreographed by Jillian Meyers and Michael Riccio.
A Dangerous Faggot
By Bill Evans
Yesterday, conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos made national headlines when his lecture at UC Berkley was shut down due to violent riots. Students were pepper sprayed, beaten unconscious and university property destroyed and set ablaze by mobs of violent “anti-facists”.
Milo is a controversial writer, blogger and professional provocateur and the technology editor at Brietbart News. He has been making headlines across the country on his “Dangerous Faggott” college tour and turning political incorrectness into a cottage industry. His sold out shows push against the boundaries of free speech and usually trample the gardens of good taste. He’s rude, crude, sassy, and irreverent. But make no mistake, he’s also very smart. Occupying the historical role of the court Jester, Milo minces about as a British fop, rolling his eyes and making lurid gay sex jokes about his interracial sex life to a mostly straight audience, all the while dropping bomb mots of impolite social insurgency and railing against the status quo. He pokes fun at gays, republicans, democrats, black lives matter, Islam, feminists, lesbians, teachers, faculty and the culture of political correctness. The only person he seems to have reverence for is Donald Trump, who he simply refers to as “Daddy”. So everyone hates him, but no one wants to debate him. Everywhere he goes, there are protests and sometimes violent riots. He is called a racist, misogynistic, trans-phobic, and even homophobic. But Milo doesn’t care if you hate him; he just wants you to hear him. But apparently a lot of people don’t want you to hear him. At every campus lecture, protesters outside attempt to shut down his events and try to forcibly keep people from entering the lecture halls.
In times past, the role of the court jester was a comedian with a social or political message too hot to communicate directly. The only person that could speak the unspeakable was the silver tongued “fool”. Milo Yiannopoulos plays that fool to the hilt and did so last Friday night to a packed house of 600 fans and foes at the UNM campus ballroom. The audience was made up mostly of Latinos, some who had come from as far away as Houston to hear his speech “America Deserves Borders”. They laughed, gasped, cringed and cheered as protestors railed outside, calling him a racist, while inside he said, “What you think and who you are is more important than your skin color.” He gave ample time for the audience to ask questions and even begged the audience to be tough on him. However, he had little patience for people who tried to shout him down. A few screaming disrupters were severely tongue lashed (as only a British queen can do) and those that continued to misbehave were unceremoniously escorted out by the police, accompanied by much cheering and braying from the audience.
Despite the protestors inside and out, New Mexico made a very good showing in terms of its support of free speech. Universities across the country have been tacking on exorbitant security fees on Milo’s student hosts at the last minute, in this case the UNM College Republicans. In an act of solidarity with the first amendment, UNM president Chaouki T. Abdallah decided that the school would bear the burden for the extra security and let the show go on. And what security it was. Albuquerque police, state troopers, military soldiers and even a bomb squad were on hand to ensure that the little British homosexual with a big mouth was able to exercise his right to freedom of speech (a right that he doesn’t have in his own country). Outside, amidst the cries of “fascist”, protestors were attacking school property and being corralled by the copious police forces, while inside Milo was advocating free speech saying, “Part of free speech is the ability to listen.”
You can find the UNM lecture on Youtube and decide for yourself if he has anything dangerous to say.
On last week's airing of The View, Omarosa Manigault, Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liason, promised the American people that the upcoming festivities for Black History Month were going to be "extravagant" - truly showing how much Trump cares about the Black community. Well, if his Black History Month speech at an African American History Month Listening Session celebrating the holiday is any indication, all of the black "friends" he has on his cabinet will not save him. Somehow his speech lacked content of celebrating black leaders and icons and more about...well, him - which missed the mark of the occasion, in our opinion.
What do you think?
Below is the video and transcript to witness for yourself.
“Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple the number or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right? At least 51.
[Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star published the first transcript of this on Twitter; Deadspun re-transcribed the president’s remarks from video for this transcript.]
P&E - After Print
Here are some of the latest articles and topics in the GLBT community.