Glasgay! 2008, 1 Oct - 9 Nov

Breathe a sigh of relief. Glasgay! is firmly established by now, but this has by no means tamed its approach.

Article by Margaret Kirk | 23 Sep 2008

There is plenty of queer work these days that tickles mainstream tastes: like a larger than life character on Big Brother, or a token edgy story-line on your favourite daytime soap, sexuality is a useful signifier of exoticism that can actually work to exclude danger.

Glasgay! is getting bigger, and certainly includes a blue-rinse factor. Suddenly Last Summer will certainly pull in the crowds who might not even know their L from their B. That’s okay - visibility was always part of the remit, and the festival’s success reflects the health of the scene.

Fortunately, Glasgay! Director Steven Thomson is bold enough to have included a few works that rattle the jewellery. Down at Tramway, two veteran radicals are recalled, through Pacitti Company’s Civil and a showing of Blue. Respectively representing Quentin Crisp and Derek Jarman, both remember two men who lived in far less tolerant times and who, through the very way that they lived their lives, challenged heterodoxy and helped create the modern world.

Glasgay! is a massive festival, covering plenty of bases - somehow the gentle observational comedy of Paul Sinha finds a place next to the committed revaluing of Tennessee Williams; even the clubbing section ranges from Amy Lamé’s cute charm to Utter Gutter’s decadent nihilism in two images. Thank God that acceptance hasn’t watered down Glasgay's radical edge.