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What we’re about

Welcome to Cinema Gaze, our gay men's movie meetup. We connect via two formats: Zoom and in-person conversations.

Connecting with people over the exchange of ideas can be powerful. Film is an exceptional art form, blending visuals, sound, story or narrative, and motion. Your "homework" is shorter than most books.

Each moderator will contribute some background and talking points, as well as a personal style. Broadly, we will be coordinating member participation, not lecturing. You will be welcome & encouraged to speak, but it's not an obligation, and some may wish to attend even if they have less to say, on a given movie.

Don't feel that you should only attend if you liked a film. Thoughtful contributions, even if the work didn't appeal, can make for interesting interaction. We ask that disagreements over ideas be handled respectfully.

We host conversations both online, via Zoom, and in-person in Chicago, most often at Center on Halsted.

Regardless of venue, before our film conversation, we have unstructured time to socialize, and connect. We do not show the film during our gatherings: Please watch it beforehand. Some may wish to set up shared watch groups, in person or virtually.

We welcome ideas for improvement, suggestions on unique films, and opportunities you may wish to share with our membership.

Founded by Paul Swanson, we have recently expanded the leadership group, to build upon Paul's vision. Take a look at our events, past and upcoming, to get a flavor of what we're about.

We use the following criteria to guide our selection of films:

1. Our films investigate multidimensional gay characters and/or gay issues and interests.

2. Our films have artistic merit.

3. A variety of racial, ethnic, national, and cultural identities is shown.

4. The audience experiences thematic depth and emotional involvement in the majority of our films.

  1. A variety of genres, styles, and topics is represented in our films.

We ask that you give at least 24 hours' notice of cancelation; however, we understand that emergencies arise.

Much of "Cinema Gaze: Gay Men Discus Gay Films" was founded on the following research:
About the Queer Gaze: \
More film analysis of the Queer Gaze: \