And some more to cheer you up: a brief and terrible.
So on one hand, I agree that it’s exhausting for creators to constantly have to make pronouncements about What They Meant, and at some point we should be death-of-the-author about it and get on with our own interpretations. On the other hand, it’s much more exhausting to witness creators perpetually burying queerness in subtext and then acting surprised when people inquire what, exactly, the subtext was meant to convey.
This is about Good Omens, which is topical at the time of posting but will have hopefully died down enough by the time that this de-queues that I can finally let out a huge, relieved (and not too squee-harshing) uuuuurrrrggggghhhh because uuuuurrrrggggghhhh yes, this. All of this.
Gaiman has been doing this faux-woke1 thing with regards to queer rep for decades and it’s just tiring. It’s like Joss Whedon v2.0, in that you’ve got this animate slice of white bread who did a kind-of-maybe woke-ish thing once like in the 90s—Gaiman did include marginally more queer characters in his comics than was standard at the time, which is to say a non-zero amount—and has been riding that wave ever since. But then the world moved on and The Wheman did not.
But, y’know. Please. Give us yet another retread of, say, the whole gender-ambiguousness-as-shorthand-for-moral-corruption trope to try and pass off as “rep”. Because people—I assume so starved for decent representation in mainstream media they’ll clutch at anything—keep falling for it! Ugh.
Thirty years of this shit.
(Also, completely petty complaint about the TV adaptation, but… why oh why would you hire, like, such Extreme Power DILF actors and then make them look like that? Sheen especially. Yikes no.)
- … fauke? [↩]
As someone who identifies as queer but never really jibed with “born this way” rhetoric—I can definitely appreciate its use politically, but I find it reductionist and personally alienating—I did find, interesting…
On the unbearable straight male gaze of commercial social media.
This is from Michael Stokes, a commercial photographer, regarding how his male nudes (we’re talking, like, sports magazine cover nude) and images of same-sex intimacy (e.g. kissing) are treated as inherently “against community standards” when compared to similar images featuring women or opposite-sex couples. There are, obviously, lots of photos illustrating the supposedly “problematic” content, which it feels oddly hypocritical to warn for, given the circumstances. But, like. Content warning if you’re somewhere someone’s going to get super upset about like, ripped dudes with only their junk covered, or shiny Kardashian bums or something.1
More seriously, there are also examples of homophobic comments and harassment Stokes has received, so content warning for that as well. Also, you… might wanna stop reading before the last paragraph, which includes a pretty hot take of the impact of outsourcing content moderation which, uh… yeah.
Tl;dr, corporate social media platforms still suck.
- Like Facebook, apparently… [↩]
[H]ave you ever been to a straight parade or festival? Because let me tell you, the first time I ever attended Seattle’s Torchlight Family Seafair Parade I was shocked at how just how many skimpy bikinis were being worn by women on the floats and how many sexual innuendoes other floats were designed to embody. The only reason why LGBT Pride Parades appear to be outrageous and not-family-friendly to people is because none of the sexuality on display is aimed at white straight men.
fontfolly on Pride.
Our local Straight Pride Parade is called Summernats and it’s pretty much an annual argument about exactly how much booze, sexual harassment, and public urination are appropriate for kids. It’s so notorious, in fact, that it currently operates under a lock in policy—that is, once you’re on the grounds, you can’t just arbitrary leave—mostly to stop drunken attendees from wandering out of the parade grounds in order to vandalize and defecate on nearby homes. I’ve only been to Mardi Gras once,1 and it was like ten thousand times tamer, even with2 all the kinky queens and leatherdykes…
(Incidentally, as an aside, when I was growing up Mardi Gras was pretty much an annual televised event, and I used to watch it every year with my parents. Yes, including all the kinky floats. I didn’t spontaneously combust, and neither did Mum or Dad when they had to explain to me why, for example, people were walking around wearing latex nun habits and very little else. So, like. Seriously. Miss me with all that “think of the children!” bullshit.)
This is a somewhat controversial stance, but to me queer means something completely different than “gay” or “lesbian” or “bisexual.” A queer person is usually someone who has come to a non-binary view of gender, who recognizes the validity of all trans identities, and who, given this understanding of infinite gender possibilities, finds it hard to define their sexuality any longer in a gender-based way. Queer people understand and support non-monogamy even if they do not engage in it themselves. They can grok being asexual or aromantic. (What does sex have to do with love, or love with sex, necessarily?) A queer can view promiscuous (protected) public bathhouse sex with strangers and complete abstinence as equally healthy.
Queer doesn’t mean “don’t label me,” it means “I am naming myself.” It means “ask me more questions if you curious” and in the same breath means “fuck off.”
Asher on labels.
I’ve cut out a whole big chunk here because otherwise I’d just be quoting the whole article, but… yes, this.
It’s something I don’t talk about much on a personal level but, let’s be honest here; you will take the label “queer” out of my cold, dead hands.
[The designer of Earring Magic Ken] was looking for new ideas for the next year’s Ken—because a survey the company had done asking girls whether Barbie should get a new boyfriend, had returned the results that girls wanted Barbie to stay with Ken, but that wanted Ken to be “cooler.” The designer, realizing one of her nieces was exactly in the age group that played with Barbies, took her niece and several of the nieces friends out for ice cream at a mall. And there, she asked the girls to point out all the boys who they thought were dressed “cool.” As people walked by, the girls would point out guys (usually older teens or college-age looking), and the designer took notes and made quick sketches of the clothes and hairstyles.
She was not aware that the chrome metal ring some of the young men were wearing on chains around their necks were cockrings. And truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys wearing them didn’t know, any more than a lot of the girls in the mid-eighties inspired by Madonna started wearing silicon cockrings as bracelets. And also, most of those guys probably weren’t gay. It’s often been the case that certain marginalized groups, including by not limited to queers, establish fashion trends that get copied subsequently by other folks.
fontfolly on where fashion comes from.
Wait. A pash-band is a what now? themoreyouknow.gif
How can you not be pansexual in space? There are so many things to have sex with. I didn’t think that was that weird. Yeah, [Lando’s] coming on to everybody. It just didn’t seem that weird to me ‘cause I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, no, only guys or girls. No, it’s anything. This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have good time out here.
Donald Glover is the Lando we deserve.
Please give me all the Pansexual Lando’s Naughty Space Adventures.
A galaxy full of love,
When we wear rainbows, we’re saying “my sexuality is valid, and your sexuality is valid, and bi, gay, pansexual, transexual, asexual, and straight people are all equally valid and have a right to be who they are.” Yes, we’re saying the straight people are valid, too. We aren’t calling for straight people to self-deport. We aren’t calling for straight people to be killed. We aren’t calling for straight people to be converted. Rightwing anti-gay people do call for queer people to be fired from their jobs, denied the right to rent or own homes, denied the right to put their spouses and children on their medical insurance, denied the right to marry their significant others, denied the right to adopt, denied the right to protection from assault and harassment, denied health care, and so forth. They advocate rounding us up and putting us in prison, or camps, or so-called hospitals (depending on how blatant they are in their bigotry). They advocate the widely debunked conversion therapy. They advocate bullying queer kids in school (when you insist that religiously conservative kids can’t be punished for bullying queer kids or the children of queer parents, you are advocating bullying).
When the anti-gay people (including the neo-Nazis) do that, it isn’t a difference of opinion, it is oppression and assault.
fontfolly on differences.
My husband, bless his centrist heart, has quite a few friends of the far-right fundamentalist Christian persuasion. I… will not hang out with them socially. I’m just not interested in playing nice with people who actively support political parties, organisations, and policies that make my life more difficult (up to an including deadly). I guess I’m just funny like that.