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Unspecial.

The defining feature of homophobia is that the people who hate you are picturing you having sex. [Former High Court justice] Michael Kirby once made this point, although not as bluntly. The hatred is a kind of jealousy. The challenge of queer sex is a challenge to the notion that intimacy shared between a man and a woman is somehow special. It isn’t.

This jealousy is the source of all the false reverence that exists for procreation. It is why critics of marriage equality talk about erosion: it’s not a fear of difference so much as a fear that others can be like you. It’s why conservatives hate being told that gender is a spectrum and it is not fixed. If being a man with a penis and a wife doesn’t make you special, maybe you are not special. Maybe all the certainties of privilege and simplicity are constructs, too. Maybe God didn’t make your penis. Maybe God didn’t even make you a man.

On constructs.

2020-02-07T08:15:58+11:008th June, 2020|Tags: culture, quiltbag|

Too little, too late.

No, these filmmakers [for Rise of Skywalker and Endgame] are instead content to get in just before the finish line, waiting until the very last movies in their respective franchises to throw the dogs a bone. The only way to talk about these benchmarks is dismissively: too little, too late. But we’re of course supposed to celebrate. Never mind the incredible trove of LGBT representation you do see in, say, fan fiction; never mind all the ways fans have taken the mere idea of Finn and Poe as lovers and done more with it, with more creativity and sympathy, than any Disney property will likely ever do. Never mind the fact that, accordingly, LGBT representation in Disney’s art does exist—among its fans, not its creators.

The idea that these laughably minor wins are something to celebrate goes hand in hand with Disney’s broader attitude toward film history, which the company has long seemed to think is something better off locked up in a vault somewhere—the better to exploit the art’s value, after all. Let’s just say it straight: The company that won’t even let Baby Yoda memes flourish without losing its shit over copyright will never be a beacon of representation of any sort, let alone queer representation, which, among other things, has often made sport of appropriating and messy-ing the firm sexual boundaries in ostensibly straight, copyrighted art. Disney is too concerned with representation as product to be a beacon of anything. And the fans who care will still, even as of these two movies, largely be left to their own creative, imaginative devices—and they are probably better off.

K. Austin Collins on disrepresentation.

Make 2020 the year you say “No!” to corporate art!

2020-02-07T08:09:34+11:006th June, 2020|Tags: culture, pop culture, quiltbag|

Bait.

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.

Jenny on queerbaiting.

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.)

  1. … fauke? []
2019-07-23T14:27:11+10:0029th November, 2019|Tags: culture, pop culture, quiltbag|

Community standards.

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.

  1. Like Facebook, apparently… []
2019-06-04T07:34:15+10:0015th October, 2019|Tags: culture, quiltbag, social media|

Riot.

[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.)

  1. Also, ironically, the only time I’ve ever been groped by a strange dude in a public place! Not even pride parades are safe spaces from gross straight men, apparently! []
  2. Or, arguably, because of. []
2019-12-18T09:52:47+11:0026th June, 2019|Tags: culture, quiltbag|

Queer.

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.

2018-11-26T11:08:08+11:0030th March, 2019|Tags: culture, quiltbag|

Kockring Ken.

[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

2018-03-29T10:14:20+11:0020th September, 2018|Tags: culture, quiltbag|
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