queerness

A thing that bothers me.

You ever have a stranger meet your pet? With many animals, their sex isn’t obvious, so unless you give them a hint, or the stranger goes out of their way to look up your pet’s behind, they have about a 50% shot of getting it right when making casual conversation.

Which means that, when hanging out and strangers meet an animal I’m chillin’ with, the animal is frequently misgendered.

Now, this is no biggie! I kinda doubt the animal cares, and it doesn’t hurt me any. Pets’ genders are really more just a human construct that we project onto them.

But see, the people get so embarrassed if I bother to correct them. They may blush or get flustered, and they apologize sincerely. They then use the animal’s correct pronouns without fail, and immediately fix the way they construct that animal’s gender.

However, when I’m chillin’ with a friend of mine who is genderqueer or trans and non-passing, if people interacting with said friend get corrected about their pronouns, they don’t have the same reaction at ALL. They often continue to misgender the person, no matter how many times they’re corrected, and if confronted about this will whine that it’s just too hard to remember.

What it comes down to is that people have more respect for the gender and dignity of a goddamn golden retriever than for a human being.

anonymous asked:

Are there any comics where Nightcrawler struggles with his religion not lining up with his personal beliefs? I'm asking because I know someone who insists Kurt must be a homophobe because a devout Catholic wouldn't disagree with the church's teachings. I'm not Catholic, but I went to a Catholic school for 8 years, and I know she's wrong. Also, Kurt is one of my favorite characters, I'm queer, and she keeps telling me that it's unethical to like him. Are there any comics that will shut her up?

Dear Anonymous,

Miles and I addressed the textual evidence—which lands firmly on your side, by the way—in Episode 34, but I’d also like to take a moment to talk to your friend directly:

Dear Anonymous’s Friend,

You seem like someone who works hard to consider the cultural context and ethical implications of the media you consume. That’s really cool, and it’s something I try very hard to both practice—as a podcaster, as a critic, and as a consumer—and to encourage in our audience.

Here’s the thing, though, AF—this is not black-and-white, it never has been, and it never will be. It’s not a rigid objective rubric. It’s a deeply personal judgment call. And when you attack your friend because they like a fictional character you find personally problematic, you are being an asshole.

AF, it is absolutely okay for your friend to find enjoyment, value, and points of personal identification in things that don’t perfectly mesh with their identity or personal beliefs. To tell anyone that they’re not allowed to have those things because fictional entities in which they find meaning don’t measure up on a rigid real-world rubric is—as far as I’m concerned—incredibly uncool.

I also want to address another point that your concerns about Nightcrawler bring up—about members of marginalized groups searching for points of identification in mass media. I don’t know anything about you, but your friend mentioned that they’re queer, and I know from experience that when you’re reading from a position anywhere on the margins—say, as a sexual minority—one of the first skills you learn is to identify with fictional characters who aren’t like you and sometimes even profoundly conflict with your personal identity and values. You learn to do this because when you are coming from that position, if you strike from the list every character who doesn’t precisely reflect your values and identity, you are denying yourself the overwhelming majority of the options available.

And having those footholds, those points of affection and identification and fandom—that matters. It matters so much. Cyclops and I don’t have a ton in common superficially—in canon, he’s portrayed as a straight male-presenting person who grew up in an orphanage and shoots force beams out of his eyes; and I’m a queer female-presenting person who grew up with two (very cool) parents and no superpowers whatsoever. Cyclops is also often a total jerk a lot of the time; and especially in the Silver Age, he says and does some completely fucked up shit, including some things that are unambiguously sexist or racist.

But you know what? He’s still my favorite character, because there are things really fundamental to who I am and how I experience the world that I find reflected in Cyclops and almost nowhere else in fiction. Because having him available to me as a metaphor helps me parse shit that I otherwise do not have the tools to handle. Because I am never, ever going to find a paper mirror that reflects all of the complicated, faceted aspects of my identity and experiences—and guess what? no human being is—so I find and cobble together points of identification where I can.

Ultimately, though, that’s secondary to my main point. You do not get to decide what other people are allowed to like. Independent of action, liking things—or disliking them—is not itself an ethically charged act. What you are doing here does not serve a greater good. It does not speak to ethical consumption of fiction, or ethical anything. It’s just petty and cruel.

Look, AF, it’s okay if Nightcrawler’s Catholicism is a deal-breaker for you, personally. That is just fine. You are absolutely not obliged to like everything your friend likes, and you shouldn’t have to answer to their preferences or personal rubrics for the fiction they consume any more than they should have to answer to yours. But part of being a friend is recognizing that you are not the same person. Of the fictional characters and real people in this scenario, there’s only one trying to impose rigid dogma aggressively enough to do harm—and it’s not Nightcrawler.

(Also, your understanding of both Nightcrawler’s historical portrayal in X-Men and the relationship between Catholic dogma and the politics and personal views of individual Catholics is just spectacularly off-base.)

Sincerely,
Rachel

The trouble with explaining what queerness is (to your parents, to straight cis people, to your friends, to yourself) is that as soon as you define queerness as this or that, you have lost it. Once you pin queerness down and establish boundaries of what queer is and what it means, whatever that is isn’t queer anymore. It’s a solidified identity, which is precisely what queer isn’t. And so you have to go in search of the queer again. Every time you try to pin it down, it escapes you: that is queerness’ power. I won’t go so far as to say queerness is the search for the queer, but it is perpetually in motion. This makes people uncomfortable. Being queer can feel a bit like sea-sickness sometimes. Some people may even doubt the existence of the queer, given this notion of queer as horizon (as outlined by Jose Munoz). However, I would argue that unlike saying “Queer is…” saying “I am queer” does not limit queerness in a way that eliminates it. Instead, it enacts the notion of queer as horizon: it opens queer up to the infinite possibilities of your future. It understands your present as one of the possibilities of your past future. To say “I am queer” is not to say that queer is only what you are, but that you are an iteration which can and will expand queerness. You are a queerness which has never heretofore occurred, and all your potential is the realm of queer horizon of being. So the academic understanding of queerness does not destroy queer in lived experience. Queer continues to exist in the potentiality of queer-identified bodies. That is what, or where, queer is.
—  Haley Weaver, Enacting a Queer Ethic of Writing: Sometimes Y
Dean Pelton goes through something we’ve all gone through - the sudden, panicked, defeated realization that we’re a joke, that all our life is spent in futility, that we’re wrong about everything, that we’re alone and nobody cares. And I find it noteworthy that it really registers as “ironic television” to have him bound in at the end with a big smile on his face having discovered that life isn’t so bad and that his weirdness was a gift to other people. It’s evidence of how messed up we’ve become as a society, the fact that in this day and age, the “unexpected joke” can be happiness. The good news is, being messed up doesn’t mean the story’s over. It means the story’s just starting, and in the end, we all find out we’re NOT ALONE, or maybe that we’re ALL ALONE and therefore united in our loneliness. I really appreciate you posting this, as you can imagine, Dean Pelton is understandably perceived by some to be a queer stereotype, like, ha ha, laugh at the gay guy, and I’m always finding myself clarifying, he’s not gay, he’s not straight, he’s an ocean-deep, planetwide labyrinth of kinks and turns. He represents the part of all of us that doesn’t get turned on by Budweiser ads, and sometimes feels a little lost because of it, but that heroically, CHARGES ON in the discovery of himself.
—  Dan Harmon, on Dean Pelton, in reponse to a fantastic viewer message on Reddit.
We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality…an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future. The future is queerness’ domain. Queerness is a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see the future beyond the quagmire of the present. The here and now is a prison house. We must strive, in the face of the here and now’s totalizing rendering of reality, to think and feel a then and there. Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of the moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds … Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.
—  In memory of José Esteban Muñoz, from his book, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity
The White Kind of Body

A while ago I wrote and performed a poem “expressing and owning up to my internalized racism and how it shapes my desire. After performing this poem for the first time I had several queer people of color approach me and tell me in private that they, too, shared similar desires for whiteness, but had never felt comfortable articulating it publicly. Curiously enough many of my white queer friends avoided eye contact with me after the poem and never brought it up again. Every time I perform this piece I get similar reactions.

In this piece I want to share my personal story of internalized racism and how this was and continues to be linked to my queer identity. It is my goal to use this piece as a starting piece for a collection of essays on race, queerness, and desire. In subsequent posts I want to address, in more detail, questions and strategies that I raise here.

Gay identity as a tactic of white supremacy

The mainstream gay narrative includes a story that begins with trauma, abjection, insecurity and ends with liberation, visibility, and confidence. We are asked: When did you know? When did you first figure out? And we respond with the stories they want to hear: we tell them about screaming “I’m gay” outside in the middle of the night, we tell them about sneaking looks in the locker room. But we do not tell them about the first time we were called a terrorist. We do not tell them about how we refused to speak our native tongue at home. These stories, they elide histories of racial trauma that are not ancillary, but actual central to the construction of our queer identities. I want us to revisit our self-narratives and think about the role of race in their construction. I believe that race is, actually, always already implicated in these stories, even for white people.

Here’s mine.

I have always been attracted to whiteness. I remember in kindergarten I would develop crushes on all the white boys in my class – those white boys who came from rich families with mothers who ran the parent-teacher organizations, those white boys who played little league baseball and joined Boy Scouts.

These were the days I would go home and ask my mother why we didn’t go to church. I would tell my grandmother to stop wearing saris and put on pants instead. These were the days I’d ask my parents why we weren’t like other families: why we didn’t eat steak for dinner, and watch football, and do the things that normal families do. Growing up I always felt inadequate and embarrassed by my brownness and my Hindu/South Asian culture. I would willingly attend Christian youth groups with my white friends and feel so much validation in their acceptance.

This attraction was, and continues to be, always about power. I wanted to be white so desperately because that meant I would finally be normal, finally be accepted. I admired the white boys in my kindergarten class because they had power, they had respect, they were beautiful.

At first I didn’t have the language to understand my feelings of Otherness and inadequacy. It was only after 9/11 that I was able to understand that I had a race. I remember it vividly: on September 12 my mother told me to be careful at school. My middle-school had an assembly in the gym. We were all instructed to wear white and blue and we gathered and sang the national anthem. I remember singing as loud as the rest, and I remember feeling part of something bigger than myself. I didn’t really understand what happened, but goddamnit I knew that I was American. I knew it in the same way my Hindu temple knew that it was a good idea to put an American flag on the back of our t-shirts: “God bless America / we will never forget September 11.” After the assembly a white classmate came up to me and asked me, “Why did your people do this to us?” And for the first time I felt the burden of brownness.

The truth is, at some level, I began to believe everything they said. I began to believe that I was not an American. I began to believe that my people were wrong. I began to believe that my people were ugly.

Coming into consciousness of my brownness occurred at the same time I began to come into awareness of my same-sex desire. It’s impossible for me to divorce these narratives – they have been, and will always be – interrelated. The boys I began to fantasize about were the same boys I wrote love letters to as a child, were the same boys I wanted to become so desperately. The boys – the men – I was sexually attracted to were the very white men who made me feel ugly, made me feel insignificant, made me feel worthless.

Awareness of my queerness arrived at the same time as consciousness of my racialization. In some ways, my queerness worked as a mechanism of my racial oppression and contributed to my feelings of racial inadequacy. Now, the very white men who degraded me felt sexy to me. My desire shackled me to white supremacy. As much as I wanted to love my brownness, my culture, my otherness – I became even more drawn, tantalized, and attracted to whiteness. As much as I resented and was bruised by the racial trauma inflicted by the white men around me, I found myself deeply attracted to them. I found myself accepting their insults, their stereotypes, their racialization – justifying it with my attraction to them.

When I ‘came out’ and began to consume gay discourses – pornography, blogs, movies, etc. – the depictions of gayness reified whiteness. Queer characters were almost always white, gay porn almost always included white men – unless it was explicitly marked as interracial or racial/fetish porn, etc. At first I didn’t mind this. In fact, I enjoyed it; I found these depictions of whiteness incredibly attractive. Now that I look back on it, consuming these discourses, coming out as ‘gay,’ and organizing within a traditional ‘gay rights’ framework made me happy because I felt like I was becoming white. Being ‘gay’ being part of a ‘gay’ community gave me an opportunity to escape from my race, gave me new connections to whiteness, new ways to intimately embrace it and experience its validation. As I began to get more involved with mainstream gay life, I found myself feeling less brown. I used language and identity-frameworks that were inaccessible to the South Asian community I grew up with (and was okay with that, because at least my white friends accepted me). I went to parties and political gatherings with mostly white people. I stopped talking and thinking about race, and fabricated a de-racinated narrative of queer oppression to fit in, to be part of the community.

 Racial Fetishism Within Queer Male Communities

Originally I thought that identifying as gay and participating in gay communities would make me feel more legitimate, more desirable, more affirmed by structures of whiteness. However, I soon realized that queer communities actually inflicted some of the most severe racial trauma for me.

My first significant relationship was with a South Asian woman my first year of high school – before I started actively identifying and participating in gay/queer communities. We shared our experiences with racial trauma, our experiences as diasporic South Asians, our anxieties about our Hindu religion in our small town and I began to develop erotic and romantic feelings for her. Our subsequent four-year relationship was perhaps one of the most significant journeys for my racial liberation. I began to feel beauty in brownness. Looking back, I was less attracted to her gender, and more attracted to her race. Typical heterosexual narratives that suggest that men enter relationships with the ‘opposite’ gender and rely on a difference model did not align well here. Rather, I was attracted to her because of our mutual sameness.

In all of my subsequent relationships and interactions with (white) men, I have been unable to experience this sense of solidarity, of kinship, of sameness. Mainstream narratives of homosexuality conceptualize it as ‘same-sex’ desire: we hear stories about how cis men know how to please other men better because they have a penis. We hear how same-sex relationships are more functional because both parties “get one another.” These narratives, as is the case with most gay narratives, do not map well on queer of color experience like my own. All of my relationships with (white) men have felt much more conflicted, racially charged, and oppositional. Embracing a white male body never feels comfortable, natural, same. It feels foreign, exotic, different.

As I began to participate in white gay communities I recognized that what attracted to me to these boys – what had always attracted me to whiteness – was its difference from me. Whiteness was a commodity, a property that I didn’t own and was systematically denied. I wanted to be with white guys because I was attracted to the power, to their foreignness, to the thrill of difference. I found myself turning down incredibly charming and political queer boys of color, because I just didn’t get the same power trip, the same attraction to them. I found myself pursuing the most problematic, the most racist and obnoxious white boys, just because their otherness was that desirable.

My early and uncritical experiences with white men reminded me that I can never have access to this cultural capital, that I will always be brown, no matter how much queer communities profess to be ‘one.’ I began to realize the extreme racism and colorism that governs much of queer male life: the lighter you are, the more attractive you are. The darker you are, the more likely you are to be friend-zoned.

The majority of the times I found myself incredible invisible to the white queer gaze. I met white boys with dating profiles: “No Asians / No Fems.” Sexual racism like this was rarely as explicit, it manifested itself in more silent and pernicious ways: always being the ‘friend’ and never anything more. When I would confront my white queer friends about why they didn’t date other boys of color they’d often say things like: “I don’t see race – get over it, it’s not important!” And though they would often profess liberal and anti-racist politics, they would still only sleep with and date other white men. When I began to meet white queer men who were or experienced intimate relations across color lines they would often say that race wasn’t central to their desire or relationship. The idea was that being gay already involved transgressing one taboo, why not jump over another?

Those white queer men who did express interest often articulated it in ways that were just as problematic, just in a reverse direction. One white boy told me that he had always wanted to be with a brown man. He told me that I felt like a real man. And, at the time, I loved it. For the first time in my life I experienced validation from the very body that taunted me growing up. When he embraced me I felt like the United States taking me back again, I felt worthy, I felt normal. In that small encounter I experienced a tremendous range of trauma and emotion. I performed my race – in its most stereotypical forms – for him so that I could obtain his acceptance. In subsequent relationships I experienced similar hyper-fetishization – experiences where my brownness was central to a white man’s attraction to me. It manifested itself in sometimes subtle ways – comments on my rugged masculinity (gesturing to histories of associations with bodies of color and primitive animality), cloaked racist sayings like all South Asians are so sexy).

In all of these experiences – the ones where I was hyper invisible and hyper visible – one theme remained constant: I was always reduced to my race. My race was the primary basis of my desireability or undesireability. I never was able to enter interactions where my race was not salient – the paradigm established was that I was always the one with ‘the race,’ while whiteness remained unmarked, uncontested.

Thus, ironically, even though I expected my homosexuality to integrate me into a community that made me finally feel part of something bigger than myself again (after becoming an outcast in a post 9/11 nationalist American), I actually began to feel even more brown, even more violently racialized.

After severally racially charged experiences with white men I found myself in some of the deepest and most visceral racial trauma of my life. I found myself predicating my very self-worth, my integrity, on validation by white men. It didn’t matter how many people of color were attracted to me, only white guys counted. It didn’t matter to me how successful I was in school or how wonderful of an activist I was, only validation by white men could make me happy.

 The Limits of Queer: Ways Forward

I soon recognized that the ways I, uncritically, desired whiteness were destructive to my political and emotional liberation. I began to read a lot more critical race theory, post-colonial theory, and think much more about white supremacy and how queer projects are complicit in it. I am now committed to decolonizing the intimacy I participate in – to disarticulating my attraction from the imprint of my oppression and envisioning alternative and radical ways to feel, relate, and engage with whiteness.

I am extremely skeptical of the race neutrality of the majority of queer/gender/sexuality desire. I strongly disapprove of the way that queer communities and individuals organize, fuck, art, envision, and grow together in ways that don’t address racial difference. My experiences with internalized racism have given me the opportunity to see how race can actually become central to our desire and politics. Here are some ways that I’ve been thinking about this:

 . Our Sexual Identity Frameworks are already racist. We need to stop relying on a framework of sexual identity that anchors our attraction to ‘sex.’ Currently the only way that we think of sexual identity is in terms of what gender/sex’s we are attracted to. The only discourse I had access to growing up told me that I was “gay” because I was attracted to (some) men. However, it makes no sense for me to identify as ‘gay.’  Identifying as gay would mean that I am a man attracted to other men. But the truth is I am not attracted to all men. I am attracted to a very particular type of racialized, classed, gendered, etc. masculinity. Current frameworks of sexual identity assume that ‘men’ and ‘women’ exist as stable categories and elide racial and other differences among men and women. The assumption here is that all men look the same, which is obviously not the case. Using this framework, white man can identify as gay but still only be intimate with other white men. Gay becomes a way in which we can cloak our racisms, rather than make them central to the way that we articulate our desires. We need a more complex way to relate our sexual histories and fantasies to one another. In my case, my desire and identities have been more oriented around race, than sex/gender

2. Our sexual desires themselves are already racist. As a queer body of color I have not had the privilege to disassociate my attraction from my oppression. The people I am most attracted to are the people I have been told to be attracted to. Our society – through media, and other discourse – valorizes particular expressions of white and masculinity. These images have been ingrained into me to the point that I often have to question whether I am attracted to an individual for them, or for their whiteness - whether I am attracted to an individual, or a system. I am troubled by a paradigm that locates oppressed bodies as the only bodies that experience attraction this way. The fact is that all desires are implicated within racist, classist, colonial, etc. systems and circuits of desire – it’s just for some of us this is more salient. We must think critically about the nature of our desires and how to contest, unlearn, and re-imagine them.

3. We need to talk more about the relationship between white supremacy and sexual politics: I have shown how my body of color has been implicated in a project of white supremacy. It is important that we move beyond a framework that suggests that white people are the only people who can be racist. The reality of the situation is that most of us are white supremacists. White supremacy is a pervasive, totalizing, and dominant ideology that becomes bolstered by all bodies – not just white bodies. I want us to think more about what our queer movements and radical sex movements are doing to contest white supremacy – or, rather, how they are becoming (or have always been) complicit with this ideology.

4. Attraction as already fetishistic: I believe that fetish-oriented models of sexuality are a way to allow us to talk about internalized racism and other prejudices in relation to our sexual desires. Inspired by queer psychoanalysts like Tim Dean, I’m interested in re-imagining all desire as fetishistic. What this means is that we are not born predisposed to any particular attraction. Rather, we develop our attractions. (ie the penis is not inherently attractive, it becomes attractive). This process of becoming attractive occurs within a white supremacist, patriarchal, prejudiced culture in which particular fetishes become normalized (ie white heterosexual intimacy) while others become seen as perverse (foot fetish, racial fetish, etc.). Talking about our desires as fetishes is productive because it helps us remember that our desires are protean, able to shift, change, and respond. It reminds us that we experience desire as individuals – that no group-oriented terms like ‘gay’ (or even queer people of color) can adequately describe the specificity of our desire.

5. Gay rights/advocacy is not a queer project. Within a narrow-issue gay politic, I could excuse myself of my internalized racism and focus on my same-sex intimacy as already inherently radical. This isn’t sufficient. I think the power of a queer project lies in its ability and acknowledgement that our desires are political and that our intimacies are microcosms of the Revolution. A queer project involves unlearning our identities and attractions, disarticulating our racial fetishes and allowing ourselves to be attracted to all races. A queer project makes us be more critical of the way that we have conflated homosexuality as inherently transgressive. Isn’t predominant attraction to men or women implicated within structures of sexism and patriarchy? Queer desiring men need to think more about how our lack of attraction to women is related to and contributes to misogynist interpretations of the female body. Queering our desires involves opening ourselves to new types of intimacies, new types of consensual pleasures, with all types of identities. We are not yet queer, we aspire to queerness – and as part of that project we have to learn how to expand our desires and make them more empathetic, embracing, and radical for all.

The whole moment was just a great embodiment of the gay experience: a straight dude shouting about how two dudes together is gross and propositioning a lesbian at the same time.
— 

The Advocate: What not to yell at a lesbian comic

This whole thing is great commentary, not just for what it inadvertently says about the state of white male privilege in comedy, but for what it says about the general attitude towards female sexuality that’s expressed through the co-opting of porn and explicit sexual fantasy involving two men.

It seems like so many straight men cannot cope, to any degree, with the idea of a) het porn existing that’s not somehow about them, b) lesbian porn existing that’s not being made *for* them, c) gay porn existing and women finding it hot, because that’s on the total opposite side of the spectrum from “porn that’s about straight men;” and most importantly, d) sexual fantasies that they can’t somehow control or be agents of.

No wonder so many male writers and pop culture critics go out of their way to denigrate and deride slash fiction and romance written by women. Because even when it’s about them, it’s not really ABOUT them, and that seems to drive them up the wall—when they can comprehend it at all.

(H/T acafanmom)

‘Advances’ such as gay marriage and the increasing media visibility of well-heeled gays and lesbians threaten to obscure the continuing denigration and dismissal of queer existence. One may enter the mainstream on the condition that one breaks ties with all those who cannot make it—the nonwhite and the nonmonogamous, the poor and the genderdeviant, the fat, the disabled, the unemployed, the infected, and a host of unmentionable others. Social negativity clings not only to these figures but also to those who lived before the common era of gay liberation—the abject multitude against whose experience we define our own liberation. Given the new opportunities available to some gays and lesbians, the temptation to forget—to forget the outrages and humiliations of gay and lesbian history and to ignore the ongoing suffering of those not borne up by the rising tide of gay normalization—is stronger than ever.
—  Heather Love, Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History
So I went into Barnes and Noble today

I have a 10 dollar gift card, and a burning desire to pick up some queer theory or queer lit books. Normally bookstores will have a little section set aside for “gay and lesbian” books (thanks for the monosexism, but hey, I’m pretty used to it.)

So I set out trying to find it. I check through fiction (Come on LGBT+ fiction section!) only to find nothing. Surely, some of these books HAVE LGBT character in them, but without any labels, it’s impossible to tell. I check through the romance selection. About 3 whole ROWS of tall shelves of romance, but none marked LGBT.

Then non-fiction. Past cooking, science, sociology, psychology, history, sexuality (And entire book case, top to bottom) and relationships (another case, top to bottom.) Nothing. 

I was getting frustrated. Like, really frustrated. I checked the electronic catalogue. It claims there is a “Gay and Lesbian” section near the Women’s Studies. So I go hunting again.

I find the Women’s Studies section (Little less than a whole book case. About half the size of the “relationship” section.) But where is the Gay and Lesbian area? I look around.

Look down. 

The bottom two little shelves. All of the Gay and Lesbian fiction AND non-fiction on two tiny little shelves, right at the bottom on the floor. LGBT History, LGBT relationship, LGBT legal issues, LGBT romance stories all crammed onto two little shelves. 

And I sat there, looking though the maybe two or three dozen books and remembered the HUNDREDS of books in the “sexuality” section, the HUNDREDS of books in the “romance” section, the HUNDREDS of books in the “romance” section.

I got a great sounding book for my troubles, but it’s hard not to feel somewhat bitter when I think about how little we get compared to how much everyone else does. 

spiese asked:

Theory: Elsa's relationship with her powers = metaphor for the queer experience. Your thoughts?

The cool thing about Elsa’s powers is that they can be seen as a metaphor for almost any painful secret one can be is shunned by society for, whether it’s being queer or having mental illness. She canonically suffers from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.  That’s a big reason she’s so popular, especially with people who can relate to that kind of stress.

It reminds me a lot of Vanellope in Wreck-It-Ralph (made by the same creators) and how she referred to her “glitchyness” as “pixelexia” as if it was a mental disability. She was never vilified for it being a “glitch”, but was an underdog in a struggle against her ableist society.  Her every aspiration was stomped on and undermined by bullies who insisted they outcasting and excluding her “for her own safety.” (Or just because they enjoyed picking on her and hated having someone “different” in their group.)

I can definitely see parallels to Elsa, with her being locked away by her parents for being different in a way she can’t control.  I’m sure the directors knew some people would interpret Elsa as being queer, or at least her powers as metaphor for queerness.  

I love characters like her (and Vanellope) because they represent real struggles, but they are well-rounded enough that the traits that make them “different” aren’t their sole defining trait.  Elsa is loving, kind person who wants nothing more than to have normal human contact, but always acts to protect others, even if that means sacrificing her ties to them.  Vanellope is daring, optimistic, and ambitious, even in the face of overwhelming hate directed at her.  

And the best part is that they’re not villains, they’re relatable protagonists who have to face challenges and overcome them, even if that means changing the ignorant/bigoted minds of everyone in their world to accept them and love them as they are. (Or in Elsa’s case, learning to love herself when her sister shows her the love she’s never had.)

Sorry, I just have a lot of feels about this.

kind of starting to wonder if maybe my sexuality isn’t really bi/pansexual and is in fact more like ‘highs in the upper Kinseys with scattered robert downey and a chance of tom hardy’

When we decided that we were going to start (carefully and gradually) publishing pieces by other writers, Sigrid Ellis’s “Kitty Queer” was the first on my list to acquire. It originally appeared in the anthology Chicks Dig Comics, which Sigrid edited. It’s an amazing and deeply personal examination of the double-edged sword of subtextual queerness in Claremont’s X-Men; and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and do. -Rachel

I was sitting on the top bunk when I told Rogue I was gay. This was in the spring of my sophomore year of college, so that meant the bunk bed was in Bigelow Hall on the Macalester College campus. I was in the dorm room by myself, it was nighttime, and the fluorescent gleam of the overhead light reflected off of the Jim Lee X-Men triptych poster stuck to the opposite wall with duct tape. I was crying in horrified humiliation, but the look in Rogue’s eye told me I was going to be okay.

To say I probably ought to have figured out my complete lack of heterosexuality a little bit sooner in life is… a vast understatement. I blame Chris Claremont.

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