Queer Culture

anonymous asked:

If a cisgendered, heterosexual woman constantly says, "yes gurl" and "yas queen" even with the intention of encouraging the other person, is this cultural appropriation?

The word is cisgender.

But, potentially, yes. But it’s not just being cishet.

I know that “yas” originates from 80s queer poc culture.

Meanwhile, phrasing like “yes gurl” typically is trying to mimic “sassy black woman” speech, which is appropriative and just generally racist for nonblack people to use, and white LGBT+ persons - particularly white gay men - have a bad habit of using this speech.

- damegreywulf

Picture Summary of Different Lesbian Couples

The Teenage Romantics (obsessed with heart-finger photos)

The Hipster Lesbians

The beautiful femmes 

The beautiful buthes

The Proud Interracial Lovers

The Ones Who Grew Old Together

The Succesful Celeb Couple

The Cuddle Monsters

The Cosplayers

The Power Moms!

The sex addicts

The Young Hipster Butches

The Trendy Hippies


Xochipilli is the god of flowers, dance, beauty, and art in Aztec mythology. He is also called Flower Prince because his name can be split from two Nahuatl words, xochitl meaning flower and pilli meaning prince. Xochipilli was also a god of fertility and associated with gender-variance and same-sex eroticism. Xochipilli was seen as the patron of MSM (men who have sex with men), which may have resulted from his associations with Toltec civilization. (Aztecs viewed the Toltecs as their predecessors). 

A Comic Con Just For Queers Could Be Headed Your Way Soon

Geeks OUT has launched a new campaign to fund a comic con specifically for the queer community and its allies. Called Flame Con, this event is slated to be a one-day comics, arts and entertainment expo that covers the whole spectrum of queer geek cul…

In queer culture, gender is analysed only as a problematic binary, not as a hierarchy. Queer culture rightly considers it oppressive that women are socially constructed into a rigid feminine role and men into a masculine one, but what is missing is an analysis of who constructed both masculinity and femininity/gender roles, whose purpose and benefit they serve and the hierarchical way that gender operates, with masculinity as dominant and femininity as subordinate. The fact that these essential ingredients are missing from base-level analysis means that the strategies that queer theorists argue should be deployed to fix the problematic construction of gender are not only flawed, but colonise, and harm women, and perpetuate male supremacy.

Demian DinéYazhi’
Untitled (For We'Wha), 2014

We’Wha (1849-1896)
Zuni Lhamana

When Europeans arrived in North America they were shocked that native peoples often interpreted gender differently from them. Not only were many cultures matriarchal, a great many tribes accepted three genders instead of only two. 

Zuni Pueblo, in western New Mexico, honored three genders before the coming of protestant missionaries. Men who chose not to become hunters and warriors became lhamanas, members of the alternative gender that bridged the other two. While they were initiated into male religious societies, they became crafts specialists and wore female garb. They were nonwarriors who moved freely in the male and female worlds.

We-wha was a Zuni lhamana who helped bridge his culture and that of Anglo-Americans. He was one of the first Zunis to experiment with new economic activities, something essential in the changing world of his day. He was a cultural ambassador for Zuni, traveling to Washington, D.C., where no one guessed he was not a woman in the many months he mixed with "high society” there. He assisted Anglo scholars who came to record the ways of his people, but he also resisted Anglo incursions when they seemed improper – once even ending up in jail. 

He was a deeply spiritual person… His photograph hangs in the tribal museum today, and gay Native Americans throughout North America remember him as a spiritual hero and guide.“  // –Robert Lentz


Well, inquisitive hypothetical reader, there’s a second interesting tidbit in all that “lesbians are more likely to be fat” business. As it turns out, queer girls (lesbians AND bisexuals) are ALSO more likely to NOT THINK they’re fat, even when their BMI puts them in one of the “overweight” categories. On the flip side, straight girls are more likely to think of themselves as fat even when they’re not. That’s right, “overweight” queer ladies tend to be less critical of their bodies than straight women.

Researchers want to call this a problem of self-perception, but I have a different theory. It could be, perhaps, that queer girl culture doesn’t suffer the incessant, unreasonable pressure of the male gaze in the same way that straight girl culture does. After all, if you don’t have to concern yourself with attracting men as romantic partners, it’s considerable more reasonable to not give a fuck about their photoshopped-magazine-and-mainstream-pornography-fueled beauty standards, and you might be less likely to internalize that garbage. A dig through some psychology journals show that I’m not making this up. One study showed that lesbians tended to rate the attractiveness of bigger women higher than straight women did. A later study showed that women who felt a strong connection to the lesbian community scored better in personal body image and had fewer indications of depression.

So, we’ve got an NIH study about fat lesbians, a problematic cultural fixation on weight and weight-loss, and a rejection of heterosexual beauty standard by queer ladies. What’s the takeaway here? It’s that we should be concerned when science and medicine make such considerable efforts to pathologize aspects of queer culture that conflict with mainstream straight culture, especially when those aspects of straight culture are hideously broken, like the fat-hate and weight obsession.


High resolution posters of two Indigenous Queers taken during the Long Walk/forced removal/ relocation of the Diné to an internment camp located near Bosque Redondo, New Mexico in 1866. As with all our posters, feel liberated to print out and wheatpaste at will!

The photograph shows two Diné Nádleehí (translation: “the one is changing”), which is the equivalent to Indigenous Queer identity in contemporary culture. It is accompanied by text that challenges Western perspectives on homosexuality by asking the viewer to imagine the pre-“history” of terms and issues that have become relevant to contemporary Queer culture. In this case, it inserts an Indigenous narrative prior to genocide, colonization, health epidemics, and forced assimilation to Western notions that include but are not limited to gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, same-sex marriage, queer history, and romanticization of nature and masculinity/male identity.

Survivance &


anonymous asked:

michi, what do you think of the rocky horror picture show in terms of queer culture?

In order to understand any piece of popular media’s historic significance, we have to understand the time in which it was released. 

But first! Let me tell you a story. 

A great portion of you will never know what it’s like to live without internet. But when I was growing up, internet was an incomprehensible concept to me, the stuff of scifi. Surfing the Information Superhighway? Wow! And when you didn’t have internet as a kid, everything you knew about the outside world was learned from mainstream media: movies, TV, news, or from school and your parents. And books, occasionally, if you were a nerd. (Which I was.)

We got internet in my house when I was a teenager, but it was still limited, 56k dialup, and my world was very, very small. My parents are your typical immigrant Chinese parents, with conservative and traditional values. I was unpopular, bullied at school, and had only a small handful of friends. And I was weird.

In the eyes of my parents, weird was the very worst thing that you could be. Criminals were weird. Serial killers were weird. And gay people? Definitely weird.

I didn’t look weird, at the time. In terms of fashion I had none (lack of internet, you see) and wore the same slouchy sweaters and the same mom jeans every day. But I knew, deep down, I was weird. I think other kids could tell, too, which was why the lack of friends.

I mean, I thought weird things. I made weird jokes (the stuff of tumblr text posts, c’mon, y’all know what I’m like). I learned early on in school to keep my weird thoughts and weird jokes to myself because other kids looked at you funny and sometimes teachers wanted to see you after class even though you weren’t in trouble. So I was quiet, and very shy. But somehow being a quiet nerdy shy girl who did well in school and spent all her time with her nose buried in a book instead of with other kids because she was afraid of them – well, that made you weird, too. You just can’t win.

But the weirdest thing about me was a closely-guarded secret. I was attracted to other girls, which I always thought was really normal until I ventured to ask other 12 year old girls at one of the few sleepovers my parents forced me to go to because I had to make friends in spite of the fact that I didn’t want to be friends with the girls who were mean to me and only invited me because their parents forced them to.  It was during an intense Truth or Dare session that I bravely ventured the question to Courtney B (as opposed to Courtney C, the Other Courtney). She was one of the most popular girls in my class. “Okay, truth: Have you ever had thoughts about kissing a girl?” I asked, my voice soft and quiet the way it used to be whenever I had to talk to people.

The question was immediately met with a chorus of resounding “EEEWWWW”s and “What, you mean, like a lesbian?” and “GROSS! MICHI’S A LESBIAN!”  My face flushed hot, I could feel the prickling of tears in my eyes. These were girls who didn’t like me on a good day, when I was just a regular freak, and now I had just evolved to superfreak before their eyes. (I didn’t press B fast enough on this evolution!) “No, I’m not!” I protested, amid their cries and accusations of “Lesbian! Gay!” and their cackling laughter at just being able to say the term. “I was just joking, ahahaha, that’s GROSS!” I said, and eventually made enough gagging noises that they all accepted that I was one of Them. (I was so innocent then, at 12 years old, I wasn’t even entirely sure what Lesbian meant, only that it was a gross thing to be)

“Good,” said Courtney B. “I would never invite a Lesbian to a sleepover!”

“Yeah, course not, that’s nasty,” I said, and the girls all nodded along with me.  

So fast forward a few years. I’m in high school and I’m at another slumber party, this time with just two of my actual friends - fellow outcasts like myself. “You’ve never seen Rocky Horror?” Jamie says. “Oh my god, we have to watch Rocky Horror.”

“Is that the movie about the wrestler?” I ask.

“Oh my god,” Jamie says. “Oh my god.”

And she pulls out this VHS (that’s like, an old school DVD for you kids reading this) with bright, sensual red lips on the cover and in dripping bloody red font it reads: “THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.”

This movie blew my mind. Tim Curry in his breakout role with his ridiculous makeup, his beautiful red pout and black eyeshadow in a corset, fishnet, and heels, singing “Sweet Transvestite” in deeply velvet tones; adorned with all the trappings of femininity and still undeniably masculine. Being unmistakably sexual to his golden companion Rocky. Susan Sarandon as Janet running around in her little white bra and slip. Brad giving his straight, heteronormative, white bread self over to absolute pleasure when Dr. Frank n Furter climbs into his bed. Dr. Scott’s incredible fishnet-rocking legs. All of their incredible legs. They were glamorous and they were freaky, they were murderous and horrific and divine. And most of all, they were weird. Something awakened in me that day, subtly bubbling to the surface, pressure building up to the eventual glittering gay glamourplosion that you see before you now.

Don’t just dream it, be it.

And this was all before I even saw the live show.

Now, consider this: Rocky Horror came out in 1975. The Stonewall Riots happened in 1969. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of disorders only two years prior, in 1973. And in 1976 people started going to group late night showings of Rocky Horror.

Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978. Homophobia was blatant, rampant, and deadly. Coming out meant losing your family, your job, or even your life.

But people went to Rocky Horror. They put on their white slips and their bras, their shirts and glasses and boxers, their gold lamé  underwear, their fishnest and corsets and heels and red lipstick and heavy dark eyeshadow, no matter their gender. For one night they could congregate with other fans like them, to shout witty comebacks and throw random objects at a giant lit up screen; free to be beautiful, to be strange, to be weird.

To even be queer.

Rocky Horror as a cultural phenomenon was revolutionary for queer culture. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Demian DinéYazhi’
Doo-Wop (White Guys) T-shirt, 2015

Get yours now:

Silver Foil Black T-Shirt designed by Indigenous Queer artist Demian DinéYazhi’. The text is a commentary and critique of the racist prevalent in Homosexual/Queer Culture and appropriates the slut-shaming song “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” by the anti-gay singer Lauryn Hill.

About T-Shirt:
+ Gilden Ultra Cotton - 100% Cotton
+ Made in colonized United States of America (sweatshop free)
+ Screen Printed with love by Hart Mind Soul in Portland, Oregon.


Clea DuVall on Craig Kilborn, 2003

Hi friends,

I’m currently looking for clips of (closeted) lesbian and bisexual celebrities in interview during which the (typically male) interviewer commits some sort of microaggression against the interviewee, be it talking about the topic of lesbianism too long for comfort or asking the interviewee if she is dating, has a boyfriend (hi compulsory heterosexuality), et cetera.

I’m compiling these clips for a videography project so if you know of an interview with your favorite queer celebrity that fits the description, please submit it to me. There are tons of these from the mid-90s to mid 00s and mostly from late night television, but I do not have a particular date after which the clips become irrelevant. There are some of Chely Wright which are as recent as 2007, and I’m pretty sure there are some with Rosie O'Donnell that date as far back as 1988. The trick is finding them.

So much of my focus on this specific area has to do with the interviewee’s expression upon being unexpectedly asked something intrusive–they fidget, blanch or flush, and avert the interviewee’s gaze. In retrospect, these moments are terrifying to watch because you quickly realize that the line between in-ness and outness is the difference between securing roles and being blacklisted.

how many trans people are also gay, bi, or ace?

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey tracked this and did a nifty pie chart about it! 

[image description: pie chart in different shades of blue titled “Sexual Orientation of Respondents.” chart is almost divided into equal quarters. the numbers are:
Heterosexual - 23%
Gay/Lesbian/Same-gender 23%
Bisexual - 25%
Queer - 23%
Other - 2%
Asexual - 4%] 

What I think is most interesting about it is that not only is it a much higher percentage of aces than in the general population – 4%, compared to supposedly 1% – but it’s a higher percentage of bi+ people. 

It’s important to note that a significant number of bi people prefer to label themselves as “queer” or “other”. This sometime happens in the gay/lesbian community too, but it’s a sky-high number of bi+ people, and these terms are explicitly included when people spell out who is in the bi+/mga community. Which means that more than half of trans people surveyed identified themselves under the bi+/mga umbrella. 

It’s also important to note that a quarter of trans people surveyed chose to identify themselves as queer. Whole essays could be written about why trans people often prefer that to any more specific labels. But the bottom line is that when people gatekeep or shut down the term “queer”, they’re disproportionately taking that term away from trans and bi people. 

Also super-interesting to me: the National LGBTQ Task Force (formerly known as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, one of the biggest queer orgs in the US and also consistently one of the best) did a blog post about this chart where they specifically defined “trans people who are straight” as “trans women who are only romantically and sexually interested in men and trans men who are only romantically and sexually interested in women.” 

For everyone who is like, “if you’re heteromantic but asexual, or heterosexual but aromantic, you’re straight” – here is a national organization that has been made up of, and representing, our community since 1973. They are saying that when you arbitrarily decide those people are straight, you are wrong.

(They’ve been a favorite of many people in the community for decades anyway because they and the HRC have been the two main queer orgs for ages, and the NGLTF was always the anti-racist, trans-inclusive, progressive, amazing one, while the HRC was, for years, openly racist and blatantly, blatantly transphobic.)