but i think it is an important one in gay film history

There’s such a weird fixation in media about “firsts”. Beauty and the Beast boasting disney’s “first gay scene” is the one I’m thinking about in particular, and Power Rangers with the “first gay superhero”, and in both cases it’s a blink and you’ll miss it thing, something that maintains plausible deniability of queerness within the film itself, but establishing explicit queerness in everything outside the film. We know Lefou is gay because the interview told us he was in disney’s first gay scene.

And most of these discussions of firsts devolve into which first is first. Bill gets announced as the first gay companion on doctor who, and then follows the argument of whether Jack counts as companion, whether he was the first pansexual companion while Bill is the first gay companion, whether Amy or Clara was ever canonically bisexual and should that be a factoring in calculating firsts as well. (I remember a similar argument going on when Martha was announced as the first black companion, and people were like “but Mickey?” And there’s definitely commentary waiting about contentious Firsts and characters of color, but my white ass has nothing incisive to offer on that front except the hope we are kinder and better towards Bill than we were towards Martha.) And meanwhile, here is Bill, a black gay female companion, and while that fact has definitely not gotten lost, it is still very very cool and good that she is the companion even if she is not the Absolute First.

The language of Firsts is everywhere when you start looking for it, the idea that this show/movie/video game is doing something New Never Before Done Whoa Look At The Unprecedented Gay. And when this trend worries me, it’s because:

1) it gives off a strong whiff of performative representation, where the representation isn’t as important as people knowing you’re doing it

1a) the corollary being that the emphasis on First First First makes me worried that creators are not interested in Second Third Fourth. That having had the First *spins wheel, throws dart* Lesbian Asian Marvel character (a guest star in three episodes of the Defenders, maybe fifteen minutes, every gif set celebrating her has the same three quotes because that’s all there is), they are now exempted from every having to write a Second Lesbian Asian Marvel character. Because they already did that. Didn’t you see the article in Entertainment Weekly? It was a very big deal.

2) the trend of press on the First Gay Thing tends to vastly outscale the actually gayness, which traps us in an endless loop of hype and disappointment (versus Dumbledoring where the gayness is revealed retroactively for a previously ambiguous character or relationship, and it’s a weird combination of vindication because you thought they might be gay, surprise because you didn’t expect them to be gay, and disappointment because why didn’t the work just say they were gay)

And this, even more than the rest of this post, is a personal grievance but 3) queer fandom has spent decades finding representation in subtext, in coding, in wishful thinking and disciplined literary analysis of the text. This whole First thing seems come with a subtext that every other character who had significant ambiguous relationships, was flamboyant or butch, was in anyway queercoded? Not queer. This here is the first gay thing, and we’re very brave for being the first to have done it. Gay characters must formally come out to count.

Putting aside explicitly queer characters (which exist! Which have a history that creators and fans are welcome to build upon instead of thinking they have to invent gay representation every time they launch a franchise), queer history and queer art has always entailed writing and reading in between the lines. Which requires there be lines. If the new trend is unwritten in text, out and proud in press, what does that offer? I’m happy that Explicitly Confirmed Queer is a thing that’s happening, I very much am, but if a gay child who has never read a think-piece cannot recognize themself in your Brave Unprecedented Gay Character because they didn’t read your interview with the av club, then what use is that character? What was the point? What have you actually contributed to us?

anonymous asked:

Not Voyager or DS9 relate but I really hope Discovery is dark and gritty and actually lives up to some potential something we didn't get from Previous Trek shows. If it does I just may give it a chance.

This isn’t DS9 / VOY in specific, but I still want to address this, because I have some passionate feelings about it.

It sounds like you want A Song of Ice and Star Trek, but that would be as incorrect an approach to the series as it would be if HBO made Game of Thrones without the betrayals, blood, pointless cruelty, and injustice. One of the reasons for the tone of that franchise is because George R. R. Martin is trying to knock down the rose-colored view of medieval times in fantasy. Likewise, one of the reasons for the tone of Star Trek is to oppose the relentless pessimism you find in science fiction.

There are a lot of shows and films with a dark, gritty tone about the future. Half the trailers you see in theaters now are for a world taken over by an oppressive regime, or a world in flames because of what we did to it, or a world in flames and under an oppressive regime, in which kindness and morality are as rare as diamonds and fleeting as desert frost. This is not to say that they are bad, just if you want gritty sci-fi, there is no lacking for options. Star Trek sets itself apart from these stories. Instead of assuming that we will continue being the worst of ourselves, Star Trek dares to propose that we can be the best of ourselves–that we can embrace curiosity, compassion, and knowlege, rather than fear and prejudice and greed. It says that the future can be different if we work for it. It speaks to people who are marginalized and shut out and different and says that they have the right to strive and dream. It speaks to people who are not and says “be better.”

The name of the new ship and the new series is Discovery. Does that sound gritty to you? Doesn’t sound like it to me, and I would be severely disappointed if they went along with the general trend and made a grimdark series.

Here are some things about Star Trek if you believe it has failed to live up to “some potential something,” and maybe you will think twice about giving it a chance.

  • When NASA decided they needed to recruit a more diverse corps of astronauts, they turned to the cast of the Original Series. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, points to Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura as her inspiration. (Jemison later guest-starred in an episode of TNG, and Star Trek has never stopped inspiring the kids who grow up to be astronauts.)
  • Janeway was the first female captain to lead the show, but there was also B'Elanna, the first female chief engineer who was part of the main cast. Both characters were not only intellectually brilliant but often took the lead when it came time to fight dudes who were between them and the Alpha Quadrant.
  • In the height of the Cold War and its paranoia, Star Trek put a Russian character front and center on the bridge, and that’s why you have fans creating beautiful designs for uniforms with hijabs today.
  • Avery Brooks signed onto Deep Space 9 because he wanted to portray a loving, supportive relationship between a black father and son. He even got them to change the ending of the series over it.
  • Patrick Stewart insisted on not flinching away from the brutal, dehumanizing portrayal of torture in “Chain of Command,” and the writers consulted Amnesty International to make it as harsh and realistic as possible.
  • Aron Eisenberg (Nog) got numerous calls from veterans praising his portrayal of PTSD.
  • And then there is this confession. It is far and away the most liked and reblogged confession on the blog.


I would say that is potential realized.

Star Trek doesn’t just inspire, though. Star Trek confronts. From the very beginning it has held up a mirror to society, and through either allegory or visits to “history” – in other words, the present – calls us out. “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” with the black-and-white cookie people has their leader shocked that anyone could fail to see the ‘obvious’ point that his counterpart is inferior becuase of his coloration (black… on the left side) and pointedly has diverse actors in the foreground and background, something which they had to fight for. The whole of the Bajoran Occupation arc is about the hideous toll of colonialism and facism. Janeway confronts the question of euthanasia with Quinn, Enterprise has an AIDS allegory, Picard deals with demagogues and religious fantaticism and Kirk advocates respect for life even if it is not as we know it. Deep Space 9 warns of a time when we might shut away the homeless in internment camps not from malice but apathy.

Has Star Trek failed to live up to potential? Oh, you bet. There’s no excuse for the fact that it’s taken until 2016 to have an openly gay character. It has sometimes stood tiptoe on the line of something important and then drawn back. It’s tried to be a future without sexism but also wouldn’t let Mariana Sirtis and Gates McFadden use swords in the Robin Hood episode even though they’re the only ones who actually knew stage fencing. The “cultural expert” on Chakotay turned out to be a white guy who got all his information from Hollywood westerns, a real-life version of the “Apache Tracker” from Night Vale. The times when it does not love up, in other words, is when its bright future is hampered by present-day prejudice… not when it declines to be “gritty.”

Now it’s true that alongside this you have Janeway turning into a lizard and “NO MORE BLAH-BLAHS” and Miles O'Brien versus the shaving cream monster. And quite frankly, those are also an essential part of Star Trek, and I’m pretty sure there are episodes of everyone’s favorite dark and gritty franchises which are relentlessly dumb.

But if you think the point of Star Trek is just the visuals, just the space travel, just the fun of watching Shakespearian actors fling themselves over their leather seats as the camera shakes… you have missed the point of it. It has never been about just what’s on the screen.

Sherlock S4 fuckiness and the post-its I keep to remind me of it

In no particular order, I present the list of things that are particulary infuriating to me about S4 that I’ve been keeping on post-its by my bedside table the last month in case I lose hope. They are, for me, enough proof for The Lost Special. Today being 8th of March it seems fitting to keep them in mind.

(Disclaimer: this is a compound of theories developed by hundreds of people over a long time and I cannot possibly credit everyone or explain them at this point, so I’ll just list them.)

  • The Importance Of Being Ernest, by Oscar Wilde being quoted in TFP
  • Mycroft-> Lady Bracknell, the baby in the handbag = gun in the handbag (Euros and Vivian Norbury). The baby gets thrown in the Thames?
  • Queen’s I Want To Break Free in TFP stoping at “I’ve fallen in…” (love)
  • Elephant Glass Shock Proof in Euros’s cell
  • The elephant in the Thai menu in Mycroft’s frige
  • Rosie’s elephant toy
  • The elephant in John’s living room
  • The endless horror film references in TFP (many of them being hyper meta, especially Shutter Island)
  • John/Culverton mirror
  • Una Stubbs’ voice in TFP “Softer, Sherlock” instead of Euros’
  • Russian and Turkish leaks with no reaction
  • Over reaction with the promo chess pictures being leaked
  • Promo pictures being very similar to Clue’s movie poster -> Clue’s different endings and the similar final paused shot in TFP
  • The bulding up to Moriarty not making any sense (especially if we take into account M Theory, because he IS alive)
  • TLD having the gun shown multiple times, a smoking gun that is definitely not a tranquiliser gun. The last shot fading with red, like in Bond movies
  • The enormous red carpet under John in the therapist that resembles the blood pool in the market
  • HLV/TLD paralels
  • Martin breaking the 4th wall in T6T noding to the camera while holding the glass of wine
  • SHERLOCK: Romantic entanglement, while fulfilling for other people … JOHN (interrupting): … would complete you as a human being. NO PAY OFF FOR THIS. This mirrors the greenhouse conversation in TAB
  • Why was Molly upset when Euros called in TFP?
  • John/Molly mirror (Molly wearing the same jumper she wore in TEH while taking John’s place, the framing of that hellish shot with John and the coffin cover “I love you”)
  • “John is clearly standing behind him in the trailer, so unless he’s talking to a mirror for some very bizarre reason, I should think not.” -Mark
  • Sumatra/Samarra pointing out to TEH which lead us to The Lost Special and MINDING THE FREAKING GAP->Moriarty
  • “It’s never twins”
  • The camera shown in the hotel in T6T
  • Season 4 DVD not having “complete” like the other DVD’s had
  • Mark’s picture with the 4 fingers raised in Twitter
  • “Has it just occurred to you you’ve been played for an ad campaign” hello Apple Tree Yard  
  • Moriarty at the end of S4 DVD “You didn’t think I would just disappear, did you?”
  • The whole promotion about S4 and the season itself being about hacking
  • Skull Hell
  • Sherlock saving the tea cup and the boy in the hotel in T6T dropping the tea
  • Tea code being confirmed
  • “Is this a new person? I’m against new people.”
  • “You’d be better off with clown outfits. At least they’d be satirically relevant.”
  • Cake=violent death John and Sherlock going to get cake
  • Lady Smallwood’s name
  • Vatican cameos ignored
  • “And boop, they are fine”
  • Sherlock breaks the 4th wall (like in Queen’s I Want To Break Free videoclip)
  • WHERE IS JOHN’S LETTER
  • The Garridebs literally cliff-hanging
  • Chekhov’s gun on the promo picture and literally hanging on the wall in the Garridebs scene
  • “People always give up after three” 
  • Blue Power Ranger gay subtext
  • T6T being an old case about a gay couple -> Margaret Thatcher getting smashed, Sherlock not knowing who she is despite the fact that he knew in THoB
  • “Fresh paint to disguise another smell”
  • Mycroft watching his own romantic movie turning into an horror film
  • T6T starting with doctored footage
  • “That’s not what happened at all”
  • “Why does anyone do anything” Norbury/Moriarty
  • “Sherlock, the dragon slayer” (Mycroft, Moriarty and kinda Magnussen have all alluded to this and now Mary does)
  • Shark hell
  • Sherlock’s recurrent dream (?)
  • “Oh, good, I love an acronym. All the best secret societies have them.”
  • “It is what it is” either being followed by “says love” or being a quote by John Locke
  • MARCH 8. THE SECRET WILL BE UNLEASHED
  • "I don’t like loose ends. Not on my watch” says Mycroft/Mark, as he holds a pen and looks at the camera
  • #Ohwhatabeautifulmorning tying in with Oklahoma! and consequently with  Green Grow the Lilacs, a play with gay subtext all over that got misunderstood and very famous
  • Steven starting TLS rumors
  • TD-12 being memory corrupting
  • The freaking guy from the official Sherlock Youtube channel teasing TLS and saying “The greatest love story never told”
  • The girl on the plane being the same one from ASiB
  • The TAB-like transition when John faints in TFP
  • The S1 scripts being released for no reason
  • “Childhood trauma masked by an invented memory. Boring!” THoB (person=dog)  
  • Mary’s death not being realistic as pointed in HLV (thank you for reminding me, @antisocial-otaku)
  • The explosion in 221B not having the consequences in the building that   Mycroft foreshadowed and them being perfectly ok afterwards.
  • Where is Ben’s 26 pages scene?
  • What was Ben’s kissy gesture while saying “Very well. It’s going very well” in SDCC all about?
  • TFP as a whole. Too much to analyze there

Bonus:

  • “Love conquers all” 
  • “Groundbreaking”
  • “History making”
  • “Rug pull”
  • Derren Brown

Tags under the cut

Keep reading

2

LGBT+ MASTERLIST PROJECT BY ROCIO @nuevayor​

Week One: TELEVISION
Week Two: MOVIES
Week Three: BOOKS
Week Four: POETRY
Week Five: MUSIC
Week Six: COMICS
Week Seven: DOCUMENTARIES
Week Eight: PODCASTS
Week Ten: HISTORY
Week Eleven: RESOURCES
Week Twelve: THANK YOU + GOODBI

Week Nine: Hello again and welcome back to the LGBT+ Masterlist Project!

I had originally named this post ‘BLOGS + VLOGS’ but after the overwhelming amount of suggestions specific to YouTube channels, I figured to dedicate this week’s post entirely to YouTubers. Voilà, here we are!

The genres vary this week, as always. We’ve got beauty vlogs, lifestyle vlogs, cooking vlogs, music vlogs, talk show set ups, and a bunch of other types of content! One thing is for sure, and the whole point of this entire project: these are all LGBT+ YouTubers. A lot of them are here on Tumblr too! So I added their @’s for you as well. 

If you think I’ve mislabeled someone (as in, if I have put them in this list or in the gifs above when they aren’t LGBT+), please tell me immediately as there’s nothing I value more than accuracy - I will be sure to follow up. In addition! If you’ve got recs, don’t hesitate to send them my way (particularly LGBT+ YouTubers who are people of color - I was underwhelmed to see the vast yet not so diverse YouTube vlogging landscape when it came to popularity.)

Next week: LGBT+ HISTORY - a compilation of academic journals, articles, autobiographies, YouTube videos, and other types of media that cover the long and too often glossed over history of the vast and diverse LGBT+ community. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

Enjoy: LGBT+ YOUTUBERS

  • Pero Like - “Pero, like… You know what we mean. Weekly videos of tu vida.” A Latinx-oriented vlog in which one of the YouTubers is Salvadoran and gay, but LGBT topics are not the main thing they vlog about
  • Shannon @now-this-is-living​ & Cammie @the-2nd-star-to-the-right on their channel nowthisisliving - A lesbian couple who are “just sharing [their] story/love/life with anyone who wants to listen”
  • Claudia Boleyn - A bisexual YouTuber who makes videos about mental health and social justice issues
  • Miles Jai  (giffed above) - Posts improv sketches, parodies, “beauty tutorials”, as well as vlogs
  • Kat Blaque @katblaque (giffed above) - “Opinion Vlogger, Children’s Illustrator and Thrift Store Addict”
  • Sara @rnashallah(giffed above) - Totally not putting her up here because we’ve been mutuals on Tumblr for like mad long and I’m just very fond of Sara as a person. She vlogs about her life and tbh that alone is worth a sub in my book!
  • Eileen W. @peeves(giffed above) - Another good friend of mine (let me live). HILARIOUS, sarcastic, honest, and is pretty much always there to Validate You, so support her and subscribe!
  • Marina Watanabe @marinashutup​ (giffed above) - “Part time feminist vlogger, full time sass machine. Biracial, bisexual, bipedal.”
  • Kid Fury @signedfury - “Born in Miami and raising hell in New York City, Kid Fury is a media mouthpiece with a whole lot of nerve. This channel is one of many avenues Fury uses to cover life, pop culture and more with a unique and sharp flare of truth, shade, and fuckery.”
  • AriFitz @itsarifitz - Lifestyle + style vlog

Keep reading

IMPORTANT UPDATE CONCERNING "LOVE ON ICE"

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POST CONCERNING THE MOVIE “LOVE ON ICE”

GUYS. This is a long post, but please read it if you are in the yoi fandom!

Anyway, a lot of us heard about the movie “Love on Ice” made by the Hallmark Channel, and noticed the ressemblance with “Yuri On Ice”
If you haven’t seen my post about it, a few days ago, I wrote to Hallmark on their facebook page about it (I was really salty when I wrote it so..)

This is the message I sent them:

Hello! If you’re not aware, there has been some controversy about a new movie you’re going to air on your channel soon. Im not trying to start anything here, but here’s a question I think a lot of people are asking themselves right now.
Can any of you guys explain the really supspicious ressemblance between your new movie “Love On Ice” and the japanese animated series “Yuri On Ice” (who was released before)? Im not necesserely saying that you (or the producers of said movie) copied this amazing show (and of course changing the beautiful gay romance for a straight one, but that’s not surprising), but if you did a little research, you have to admit that it’s weird. It could be a total coincidence, and im not trying to be rude, im just looking for answers about the situation. Thank you for your time.

They later answered by telling me that “They would pass along my comments”

Finally, today, they wrote to me again:

Hello again, (my name). I wanted to share with you a statement from the writer of “Love on Ice”:

“Love on Ice script was conceptualized, pitched and commissioned in March of 2015 and written and delivered in March of 2016 – 8 months before the anime project. Many sports films in history are about overcoming odds and triumph. Almost every romance film is about people connecting on an intimate level and falling in love. These are broad, universal themes none of us has a trademark on. I hope the audience will tune in to Love On Ice on Hallmark Channel, Saturday, January 7.” Writer, Matt Coppola

Yes, at first I was mad at them, but I don’t think that they deserve it anymore. They took the time to answer my questions and were polite about it. We need to acknowledge that this movie was just a coincidence. Yuri On Ice fandom, I think it’s time to stop the shit that we started. Thanks for reading.

anonymous asked:

can you talk more on what you like about the renaissance and the artists? i find them so fascinating

i answered a more specific one about leonardo alone here, but here are some of my general favourite things about the important figures of the italian renaissance

  • on her deathbed, caterina sforza said to a monk: “se io potessi scrivere tutto, farei stupire il mondo" (if i could write everything, i would shock the world) which i think just makes her the second coolest person in the entirety of italian history
  • speaking of the coolest person in italian history, da vinci took so long to finish the last supper that when the prior complained, leonardo said that the reason it was taking so long was because he couldn’t find a face that was so filled with evil that would fit judas, but if the prior was so desperate to have it finished, leonardo said that he would use him as a model
  • lucrezia borgia was said to have a hollow ring that she used for poisoning drinks
  • michelangelo hated everyone. he mocked leonardo for his failed statue in milan and had a bitter grudge with raphael ever since raphael looked at one of his paintings before it was released
  • leonardo, in turn, wrote bitchy comments about michelangelo in his diaries
  • seriously if someone were to make a show about the renaissance artists, it wouldn’t be some high brow drama, it would be something along the lines of mean girls crossed with the office
  • leonardo: “omg michelangelo, i love your fresco. what inspired it?” 
    michelangelo: “the bible” 
    leonardo: “vintage, i love it!”
    leonardo [after michelangelo walks away]: “that is the ugliest fucking fresco i have ever seen”
  • da vinci himself was really well liked by everyone but he was such a fucking DORK he used to buy caged birds and just to release them and was a chronic procrastinator. he was also gay af and the love of my life
  • machiavelli’s ‘the prince’ is the biggest piece of mancrush literature since plato’s symposium
  • also they were like, all gay, all the renaissance artists except for raphael who was tragically heterosexual. michelangelo wrote really over the top romantic letters to some dude, and da vinci was arrested for sodomy
  • @ historical fiction that tries to make my guys into aggressive womanizers: fuck off
  • so if the artists were the sitcom of the renaissance, caterina sforza is the blockbuster politics heavy action film. she literally occupied the vatican on behalf of her husband by riding across the tiber river on horseback while seven months pregnant
  • she was honestly so fucking savage when the orsis family threatened to kill her children she ‘exposed her genitals’ and said  “do it, if you want to: hang them even in front of me…here I have what’s needed to make others!” and they were so fucking shocked they didn’t dare touch her children
  • i could make a whole post about her, she was so fucking cool i adore her she is incredible
  • moving on, this: “the theory is that people were generally not too enthusiastic about the catholic church’s regular massacres of jews and muslims, because the people they were killing looked like jesus.  pope alexander vi then ordered the destruction of all art depicting a semitic jesus and commissioned a number of paintings depicting a caucasian jesus. his son, cardinal cesare borgia, was the model for these paintings.”
  • cesare tried to kill lucrezia’s first husband and probably did kill her second. he also apparently came to her wedding dressed as a unicorn, the symbol of purity which is just about the most laughable thing he ever did in his life
  • botticelli claimed that the prospect of marriage gave him nightmares

this kinda swayed a lot from being just about the artists, but i hope it was what you were looking for!

Cinema Variety’s Top Favorite Films of 2016

Well cinephiles and friends alike, my annual list of favorite films has finally arrived. I had to take these first few weeks in the new year to re-watch some of this years gems to order my list accurately. Through careful deliberation, I present to you my favorite films of 2016. Make sure to check out my top pick lists from previous years provided below! 

Top Picks of 2015 List
Top Picks of 2014 List
Top Picks of 2013 List

Honorable Mentions:
The Wailing
Elle
Goat
The Sea of Trees
The Witch
Green Room
Lemonade
The Odyssey
Black Mirror: San Junipero

** THIS LIST IS IN ORDER **


#18 - The Childhood of a Leader
Directed by Brady Corbet

Brady Corbet’s directorial debut is a chilling fictional tale about the rise of fascism in the early 20th century. The result is a character study focusing on the origins of evil. Corbet is clearly inspired by the aesthetics of Michael Haneke, Ingmar Bergman and even a little bit of Andrei Tarkovsky. Long tracking shots and an overpowering orchestral score brings the audience on this artistic journey. The conclusion of the film left me shocked, watch out for it.



#17 - Operation Avalanche
Directed by Matt Johnson

Operation Avalanche is a true hidden gem for anyone who delights in films centered around conspiracy theories. The theory of the moon landing being a staged production might be one of the most ridiculous hoaxes out of them all - and there are groups of people who truly believe it. However, this film is made in a way that actually makes it seem like a very possible reality. The movie is cleverly filmed in a POV mockumentary format with a classic 60s filter. The film shifts in tone from a comedy of sorts and ends in paranoia. I found it to be one of the most underrated films of the year.



#16 - Swiss Army Man
Directed by The Daniels

It’s an impressive feat when a film featuring constant flatulence and directional erections can also end up being a heartfelt and existential story of friendship. There are very few comedies on this list, or on any of my other annual lists for that matter. Swiss Army Man succeeded on making me laugh multiple times. I praise it simply for its originality and the fact that the filmmakers tackled on such ridiculous themes in a way that they didn’t become immature or worthy of an eye roll. Another shoutout to the energetic score and colorful production design.



#15 - La La Land
Directed by Damien Chazelle

The musical genre is most definitely one of my least favorite ones. Other than a few exceptions (Across the Universe, The Wall, Dancer in the Dark), I have found most musicals to be unbearably cheesy. The cheese is still there in La La Land, but it is effective because that is the intended tone. It truly is a throwback to the golden age of Hollywood filled with allusions from earlier infamous musicals such as Singing in The Rain. I anticipated this film from the start both because Damien Chazelle blew me away with Whiplash and because Ryan Gosling is my favorite actor working today. Shot on a film, in a dazzling Technicolor format, it also features some of the most awe inspiring cinematography out of all the movies released this year. I believe La La Land is the film that we needed to end 2016 with - a film filled with magic and hope for a better future.



#14 - Manchester by the Sea
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

Man did this movie crush me. It squeezed everything out of me and left me a hollow shell. I went home and sat on my couch and just cried after leaving the theatre. Don’t let this lead you astray from watching it, it’s just such a realistic heart-wrenching drama that I couldn’t help but be affected by it the entire day after seeing it. It might not be a masterpiece as such critics claim it to be, but it is a moving insight on the loss of loved ones and the emotional wreckage that can come out of it. There is no overly-done melodrama or redemption in the denouement. Instead, it focuses on little moments that end up forming a much greater whole by the end. Casey Affleck’s restrained performance was something I empathize with as he held a tragic rage behind his eyes.



#13 - Jackie
Directed by Pablo Lorrain

This was a film that grew on me days after seeing it. I was absorbed by it while I watched it in a small art-house theatre, but it was afterward where it really began to resonate with me. The JFK assassination is a momumental tragedy in history that has always greatly interested me. I remember being haunted by the video footage when it was shown to me in a college history class. While the script may be lacking in areas, the performance by Natalie Portman is the saving grace of this production. Portman has transcended her star status in this role by flawlessly emulating the former First Lady. Jackie is a film that plays like a fragmented memory - it jumps in time throughout. The production design transported me to the 1960s and Mica Levi’s score really is the standout aspect of the film.



#12 - The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Directed by Oz Perkins

I believe The Blackcoat’s Daughter is the year’s most underrated and ignored horror film. The very few critic reviews I found online all have positive things to say, while most audience reviews are the opposite. This is the feature film debut of director Oz Perkins. He has created a richly nuanced horror film that never reaches any outrageous or flashy climax, which is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual tripe that comes out of Hollywood year after year. Perkin’s directs the film with a restrained control that would make his horror-icon of a father, Anthony Perkins, proud. There is a thick haze of dread that doesn’t ease up until the film’s bleak finale. The films minimal use of dialogue works perfectly in unison with the nonstop rumbling score. The entire aesthetic of The Blackcoat’s Daughter is what made it work so well for me. Loads of unnecessary dialogue and jump scares are replaced with well executed tracking shots and genuinely upsetting violence. The end product is a deliciously evil exercise In dread.



#11 - The Eyes of My Mother
Directed by Nicolas Pesce

The Eyes of My Mother is the type of art-house horror film I feel like I’ve been waiting all year for. Everything about it speaks to me as a horror fan. The story seems as if it was ripped out of one of my worst nightmares; Or better yet, if you could visualize the musings of a demented asylum patient - the result would be The Eyes of My Mother. This film would never have been as effective if it wasn’t for the lush, gorgeous black and white photography. Camera shots are shrowded in shadows which adds to the aforementioned nightmare effect. Thank god this film has such a short runtime (it’s only a little over 70 minutes). I wasn’t sure how much more I could take of this grueling tale. The last 20 minutes of the film takes a plunge into the heart of darkness - which to many viewers could be considered completely morally reprehensible. Well, a desensitized horror junkie such as myself was pleased by the filmmaker’s decision to conclude this story as depraved as possible. I decided to celebrate Christmas this year in the holiday spirit by showing this movie to my brother. By the end of it, he just turned to me and asked: “Why do you do this to me?”.



#10 - The Light Between Oceans
Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Derek Cianfrance is one of my very favorite directors working today. His first two films (Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines) both have found a place in my top 15 favorite films of all time. Needless to say I’ve been tirelessly anticipating his latest feature. It didn’t have the same impact on me as his previous features; however, it still ended up being an impressive and heartbreaking picture. Adam Arkapaw works wonders as the DOP. His camerawork captures the coast of Australia beautifully. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander work perfectly off of each other (yet another instance of Fassbender completely investing himself in a role). Keep an ear out for the perfectly utilized “Funeral Canticle” track that has never failed to give me goosebumps since the first time I heard it in The Tree of Life.



#9 - Cemetery of Splendour
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Describing this film is a challenge in itself - let alone reviewing it. This is the second film I’ve seen by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and they both are masterpieces in my eyes. Cemetery of Splendour, much like the soldiers affected by a sleeping epidemic in the film, lead me down the rabbit hole into a deep trance state. I love films which feel like I dreamt them after they’re over, and that’s exactly what this movie achieved. The long takes, minimal use of a score, and gorgeous natural scenery worked together to create a relaxing and mind expanding experience.



#8 - Moonlight
Directed by Barry Jenkins

I might not think that Moonlight is the very best film of the year, but it might just be the most important. It’s not everyday where you hear about masterful films that deal with homosexuality in the African American community. Jenkins tackles this subject perfectly by not making this aspect of the character’s persona the focal point of the film. It’s just as much a coming of age story about masculinity than it is a story about a guy struggling with his sexual identity. I related to this film on a very personal level because I know what it’s like being harassed by peers in school on the basis of being gay. Moonlight follows the central character Little from his adolescence in grade school all the way until manhood. Although three different actors are playing the same character, I was utterly convinced it was the same person for they all adopted the same mannerisms and personality traits. Moonlight makes a grand statement about finding out who you truly are. It sends the message that it’s possible to find acceptance by people other than your immediate family.



#7 - Midnight Special
Directed by Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols is being praised this year on the award circuit for his touching film Loving, but it’s this film that stayed with me after watching. Never has there been a film made about supernatural abilities that has hit me on such a deep level. Midnight Special deals with a plethora of themes other than a child with superhuman abilities. These include the responsibilities of fatherhood and the special bond between parents and their child. It opens ambiguously and the intelligent plot slowly unfolds in such a way that questions are answered little by little until the absolutely soul-touching finale. Even though she has limited screen time, Kirsten Dunst added to this films perfection. The sheer humanity displayed through her performance as a mother who will do anything to keep her child out of harms way is an admirable thing. Midnight Special is a sci-fi film for the ages.



#6 - Embrace of the Serpent
Directed by Ciro Guerra

The fevered madness of the jungle is alive in this flick. Embrace of the Serpent addresses the duality of man. His ability to create yet also his sure-fire knack to destroy goodness. His willingness to help others yet also falling victim to his own egoic desires. In this film, the Westernized man leads to the downfall of an ancient Amazonian civilization. Serpent focuses on two different white men, separated by decades in time, who traverse into the depths of the jungle guided by the last living member of a tribe. Both of these men are looking for a hallucinogenic plant - one to cure his terminal illness, the other for purposes of being able to dream. The end product is a head-trip into psychedelia where plant medicine is the supreme deity.



#5 - Arrival
Directed by Denis Villenueve

Villenueve knocked it out of the park again this year with his latest film. Is there anything this man cannot do? The French-Canadian filmmaker strayed away from the dark and somber tone of his previous works and created something life affirming. Arrival is an example of smart science-fiction that has been coming out of the film industry recently (something along the likes of Interstellar). Humanity is put to the test in this movie as they try to figure out the intentions of the alien visitors. But it’s a story about love and loss above all. Arrival is edited perfectly by manipulating the viewer’s sense of time. Once I reached the ending and pieced it all together, I was a wet-faced audience member in that dead silent theatre as the other attendees sat dazed.



#4 - The Neon Demon
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Is it a dazzling grand statement on the depraved narcissism of the professional modeling industry? Or is it just more pretentious artistic masturbation which has become expected of Refn? My thoughts are with the former. Refn’s auteur style that he has developed upon since the release of his magnum opus Drive has been particularly polarizing among critics and audiences alike - almost as polarizing as Terrence Malick. I believe people dislike The Neon Demon for some of the same reasons why the general masses reacted so negatively to Spring Breakers: it tries too hard to be artsy, it’s just a boring music video, the dialogue is unrealistic. At the same time I feel as if these audiences didn’t grasp onto the fact that these films which shed light on the hedonistic lifestyle of deranged young women are purely satirical. They’re supposed to be absurd. The irony is is that this absurdism is actually reflective on the types of females that move to LA for the pursuit of fame and recognition. It certainly is the best looking Refn film to date, with even banal or commonplace locations drenched in neon hues. And Cliff Martinez has outdone himself with the synth-heavy score which guides us along this fairytale of horrors. How far would you go to get to the top? In Refn’s surreal vision of Los Angeles there is no such thing as going too far to reach fame, even if it means bloodshed. As one character says in the film: “Beauty isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” It would be nice to write off this statement as pure subjectivity, but what else has the media taught us but this ideal?



#3 - Nocturnal Animals
Directed by Tom Ford

Do you ever really know the person you love? This is the thought running through my mind while watching Tom Ford’s romance story disguised as a crime-revenge. Ford has created a highly innovating form of storytelling with Nocturnal Animals. A violent story of revenge is presented to symbolize the betrayal that Amy Adam’s commits against Gyllenhaal’s character. What made this film so enjoyable was the aspect that it was like two different films in one, yet both stories suitably complement one another. The frustratingly ambiguous ending was delightful as the audience searches for the intentions of Gyllenhaal’s character. The whole thing was a stylish story of betrayal.



#2 - Knight of Cups
Directed by Terrence Malick

My cinematic idol returned in 2016 with many ambitious projects: two different documentaries about the birth and death of the universe with Voyage of Time, a festival premiere date set for his forthcoming Song to Song, and the stream of consciousness visual poem which is Knight of Cups. I believe there is such thing as a Malick gene. His films either strike people with such awe and wonder that they come out of his films feeling enlightened or they are the cinematic equivalent of taking an Ambien for others. I have total faith that this film will be considered a classic masterpiece in decades to come. Sometimes it just takes time for a film to receive that cult status. Unfortunately, a formula which critics took such a liking to with The Tree of Life quickly became redundant and meandering in the public’s eye with his two follow-up works. Just like with all great art, it takes repeated viewings to really appreciate the philosophical mastery of this film. I’ve seen it over five times now and each time I walk away with something new -  a blossoming appreciation that such abstract and soulful cinema can be financed. If you have any idea about Malick’s life then you understand that Knight of Cups is the last film in his autobiographical trilogy. I see it as a sort-of spiritual sequel to The Tree of Life. A sense of disassociation is felt through the floating camerawork which follows Christian Bale on an odyssey of temptation in Los Angeles. Malick abandons small-town rural settings and older time periods for a tale set in the present day luxury land of LA. I must admit that when the credits started to scroll I couldn’t help but ask myself: “that’s it?” The abrupt finale left me feeling a little hollow. It left me with nothing. But I soon realized that this was Malick’s intention. This was the loneliness and isolation he felt as a big-shot Hollywood director even though he was surrounded with admirers. So to save himself, he leaves that lifestyle and finds his redemption through the glories of divine Mother Nature. I am so happy that there is a director who I feel so connected to, someone who expresses his eloquent ideology through some of the most beautiful movies ever in the annals of cinematic history. Knight of Cups is a fervent reverie on love, loss and life. A haunting meditation of redeeming oneself after a swift fall from grace.



#1 - American Honey
Directed by Andrea Arnold

A film so filled with life that I couldn’t help but feel exhilarated after it ended, American Honey is an epic road trip story for the millenial era. Its plot is open and free flowing much akin to the characters who traverse across the midwest in a van selling magazines to folks from all different social and economic backgrounds. American Honey exposes the dark underbelly of American households, especially for low-income ones. Youths search through trash cans in order to find a fitting meal. A drunken stepfather takes advantage of his stepdaughter. A junkie mother falls unconscious on the couch unable to take care of her young children. I might be making American Honey sound like a film filled with sorrow and hopeless situations. However Andrea Arnold takes the subject matter and actually gives it a twinge of hope. The chemistry between all the characters, most particularly between Sasha Lane and Shia Labeouf, makes it practically impossible to look away at could very well be a trainwreck waiting to happen. As soon as you think some awful event is going to happen to end the roadie’s journey of freedom - it doesn’t. American Honey sometimes feels more like a documentary than a feature film. The dialogue comes off as mostly improvisational and the plot is minimal at best. Arnold has taken cues from Larry Clark’s style of filmmaking when he released his controversial HIV drama Kids in 1995. Considering that film is in my top 10 favorite films of all time, it’s clear as to why American Honey was my favorite work released this year. With its unique aspect ratio, colorful and eccentric characters, and one hell of an eclectic soundtrack, American Honey breathed new life into me. By the end I felt almost as purified as Sasha Lane does as she takes a dip into a lake, descending to the bottom only to emerge from the surface a newly realized person.

anonymous asked:

If you really do think that Management or whoever fake the baby certificate and STILL forcing Louis and Harry to be closeted against their will, why don't you Larries actually do something to really help? Posting and reblogging stuff on tumblr is not it. Call the authorities. Actually do something y'know? I mean they fake a birth certificate, they could go to jail for that. Closeting them against their will, blackmailing are human's right issues. Hello?

I mean…I know I was just quoted in a magazine saying that I believe two closeted celebrities are communicating gay history to their fans through teddy bears, but you sound ridiculous. 

No one is going to jail for anything, okay? That’s not how this is going to play out because the people controlling it have a lot of money. If you want the source of the problem, follow the money as Deep Throat said in the film (but not actually in real life I found out the other week when I was watching an interview with Bernstein). 

This situation is unfortunate but not one that anyone is doing with a gun to their head. Whilst probably aggressively undesirable to everyone involved (besides the gold-digging™ women profiting from it), this is ultimately something that could have been avoided, but at a huge cost. 

Going back to our analysis of “What A Feeling” from yesterday, the lyrics are extremely important in the context of what’s happening right now.

If you believe, as I do, that there is a massive fucking piece of the puzzle missing here in terms of what the hell is happening behind the scenes then it’s important that you understand that “whatever change” is holding them back is something they believe in enough to be actively participating in these stunts. 

I do not log onto tumblr dot com every day to incite some kind of Gay Teddy Bear Revolution. Nor should people feel burdened with the task of “freeing” anyone. I don’t think anyone should feel any kind of self-importance in this matter because at the end of the day it does not come down to anyone but a couple of millionaire dudes who love each other trying to break free from another millionaire guy who is trying to ruin their careers. If they’ve got enough money to by a fuckin teddy bear a Rolex and an iPhone then I’m sure they have enough money to hire people who will properly advise them on what to do without anyone ratting out this sketchiness to the po po. 

And how would that conversation with the police go exactly? “Uh yeah, hi. Police? It’s me, a blogger from the world wide web. I just wanted to let you know that I have been analysing some badly photoshopped pictures of Louis Tomlinson and come to the conclusion that there is no way he put his p-bomb in a v-bomb and created a child so please go and arrest someone for falsifying a birth certificate and besmirching the good name of the Ventura County records office. Thank you, goodbye.” I don’t think so, pal.

I will blog about whatever the fuck I want to blog about be it Babygate, puppies or that hilarious video of the girl laughing at the article about a “satanic doll” that was actually Jar Jar Binks. 

Get off your fuckin high horse and wait it out like the rest of us. 

on nonbinary representation, and why couple-ish is amazing as hell

so here’s the thing

in modern film/television, the vast majority of characters who are genderless, or in between male and female, or fluid in their gender, are either robots and aliens

and EVEN THEN, most people feel the need to assign some gender to them (see: BB-8, BMO, etc)

its very very rare to see a human character identify as nonbinary

in fact, the only instance i’ve ever come across (other than dee) is lafontaine 

(gee, kaitlyn’s really the epitome of nb representation, huh?)

and carmilla has always been great at representation, be it well-rounded women, wlw or nonbinary people

but the thing that makes carmilla so good… is that it doesn’t talk about it

there’s no ‘you can’t do this because youre a girl’ and there’s no ‘i wonder if she’s gay’ and there’s certainly no ‘oh shit now i need to come out, i wonder if people will accept me’ 

and that’s great! because lgbt people are tired of hearing about the struggles of being lgbt, they want characters like them, who get to go on regular adventures like everyone else

the only problem is that nonbinary people are vastly underrepresented, and carmilla’s method of just accepting people’s identities without talking about it, can make this confusing, because a lot of people don’t really understand this gender 

and then enter… 

COUPLE-ISH!!!!!!!

so here we have a main character who identifies as nonbinary, and for the first few episodes this is completely accepted. nobody messed up pronouns, amy refers to dee as ‘sib’ which i think is adorable btw and as a trans-gender-somewhat-unsure person, this felt like a breath of fresh air

at the same time, when a new character was introduced (cute butt guy, ed), there was no pretence that he’d magically understand dee’s gender straight away, because of course he wouldnt, our society doesn’t recognise nb people

so then dee had to sit down and explain it to him, which gave us one of the most important scenes in history (in my humble opinion)

we got a talk about pronouns, we got a clear explanation of what dee’s gender means to them, and we got pretty much the best-case scenario (which did include confusion because, as mentioned before, our society pretends nonbinary people don’t exist)

(we also got kaitlyn dancing in their underwear which was pretty awesome)

this episode felt like the perfect balance between ‘lets make it happy because lgbt people have enough sad media’ but also ‘lets make it realistic’

and to be honest i think the entire show itself walks the line between ‘giving lgbt people stories other than their lgbt identity’ and ‘talking about the issues that arise’ 

and basically… couple-ish

I don’t at all want to falsely raise anyone’s hopes, but

the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that there has to be a fourth episode.  I know that’s a conspiracy nutter, off-the-deep-end thing to say, I know that.  But once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.  It’s literally the only theory that fits all the data.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I'm a fan of yours seriously haha! Can you please recommend me a good book to read ? I see that you quote alot of good stuff :D

Aww, thank you so much! :D

Since this is about books, I shall endeavour to make this an extra pretty post! 

(Ante scriptum.: Some of my personal recommendations are in this post (x), the rest will be below. Oh, and by the bye, the quotes on my blog are a wild mixture of books I’ve actually read, quotes that simply caught my eye and some of my own poems, texts, etc

I don’t really know what genre you’re into, so I tried to make it as widely interesting as possible. If I had to recommend just one book, though, I’d say go for “Red Rising”, unless violence doesn’t work out for you)


——————-BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS —————–

Mystery/Crime

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None, Crooked House, The A.B.C. Murders, Murder on the Orient Express, Sad Cypress, The Pale Horse, Cat Among Pigeons, The Thirteen Problems
(ah, the Queen of Crime. If you can, just read all of her books. They’re worth it.)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Short Stories: The Five Orange Pips, The Blue Carbuncle, The Yellow Face, The Musgrave Ritual, The Crooked Man, The Greek Interpreter, The Final Problem, The Dancing Men
(no comment needed)

Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night, Murder Must Advertise, Strong Poison, Have His Carcase 
(very artistic writing style on top of intricate plots)

Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep, Farewell, my Lovely
(all the hardboiled, all the grimness, all the melancholy)

Edgar Allan Poe: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue
(mysterious, dark and unsettling)

Fyodor Dostoyevski: Crime and Punishment
(so good! Not at all dusty and boring like people keep claiming. I loved it)

Alexander McCall-Smith: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 
(a lady detective in Botswana. She’s awesome)

Emma Donoghue: Room
(told from the perspective of a 5 year-old, who’s spent his whole life in just one room. Want to find out why?)

(Bonus: Ohba/Obata: Death Note 
(basically a visual novel. Very intricate, psychological mindgames and an epic rivalry))

Science Fiction

Philip Kerr: A Philosophical Investigation 
(literary and philosophical references and quotes left and right and they’re actually vital to the plot)

Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game
(How to Use Your Brain and Rise to Fame 101. Also: How to Defeat an Alien Invasion. Brilliant. My second favourite book

Pierce Brown: Red Rising, Golden Son 
(amazing, current favourite book, soon to be a film, can’t recommend it enough. Imagine Ender’s Game meets Harry Potter meets Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones) 

George Orwell: 1984 
(2+2 = 5)

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451
(so you like reading? Read this book, then learn it by heart and burn it)

Edwin A. Abbott: Flatland
(sexism aside, this flat book is brilliant - do you want to visit two dimensions? One dimension even?)

Jules Verne: Around the World in 80 Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
(old-school goodness)

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
(don’t forget your towel!)

(Bonus:  Randall Munroe What if?
(scientific answers to all the random questions you ever had))

Historical

Markus Zusak: The Book Thief 
(told from the perspective of Death, it describes the life of an unusual girl growing up in Nazi Germany)

Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five
(the main character slips in and out of time as he’s trying to come to terms with his war experiences. Absurd, symbolic and ingenious. So it goes.)

Daniel Kehlmann: Measuring the World
(a beautiful, fictional retelling of the lives of two geniuses: Alexander von Humboldt, who explores the world to understand it and Carl Friedrich Gauss, who scarcely leaves his room and thinks in numbers)

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
(It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in posession of a tumblr blog already knows this book) 

Joseph Conrad: The Heart of Darkness
(stylistically beautiful, with a crushing atmosphere, the main character travels into the heart of the jungle and observes the cruelties of slavery in African colonies, while trying to fulfill his own quest)

Jonas Jonasson: The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
(the fictional life of a man who, for some reason or other, was involved in every single important world affair of the last 100 years and now escapes from his nursing home. Bizarre, funny and with educational value)

Julian Barnes: Flaubert’s Parrot
(the oddest biography you will ever read)

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
(I officially greenlight this book)

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
(independent heroine who uses her brain? Voilà!)

E. M. Forster: Maurice, A Room with a View
(1) is a refreshingly grounded coming of age story of a gay man, 2) is a proxy recommendation by a friend who’s enchanted by it)

Evelyn Waugh: Brideshead Revisited
(tragic, decadent, aesthatical, philosophical, doomed. Includes a teddy bear)

Ovid: Metamorpheses
(I translated some of these in school - they’re delightfully weird)

Homer: The Illiad/The Odyssey
(according to one of my professors the very reason we have an educational system. Long story. Anyway, pays off)

The Brothers Grimm: Folk and Fairy Tales
(witches, wolves and princesses. The full package)

(Bonus: Apostolos Doxiadis: Logicomix
(a biography of Bertrand Russel on the outside, an introduction to logic and set theory on the inside))

Literary Fiction/Philosophical

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince
(magnifique)

Hermann Hesse: Narcissus and Goldmund, Steppenwolf
(1) follows the lives of two very different men (one led by thinking, the other by feeling), who grow up together, walk different paths and never forget one another, 2) is the quintessential story of the tortured soul within an artist, which is half wolf, half man and torn between its desires. Discusses suicide)

Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis 
(one day, Gregor wakes up and is literally vermin. If that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will) 

Voltaire: Candide
(how does one live a good life? Very cynical satire)

Albert Einstein/Sigmund Freud: Why War?
(letters between Einstein and Freud in which they discuss why man has or doesn’t have to wage war)

Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader
(the Queen, yes, THE Queen, discovers the joys of reading. Delightful and teaches a lot about literature)

Margaret Atwood: A Handmaid’s Tale
(the protagonist lives in a world where most women have been reduced to breeding machines. Discover why and how she deals with it)

James Joye: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses
(1) semi-autobiographical, a young man with a curious mind grows up and gets to know himself, 2) I don’t even know, but I’m in the middle and enjoying it so far. Prepare for weirdness)

Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Grey
(what if you didn’t age, but a painting of you did? Welcome to Dorian’s crib! Lavish and beautiful)

Terry Pratchett: The Carpet People
(read this forever ago, still in love with the concept)

Michael Ende: Momo, The Neverending Story
(quintessential “children’s books” (I’m not very fond of that term), filled with imagination, empathy and philosophy)

William Golding: Lord of the Flies
(unleash a horde of young boys on an island and leave them hungry and scared. Welcome to the original Hunger Games. Disturbing, meant to show corruption of society)

E.T.A. Hoffmann: The Best Tales of Hoffmann
(basically: what did I just read? I don’t know, but I’m scared)

(Bonus 1: Alan Moore: Watchmen
(just, just do it, okay?)

Bonus 2: Isayama Hajime: Shingeki no Kyojin
(a plotting tighter than most books, with a gripping story and some really dark things to say (and graphically show) about humanity))

Non-Fiction

Karl Popper: All Life is Problem Solving
(changed the way I think, thus, changed my life. Amazing)

Edward Frenkel: Love & Math
(you’ll never love maths as much as Edward Frenkel)

John Lloyd: The Book of General Ignorance
(everything you think is wrong)

James Gleick: Chaos
(nifty science! Great introduction)

Alistair Moffat: Before Scotland
(WILL get you interested in anthropology. Would you bury your dead under your bed?)

Apt/Helfert/Wilkinson: Orbit
(gorgeous, full-spread pictures of Earth taken by astronauts)

Theatre

Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest
(spoiler: Being Earnest is very important)

Shakespeare: Hamlet, Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V
(don’t let the anyone fool you: Shakespeare’s history plays are great fun and filled with eccentric characters who majestically talk about their own self-importance. Pro-Tip: Compare with The Hollow Crown, a TV series filled with everyone on British TV. Yes, that means Tom Hiddlestone)

Sophocles: Antigone
(A literal classic)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust
(tl;dr: Don’t make a deal with the devil, k?)

Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
(cross my heart: the weirdest and somehow most relatable play you’ll ever see. Well? Shall we go?)

Poetry

T.S. Eliot: Prufrock, The Waste Land

John Keats: Ode to a Nightingale, His Last Sonnet, Ode to Autumn

Oscar Wilde: Ave Imperatrix, Flower of Love

William Shakespeare: Sonnet 18, Sonnet 100

William Blake: The Tyger

William Wordsworth: The Daffodils

William Butler Yeats: The Second Coming


Happy reading, to all you (future) bibliophiles! :)

How Very Dare They: More Thoughts on the Bears

That photo frame, and the various photos in it, has been my favourite thing about the bears since it appeared at the Montreal show. So far we’ve seen: Frank ‘foo-foo’ Lamarr, Larry Grayson (!!!!! still not over it !!!!!!), John Inman, Quentin Crisp, Stella Artois (identifying her was good work), Mado Lamotte, Liberace, Bette Davis, Judy Garland and Ken Dodds. 

I’m not really trying to decode the bears (although I got as excited as anyone else with the countdown).  As I’ve said before the only message I take from the bears is that they are consistently presented as gay and occasionally presented as Harry and Louis. And everything I want to say about them comes from those two observations. I love the photo frames, because that’s where the bear tableaus engage most with queer history. I think the queer figures appeared in those frames are an exploration of quite a specific theme – and I think that theme is important.

******************

Frank Lamarr and Larry Grayson both started their working lives as drag acts.  There was a demand for that in the 1940s and 1950s, a circuit.  Entertainment was a way for working class gay men (boys really Grayson left school at 14 to start work) to earn a living and be around other gay men. Sex between men was still illegal, but queer culture had a place in mainstream entertainment – pantomimes and drag acts in particular, but also highly camp comedic acts.  All these acts were connected to much older cultural practices that had developed as part of the marginal lives queer people lived (the history of queer people in the entertainment industry and the cultures that developed is fascinating and goes back well before the twentieth century – polari is a fascinating place to start if you’re interested). By the time Lamarr and Grayson were getting started these sorts of acts were a coded language that everyone understood.

I’ve written a little bit about Frank Lamarr who remained a Manchester drag act his whole life and became a cultural institution. Danny La Rue had a similar career to Lamarr, but was London based and did a lot of work in Pantomine. Larry Grayson and John Inman’s careers went in a different direction from Lamarr’s (John Inman had started as an actor, rather than as a drag act, but operated within the same cultural sphere as Lamarr and Grayson – he worked a lot in Pantomine). In the 1970s, both Inman and Grayson got jobs as highly camp television performers – Grayson presenting game shows and Inman in the sitcom Are You Being Served.

Here they were bringing camp queer characters to a British television audience for pretty much the first time (The Carry On film series started in the 1950s, but the BBC moved much slower).  These characters, and the actors who played them, were operating in a new environment – sex between men was legalised in 1967 and obviously the 1960s and 1970s was a time of huge cultural and political upheaval – both of which meant there was a small space for queer representation that hadn’t existed before.  Quentin Crisp’s autobiography – The Naked Civil Servant – was turned into a television play in 1975. It was part of the same wave of queer visibility – a visibility limited to very camp characters – but a new visibility nonetheless.  But it was a much more high culture version of the story – John Hurt who played Quentin Crisp won a BAFTA (this was appropriate and reflecting the endless importance of class in British society – since Crisp himself was middle-class while Grayson and Inman were working-class).

All the queer figures that have featured in the frames have been part of the coded camp queer culture that Inman and Grayson took to television.  In fact for a long time Liberace was most famous in Britain, because of his part in a legal dispute about that code.  In 1956, a columnist from The Daily Mirror (Louis’ least favourite tabloid) described Liberace as: “…the summit of sex—the pinnacle of masculine, feminine, and neuter. Everything that he, she, and it can ever want… a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.”  Liberace sued for libel.  In response The Mirror claimed that they hadn’t meant to imply he was gay (they obviously had – pay attention to the phrase ‘mother love’ – it’ll be back) and Liberace testified (untruly) that he was not gay. The Mirror lost and Liberace got awarded reasonably substantial damages.  Here queer codes fell apart when exposed to public and legal scrutiny. Everyone was denying that they meant what they very much did mean.

Mado Lamotte and Stella Artois are contemporary drag queens - and they are keeping that much older culture alive.  I think this video of Stella Artois, which I found on youtube, is very interesting:

Two things Steve Phillips says while getting ready to perform as Stella Artois are I think particularly relevant.  He talks about performing as a job.  All of these figures were working entertainers and all (even Mado Lamotte and Stella Artois) started working at a time where the only way you could be visibly queer and an entertainer was by working as a drag act, or in Pantomine or in other high camp comedy. Then Phillips quotes Barry Humphries who said that if Dame Edna Everage (Humphries drag persona) was punched in the face then Humphries wouldn’t have a bruise.  Which is such a powerful statement of both the homophobic violence that these performers faced and the way that the high visibility of drag acted as armour and helped people negotiate violence and oppresion.

The bears have been exploring a very particular of queer entertainment history (Divine fits this same theme – although an American independent film version – very visibly queer, but in the 1970s at least, not out.  Although given that Divine was the first such figure it’s possible that he was chosen as part of the queer history of Baltimore and the development of a theme came later).  These are performers who were visible through their campness, but often not out, and were consciously part of a long cultural tradition of men who had created very similar spaces in very similar ways.  With each additional figure I become convinced that the bears are being curated by at least one person who is actively interested in queer history. These figures are not picked just because they are prominent or famous, they are picked because the people picking them have something to say.

**************

I say people, I mean Harry and Louis.  There were really good reasons, even before Louis began his latest quest to make sure everyone knew his involvement with the bears, to think they were involved.  I want to start with 2011 Sugarscape videos (which contain answers to all of the world’s most important questions).  Literally 8 million things happen in this 75 second video (and I have so many questions - mostly did Harry really say “that he’s gay”, but also it’s just occurred to me what Louis meant hen he said he’d been teasing Harry loads).

But most relevant to the bears is Louis’ reaction to his boyfriend mentioning Eleanor and thereby implying he’s straight:  “How very dare you”.

Louis’ comment is a reference to a recurring sketch in the Catherine Tate show (you can see every example here). In this sketch, Derek is a highly camp character who hits all the coded ways that Inman and Grayson conveyed to television audience that they were gay, but acts absolutely outraged when a character assumes he’s gay – “how very dare you!” is his response.The sketch itself is referential – contrasting a hyper-stylised, coded, marginalised gay culture with a society that is more open (and I could say a tonne more about it than that, but I want to get this finished – so I’ll leave it for now).  And Louis’ use references both the sketches and the culture.

That’s not the only reference Louis made to camp British culture of the 1970s in November 2011.  When they went on Alan Carr (who is a direct descendent of Larry Grayson in particular – camp for a whole new world) – Louis greeted him “Hello Gorgeous” and then told Carr that he would out-camp him during the dance-off.  Then there’s the interview where he talks about Harry in a dress (link because I can’t get the embed code to work).Both what he’s saying and how he’s saying it are so much part of that particular camp, coded way of talking.

I think there’s an important distinction to be made between Louis’ very brief, active references to camp culture, and this interview:

Both are incredibly gay in form and in content, but in different ways.  In the sugarscape interview (from January 2011), Louis is describing gay experiences and comes across as quite camp – but neither is particularly deliberate.  By November the same year he was consciously adopting coded language that had a long association with gay men in entertainment.  (there are other example which are a little more general than those I’ve mentioned - he talks about bringing Mr Camp in another sugarscape interview and described himself as flaboyant in New Zealand in April 2012).

We can’t know why consciously camp Louis shined so briefly (and if anyone has any earlier examples I’d really like to see them). But I believe (I think it’s a reasonably common belief) that somewhere between auditioning on X-factor with a girlfriend and the UK media blitz of autumn 2011, Louis Tomlinson became someone who was quite comfortable with being seen as gay. I’d go further and say that part of this was embracing the conscious, coded, queerness of camp British culture.

(Every post is improved by a video of this G-A-Y performance, to make the point about how happy Louis was)

But he only got the briefest window to share that part of himself. It was one of the first things that got taken away – it was one of the first thing that got taken for him.  There’s a huge sad irony there – that this code that was developed specifically so that gay men could be visible in a time when they were completely marginalised – was taken away from a young gay man, because it was too gay, in a supposedly more liberal time.  

*****************************

When Frank Pearson’s father first saw him perform in drag as Foo Foo Lamarr he threw a bar stool at him. Larry Grayson and John Inman bought that coded queerness that Lamarr’s father found so threatening straight into people’s living rooms. What I love most about the bears is their exploration of the different way that generations of entertainers have found ways to be openly queer, even though their sexuality was marginalised, criminalised and terrorised. 

There is a final layer of queer history to this – history that is being made now.  Within the context of a One Direction concert queerness is once again in the margins (albeit also under the spotlight for that one concert in London).  The bears elaborate queer codes are tucked away from the stage.  Because their owners cannot (yet) be visible in the way that the people they put in frames have been. 

  • I was lucky to find some time to sit down with Roland Emmerich and talk about his latest film Stonewall, about a young gay man and the original fight for his community’s rights.
  • Liz: Thanks for sitting down with me today
  • R: That’s no problem at all.
  • L: So why this story? Why Stonewall?
  • R: Well I think it’s an incredibly important part of history, it’s a story that we may have had trouble telling in the past but we’re at a turning point in history, where straight-acting gay people are being really accepted.
  • L: Absolut, wait what?
  • R: I think this is really the story about that, about love and passion in the face of adversity.
  • L: ..okay, and what adversity is that?
  • R: The adversity of the oppressive straight community that’s been keeping gays down.
  • L: Sure. Okay. So, can you give me a rundown of what the film’s about in a few words?
  • R: It’s a story of one kid against the world, of this young man rallying a community behind him.. Danny Stonewall.
  • L: I’m sorry, Stonewall is the name of the pub.
  • R: Pardon?
  • L: Stonewall is the name of the pub, the bar, and the riots were started by trans women of colour.
  • R: What women of colour?
  • L: Trans women…
  • R: Who are they?
  • L: They started the Stonewall riots. Look okay, do you know what a trans woman is?
  • R: A… um. That’s like Jared Leto from that AIDS movie, right?
  • L: Thanks for your time.
192.

I am:
[ ] male
[x] female

I am __ years old:
[ ] Under 13
[ ] 13
[ ] 14
[ ] 15
[ ] 16
[x] 17
[ ] 18
[ ] 19
[ ] 20
[ ] 21
[ ] 22
[ ] 23
[ ] Over 23

I am __ tall:
[ ] Under 4’7
[ ] 4’7-5’
[x] 5’1-5’3
[ ] 5’4-5’7
[ ] 5’8-6’
[ ] 6’1-6’4
[ ] Over 6’4

My BMI is:
[ ] No idea
[ ] Under 13
[ ] 13-14
[ ] 15-16
[x] 17-18
[ ] 19-20
[ ] 21-22
[ ] 23-24
[ ] 25-26
[ ] 27-28
[ ] 29-30
[ ] 31-32
[ ] Over 32

My body shape is:
[ ] oval or apple
[ ] pear or a-shaped
[ ] strawberry or v-shaped
[ ] ruler or rectangle
[ ] square or H-shaped
[x] hourglass or 8-shaped

My hair color is currently:
[ ] black
[ ] platinum blond
[ ] blond
[ ] dirty blond to light brown
[x] brunette
[ ] auburn
[ ] dark brown
[ ] red
[ ] ginger
[ ] orange
[ ] pink
[ ] other

My eye color is:
[ ] grey
[ ] light blue
[ ] deep blue
[ ] black
[ ] dark brown
[ ] brown
[ ] golden
[ ] hazel
[x] light green
[ ] deep green
[ ] other

I have been diagnosed with or i know i have/had:
[x] depression
[ ] social anxiety
[ ] general anxiety
[ ] panic disorder
[ ] obsessive compulsive disorder
[ ] bipolar disorder
[ ] post traumatic stress disorder
[x] anorexia/bulimia
[ ] body dysmorphia
[ ] insomnia

I would classify myself as or mostly as:
[ ] heterosexual
[x] bisexual
[ ] homosexual

I smoke:
[ ] more than a pack a day
[ ] less than a pack a day
[ ] less than one cigarette a day
[x] socially
[ ] never

I drink:
[ ] enough to get wasted every day
[ ] enough to get a buzz every day
[ ] at parties to get wasted
[x] at parties to get buzzed
[ ] a beer or glass of wine with my dinner
[ ] never

I have committed the following:
[x] shoplifting
[ ] stealing from a friend
[x] stealing from family
[ ] stealing from a stranger
[x] underage drinking
[x] underage smoking

[x] illegal drug use
[ ] selling drugs

I have stolen:
[ ] make up
[ ] underwear/lingerie
[ ] clothing
[ ] jewelery
[ ] cds
[ ] cigarettes
[ ] alcohol
[ ] drugs
[ ] money
[ ] an automobile
[ ] a weapon

I have been:
[ ] suspended from high school
[ ] expelled from high school
[ ] arrested
[ ] to juvenile court
[ ] put on probation
[x] ordered to pay a fine
[ ] ordered to serve community service
[ ] to juvenile detention
[ ] on house arrest with a tether
[ ] to jail
[ ] to prison

The statement(s) that most applies to my family is:
[ ] I live with my (adoptive or biological) mother and father who are married to each other.
[ ] I live with my mother and father who are NOT married to each other.
[ ] I live with my mother who is single
[ ] I live with my mother and stepfather
[x] I live with my father who is single
[ ] I live with my father and stepmother
[ ] I live with a grandparent or grandparents
[ ] I live with an older sibling
[x] I live with a younger sibling
[ ] I live with my children
[ ] I live with my husband or wife
[ ] I live with my boyfriend or girlfriend
[ ] I live with a roommate or friend
[ ] I live alone
[ ] I have a different living situation

I have __ sister/s:
[ ] 0
[ ] 1
[ ] 2
[ ] 3
[ ] 4
[ ] 5
[ ] 6
[ ] Over 6

I have __ brother/s:
[ ] 0
[x] 1
[ ] 2
[ ] 3
[ ] 4
[ ] 5
[ ] 6
[ ] Over 6

The statements that most apply to my parents are:
[ ] I hate my family
[ ] my family hates me
[ ] my parents do not treat me my age
[ ] my parents do not trust me, and have no reason not to
[ ] my parents do not trust me, with good reason
[ ] I lie to my family often
[ ] my parents do not deserve to be treated the way I treat them
[x] I should probably show my parents that I appreciate them more
[ ] my parents never show me that they appreciate me
[x] I never say “I love you” to my parents
[ ] my parents do not care what I do
[ ] my parents give me and my friends alcohol
[ ] my parents are very strict
[ ] my parents have no idea what goes on in my life
[ ] my parents support my decisions
[ ] I am very close to my parents
[ ] my parents trust me and I honor that
[x] my parents trust me and I take that for granted
[ ] I never see my parents

The statements that most apply to my family are:
[ ] I am the favorite child
[ ] one of my siblings is clearly the favorite child
[ ] one of my siblings is out of control
[x] I am the “smart” sibling
[ ] I am the athletic sibling
[ ] I am the artistic sibling
[ ] I am a middle child
[ ] I am an only child
[ ] I am very close to my siblings
[x] I am very close to one of my siblings
[ ] I have a twin
[ ] I do not get along with any of my siblings
[ ] I am the least liked child
[ ] my siblings rat me out
[ ] my sibling is my best friend
[ ] i am jealous of my sibling
[ ] my sibling is jealous of me
[ ] I never see my siblings

I like to read:
[x] manga
[x] comic books
[x] magazines
[x] biographies
[ ] memoirs
[ ] classic literature
[ ] plays
[ ] scripts
[ ] romance novels
[x] science fiction
[ ] fantasy novels
[ ] self help books
[ ] textbooks
[x] newspapers
[ ] political books
[x] general fiction
[x] children’s books

[x] horror novels
[ ] mystery novels
[ ] poetry
[x] young adult fiction
[x] humor
[x] jokes

[ ] nothing

I like to watch __ movies:
[ ] romance
[x] comedy
[x] romantic comedy
[x] drama
[ ] historical
[ ] western
[x] horror
[x] science fiction

[ ] fantasy
[x] adventure
[x] action

[ ] war
[x] crime
[ ] kung-fu
[x] thriller
[x] psychological
[x] zombie

[ ] mystery
[x] documentary
[x] mockumentary
[ ] spoof
[ ] musical
[x] animated
[ ] silent
[ ] art film
[ ] depressing
[ ] pornographic
[x] educational
[ ] no

I like to play __ video games:
[x] roleplaying
[x] driving

[ ] hunting
[x] sports
[ ] skateboarding
[ ] dancing (such as DDR)
[x] instrument (such as Rock Band)
[ ] fantasy
[ ] shooter
[ ] platform
[ ] fighting
[ ] strategy
[ ] simulation
[ ] action
[x] arcade
[ ] tactical
[x] horror
[x] party (such as Mario Party)
[ ] no

I like to study __ .
[x] English
[ ] grammar
[ ] writing
[x] human biology
[x] animal biology
[x] earth science
[x] chemistry
[ ] geology
[x] astronomy
[x] archaeology
[x] anthropology
[x] algebra

[ ] geometry
[x] calculus
[x] trigonometry

[x] US history
[x] European history
[x] ancient history
[x] history

[ ] economy
[ ] government
[ ] geography
[x] psychology
[x] sociology
[ ] nothing

When I was in school I:
[ ] was valedictorian
[ ] was one of the top 5 students
[ ] was in national honor society
[ ] got all As
[ ] was an overachiever
[ ] was usually on the honor roll
[x] slacked off a lot
[ ] was on student council
[ ] was student council president
[x] rarely did homework
[ ] did really well on tests
[ ] always did homework
[ ] did awful on tests
[x] paid attention in class
[ ] slept in class
[ ] never paid attention
[ ] dropped out

The statement I most agree with is:
[ ] religion is stupid and people who belong to one are stupid
[x] religion is not something that I believe in
[ ] I am open to religion but have not claimed a certain religion as my own
[ ] I am religious
[ ] my religion is one of the most important things in my life
[ ] my religion is the most important thing in my life and people who do not believe are stupid

The statement(s) I most agree with is:
[ ] I hate politics and affiliate with them as least as I can
[x] I am somewhat interested in politics
[ ] I am very interested in politics and have very strong views
[x] I like to debate about political issues
[ ] I do not like to debate politics because it is useless and no one will change their views
[ ] I am 100% democrat
[ ] I am 100% republican
[x] I am independent, or prefer not to belong to a party
[ ] there are some things I agree with on both parties
[ ] people who do not pay attention to politics are stupid and ignorant
[ ] politicians are crooks and liars
[ ] my vote does not matter, it is only up to the electoral college
[x] my vote and your vote are very important

The statement I most agree with is:
[x] homosexuality is perfectly normal and should be celebrated and gay marriage should already be legal
[ ] homosexuality is not something that I am comfortable with, but their marriage does not affect me so gay marriage should be allowed
[ ] homosexuality is a sin in my religion, but in a country that represents equality I think that gay marriage should be legal
[ ] homosexuality is completely immoral and should not be encouraged, gay marriage should be illegal
[ ] homosexuality is disgusting and it is a disgrace that gay marriage is even an issue

The statement that most represents my views is:
[ ] abortion is murder and it should be illegal
[ ] abortion should not be a method of birth control, but in cases of rape or incest, it should be legal
[ ] I would never get an abortion, but I am in no place to choose what someone else should do with their body
[x] a woman should have a right to choose and she should not have to have a child if she is not ready for one
[x] abortion should be allowed in all cases no matter why the woman wants one

The statements that most represent my friendships are:
[ ] I have never had a lasting friendship
[ ] I have never had a best friend
[ ] my best friend lives very far away from me
[x] I have known my best friend my whole life
[ ] I have known my best friend for most of my life
[ ] I have known my best friend for a few years
[ ] I have only known my best friend for a short time
[ ] I have more than one best friend
[ ] I have lost many many friends
[ ] my friends seem to leave me out a lot
[x] I think that my best friend and I will be friends forever
[ ] I have hated someone then they became my friend
[ ] I now hate someone that used to be a close friend
[ ] I like one of my friends more than they like me
[ ] sometimes my friends ditch me for someone better
[ ] sometimes I ditch my friends for someone better
[ ] my friends fight a lot
[x] my friends are very supportive
[x] I do not think I could survive without my friends
[ ] I wish that I had different friends
[ ] I barely have any friends
[ ] my friends and I have nothing in common
[ ] my friends and I are so much alike
[x] my friends come to me for advice
[ ] i am the level headed one of my friends
[ ] i am the spontaneous one of my friends
[x] my friends are dumbasses
[ ] my friends have no common sense
[ ] my friends are bad influences
[ ] i am a bad influence on my friends

The statements that most represent my relationship with my significant other are:
[ ] I am married
[ ] I am engaged
[x] I am dating someone
[ ] I have a different kind of relationship with someone special
[ ] I put them first in my life
[ ] they put me first
[x] we have a lot of things in common
[ ] we are almost opposites
[x] i can talk to them about anything
[x] they get insecure
[ ] they get jealous
[x] i get insecure
[ ] i get jealous
[ ] i hate their exes
[ ] our families do not get along
[x] our families have never met
[ ] our families get along
[ ] we have had problems in the past but have overcome them
[ ] we have some serious problems
[ ] we have some little problems, but i am sure we will work them out
[ ] we have a kid
[ ] they have a kid from a previous relationship
[ ] we have an open relationship
[x] we are really cute and loving
[x] we are not really into being cutesy

[ ] they have cheated
[ ] i have cheated
[ ] it is hard for me to trust them
[ ] we have a lot of little fights
[ ] we have broken up
[ ] we live together
[x] we do not have sex
[ ] they have given me a promise ring
[x] we have not said “i love you”
[ ] I do not think I could live without them
[x] I would survive if our relationship ended
[x] we are taking things slowly
[ ] we are very sexual
[ ] we have been together for over a year
[ ] we have been together for over 5 years
[ ] i think we are the perfect couple

“I think the most important thing for you to do in the meantime is live. It is a very involving job, which takes much concentration and practice.”

Jewelle Gomez born 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts is an American author, poet, critic and playwright. She lived and worked in New York City for twenty-two years working in public television, theatre as well as philanthropy before relocating to the West Coast. Her writing—fiction, poetry, essays and cultural criticism—has appeared in a wide variety of venues, both feminist and mainstream. Her work often intersects and addresses multiple ethnicities as well as the ideals of lesbian/feminism and issues. She has been interviewed for several documentaries focused on LGBT rights and culture.

Gomez was raised by her great-grandmother, Grace, who was born on Indian land in Iowa to an African-American mother and Ioway father. Grace returned to New England before she was fourteen, when her father died and was married to John E. Morandus, a Wampanoag and descendant of Massasoit, the sachem for whom Massachusetts was named.


Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s she was shaped socially and politically by the close family ties with her great grandmother, Grace and grandmother Lydia. Their history of independence as well as marginalization in an African-American community are referenced throughout her work. “Grace A.” from the collection Don’t Explain is an early example. During her high school and college years Gomez was involved with Black political and social movements which is reflected in much of her writing. Subsequent years in New York City she spent in Black theatre including work with the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop and many years as a stage manager for off Broadway productions.

During this time she became involved in lesbian feminist activism and magazine publication. She was a member of the CONDITIONS, a lesbian feminist literary magazine. More of Gomez’s recent writing has begun to reflect her Native American (Ioway, Wampanoag) heritage.

Gomez is the author of seven books, including the double Lambda Literary Award winning novel The Gilda Stories . This novel has been in print since 1991 and reframes the traditional vampire mythology, taking a lesbian feminist perspective; it is an adventure about an escaped slave who comes of age over two hundred years. According to scholar Elyce Rae Helford, “Each stage of Gilda’s personal voyage is also a study of life as part of multiple communities, all at the margins of mainstream white middle-class America.”


She also authored the theatrical adaptation of her novel Bones and Ash which in 1996 toured thirteen U.S. cities performed by the Urban Bush Women Company. The book, which remains in print, was also issued by the Quality Paperback Book Club in an edition including the play.

Her other books include Don’t Explain, a collection of short fiction; 43 Septembers, a collection of personal/political essays; and Oral Tradition: Selected Poems Old and New.

Her fiction and poetry is included in over one hundred anthologies including the first anthology of Black speculative fiction, Dark Matter: A Century of African American Speculative Fiction edited by Sheree R. Thomas; Home Girls: a Black feminist Anthology from Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press and Best American Poetry of 2001 edited by Robert Hass.

Gomez has written literary and film criticism for numerous publications including The Village Voice, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. Magazine and Black Scholar.

She’s been interviewed in periodicals and journals over the past twenty-five years including a September 1993 Advocate article where writer Victoria Brownworthdiscussed her writing origins and political interests. In the Journal of Lesbian Studies (Vol. 5, #3) she was interviewed for an article entitled “Funding Lesbian Activism,” which linked her career in philanthropy with her political roots. She’s also interviewed in the 1999 film produced for Public Television, After Stonewall, directed by John Scagliotti.


Her newest work includes a forthcoming comic novel, Televised, recounting the lives of survivors of the Black Nationalist movement, which was excerpted in the anthology Gumbo.

She authored a play about James Baldwin in 2010 in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr., an actor and professor in the theatre department at MacAlester College.Readings have been held in San Francisco at Intersection for the Arts at a seminar on Baldwin at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, at the Yellow Springs Writers Workshop in Ohio, AfroSolo Festival and the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Gomez and Waters were interviewed on the public radio program Fresh Fruit on KFAIby host Dixie Trechel in 2008. The segment also includes two short readings from the script.

Gomez was on the original staff of Say Brother (now Basic Black), one of the first weekly Black television shows (WGBH-TV Boston, 1968), and was on the founding board of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 1984.


She also served on the early boards of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation and the Open Meadows Foundation, both devoted to funding women’s organizations and activities. She’s been a member of the board of the Cornell University Human Sexuality Archives and the advisory board of the James Hormel LGBT Center of the main San Francisco Public Library. She was a member of the loose-knit philanthropic collective founded in San Francisco in 1998 called 100 Lesbians and Our Friends. The group, co-founded by Andrea Gillespie and Diane Sabin, was designed to educate lesbians who were culturally miseducated—as women—about the use of money and benefits of philanthropy. The philosophy of making “stretch gifts” (not reducing contributions already being made) to lesbian groups and projects raised more than $200,000 in two years.

She was a commencement speaker at the University of California at Los Angeles Queer Commencement and acted as a keynote speaker twice for Gay Pride in New York City and as a host for Pride San Francisco.[

She and her partner, Dr. Diane Sabin, were among the litigants against the state of California suing for the right to legal marriage. The case was brought to the courts by the City Attorney of San Francisco, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union. She has written extensively about gay rights since the 1980s, including articles on equal marriage in Ms. Magazine and has been quoted extensively during the court case. In May 2008 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the litigants, allowing marriage between same-sex couples in the state of California. Such ceremonies may legally begin after thirty days, which allow municipalities to make administrative changes. They were among 18,000 couples married in California before (Proposition 8), which banned further same-sex marriages in California, was approved by the voters on  November 4, 2008.


Formerly the executive director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, she has also had a long career in philanthropy. She was the director of Cultural Equity Grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission and the director of the Literature Program for the New York State Council on the Arts.

She has presented lectures and taught at numerous institutions of higher learning including San Francisco State University, Hunter College, Rutgers University, New College of California, Grinnell College, San Diego City College, The Ohio State University and the University of Washington (Seattle). She is the former director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts and of Cultural Equity Grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission.She also served as executive director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University.

She is currently employed as Director of Grants and Community Initiatives for Horizons Foundation,the oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender foundation in the US. She serves as the President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.


thegenderbinaryisalie  asked:

Hi! Yesterday i got myself into a discussion with some non-believers, of a feminist aware kind, whose main argument against tjlc seemed to be that it's 2016 we can request representation in more than just subtext. They made me feel, not only like a queerbaited fool, but also like I put myself down by being happy with representation in just the subtext. This kept me up at night and I would like someone elses thoughts on it. Also do you think we ever will get to hear them say out loud "I'm gay/bi"

Hello, my beautiful wonderful friend! 

I’m SO sorry for the delay on a reply to this. I’m very new to the community myself (only just recently discovering my own asexuality through analysing Sherlock) so I was trying to think of an answer I myself would want to hear, and I truly hope I help you feel better.

Honestly, I think it’s a waste of time to engage in discussions with people who don’t believe or think the whole thing is queerbaiting. The WHOLE POINT of the subtext is to warm people up to the idea of it being made text. In 2010, when this series first started, gay marriage was still illegal in the UK and the world was new to the idea of it all being socially acceptable. IT ONLY BECAME LEGAL TWO YEARS AGO (2014) for same sex marriage in the UK, and LAST YEAR in ALL STATES IN THE US. Your acquaintances say this because they’re talking like this series started in the NOW. Certainly, if this series was started this year, then yes, agreed, no need for the subtext. But in 2010, it just… was more difficult. So, as both men are masters of subtext, they decided to warm up the audience instead to the idea of John and Sherlock inevitably being together, and in the end make the audience demand they end up together, kind of like it was done in one of their favourite films, The Princess Bride, which Sherlock coincidentally has a lot in common with (and what do we say about coincidences?).

I know the argument is old, but it is still valid – ask these people one thing: if one or the other main protagonist was a woman, is it subtext then? There’d be no mistaking that John or Sherlock were openly flirting with one another. There’s NO subtext in that, at least! The flirting is only subtext because some homophobic asshats are insisting on this series being a bromance. Mark Gatiss, a gay man who is actively involved in supporting rights of LGBT+ people and positive portrayals of LGBT+ characters in the media, would not just… queerbait. And Steven Moffat has openly gay and bi characters in his other show, Doctor Who and he is SO hard up on being the one to make these classic characters be together at last. AND their favourite adaptation of Sherlock Holmes ever is The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a movie that the writer, Billy Wilder, has openly come out to say that his Holmes was gay, but because of the laws and time period, he just couldn’t do that. In this day and age, to say that a show which has so much queercoding will eventually lead to nothing is so ridiculous. There is a long game at work here, and I honestly think it is some of the most brilliant storytelling I’ve ever come across.

Like I said, Moffat is just JUMPING at the chance to make them a couple (show your friends the Unaired Pilot and ask them to come back to you… John and Sherlock, by now, would be married in Sussex with bees and 4 dogs if they continued down THAT train). In fact, it’s MARK who is holding him back (SPOILERS!). He couldn’t wait so he made his own gay Holmes and Watson in Doctor Who, and test ran a storyline in the latest season. Mark wants to tell a beautiful love story; Steven just wants them to get together already (this is my headcanon and I’m sticking to it!).

I’ve written extensive masterposts on why I think that none of what TPTB are doing is queerbaiting, so I’ll just link you to this abridged version I did up a bit ago so you can pick the posts you want to read. If you’re ever doubting Johnlock, READ THE STUFF AT THAT LINK. Please. 

As for my opinion on if they will come outright and say they’re gay / bi? THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TO by the end of all this. THIS is what the subtext is for; this is what it’s trying to accomplish. Mofftiss want us to root for the heroes to end up together. Mofftiss want to normalize queer relationships and they’re choosing two of the most prominent literary heroes in history to do it. They want to make a queer relationship just like any het couple you see on TV. When people watch a movie or television, people automatically assume the male and female characters are just incidentally going to be together by the end; THIS is the goal Mark and Steven are trying to achieve, that ANY two people will be assumed to be in a relationship by the end of the series. I honestly don’t think Mofftiss will ever have the characters say it; they’re going to make it explicitly clear by the end of the series that John and Sherlock are together. However, I think the possibility of John correcting someone by saying “I’m actually bi” to parallel his “I’m not actually gay” has a high probability to happen. because some people still think that bisexuality isn’t real. But other than that, I don’t think they’ll make Sherlock come out and say he’s gay; a blind man can see he’s been coded gay since day one and not interested in women, and I honestly think that this coding will be amped up in S4 now that Sherlock has come to terms with his sexuality / love and need for John in TAB. Sherlock shouldn’t have to be a stereotype, but BEN chose the way Sherlock acted when he was drunk and without his guards up in TSo3. BEN. Not Mofftiss. BEN. Because he thought that’s how Sherlock really is (though I can’t remember if the quote ended there or “when he’s drunk”). I’m sure Mofftiss obviously had input into it, obviously, but still people argue that Ben and Martin would never go for it.

TSo3 was the gayest episode to ever gay before TAB, and it was supposed to be the most hetero thing ever. Really, if your acquaintances can’t see that, there’s honestly no helping them. I know from personal experience that people stuck in a heteronormative view of the world or are bigots will not budge from a straight reading of the show; I worked with someone who thought TSo3 made no sense, while my sister’s boyfriend thought it was ‘funny’. Right, the most depressing episode on this side of TRF is ‘funny’. Okay.

I’m putting my money on the series ending like TAB did, only in modern times (because Mofftiss LOVE THEIR GODDAMNED PARALLELS) with the two of them talking and chatting, and Sherlock gets up from his chair and goes to sit on John’s lap, “Just the two of us against the rest of the world?”, “Yeah.”, and they start kissing, camera pans out the window to overlook London. 

It would LITERALLY BE Sherlock’s dream come true. I’m sentimental like that.

Anyway, TL;DR: 

  • No, it’s not queerbaiting, it’s heterobaiting.
  • Mofftiss want queer relationships to be the norm.
  • People shouldn’t HAVE to say what their sexuality is. It’s no one’s business but you and your chosen partner’s. But because the world is so stuck on heteronormativity, people will assume unless a flashing neon sign is in their face.
  • Your acquaintances are poopy-heads.
  • Johnlock is canon and all is right in the world.
  • Amen.

Genny, honestly, don’t let it keep you up at night. Representation IS important, I agree, and you should NOT be ashamed of being proud that one of history’s greatest Sherlock Holmes adaptations is finally going to get it right! That a 7-Emmy Award Winning Show with A-List Actors is doing that for you. That you can relate to the troubles of the characters. That you feel special because finally, FINALLY someone has listened to you. 

DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED. You are amazing and beautiful. These acquaintances of yours are toxic to your mental health. Please be safe. Personally, I don’t think you should associate with them anymore if this is a common occurrence, them making you feel like this. Please, and this goes for everyone, never hesitate to PM me anytime in the chat; I don’t want you to ever feel like you are not important. I think you’re important, and it only takes just one person. 💜

All you have to do is think of how perfect this love story is and that, in the end, Mofftiss© will bless us with Johnlock™ and the Fires Shall Burn Brighter Than They Ever Have Before®. 

And you know what else? Slow burn romance is the BEST romance, in my opinion. It makes the ending THAT MUCH SWEETER.

Television networks + Aggressive Black lesbians= resistance
Sup guys.
One of the battles I didn’t know I would have to fight is networks not trusting that African-American lesbians would rate or pull in numbers. On a day to day I am a producer for a television network and I sit in a lot of meetings trying to understand audiences and finding what works. But it was not until I created my own art that was somewhat a reflection of me that I found out that we are the most UNDER-REPRESENTED group amongst the LGBT community in main-stream media. Networks have said we aren’t marketable, people fear us, and they don’t know what “we watch”. Although I’ve found a network that will support us in getting our message out there the reality is that if we as an entire community black or white and every.thing in between do not support this film we are proving them right. Cleo from set it off and Poussey from Orange is the new black is not ALL we are. Internally- we’ve up held these stereotypes due to our own opression that the rest of the world is actually convinced that we don’t have depth or versitility to us. We are human just like everyone else. It is important that we support one another’s endeavors but it is even more important that we show them that there is power in numbers. The more people support and the greater the audience is the more all of these networks begin to pay attention. Some news outlets and blogs don’t even want to see us on their sites. They think people will be off put by the “cold, aggressive demeanor”. Is there an audience and a market for black african-american leabians? absolutely. We see it everyday within our world but we have GOT to stop living in a bubble and spending so much time trying to size up and outshine the other that we forget that the whole world is already against us. That is in the workplace, in the churches, by our own families. Please support #thesamedifference. Repost the trailer on you sites, repost some of the photos I’ve put up. Hashtag #thesamedifference. Let us make history. We are stuck within our own world. But other than pride and our own little gay party events there is a HUGE world out there that we need to take over. Believe me !!


To purchase tickets to support #thesamedifference JUNE 23rd, 2015
The Roxie theater
San Francisco @ 7pm
go to: ticketing.frameline.org

I’m willing to fight for us….are you?

anonymous asked:

your writing and recommendations are my everything and i've listened to hamilton and in the heights because of you so i have to ask; do you have a rec list for musicals?? i have 0 knowledge on them (the above two are my firsts) and i'd love to know what your favorites are!!!

all right, this has taken some time because I have, as you have probably realised, A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT MUSICALS, and I have never been tasked with so great a responsibility before. you are a blank slate! so many joys await you!!

NOTES:
- in some of these cases I cannot divorce my childhood from the equation and so there is no objective guarantee of quality, per se, just…feelings
- I realise seeing musicals live often ranges from inconvenient to impossible so I’ll try and note whether or not you can get a good experience from the cast album (which you often can! HAMILTON, CASE IN POINT)
- there’s a lot of stuff on youtube. if you poke around.

ok ok 

Keep reading

I had a very long post on Mexican wrestling written about a year ago, but I ended up deleting the whole thing because it seemed way too tangential at the time, and boy, am I beating myself up about it now. In preparation for next week’s episode Beyond the Mat I’ve attempted to pull some of the threads in the post from memory.

So, I received a message following the preview for next week’s episode [name withheld for privacy]:

I was going to send this as an ask, but I don’t see that as an option, so don’t feel like you have to respond. So this is in reference to the preview for next week (11x15), so if you haven’t seen it yet I don’t want to give you spoilers. BUT when you DO see it: Dean + Mexican style wrestling. 1) he’s totally fangirling 2) the wrestler straight up WINKS at him and Dean has this awed look on his face. Which leads me to: 3) Did Dean’s love of Mexican Wrestling come before or after Ash dressed up like one when he rescued them in Heaven (Dark Side of the Moon)? I’m sending you this because you’re the reason I even noticed Ash/Dean.

While the scene in the upcoming episode appears to be “professional wrestling” (ie. show wrestling as opposed to sports wrestling), I think the aspect of Mexican wrestling (lucha libre) is very important not only for next week’s episode but due to the centrality of Dark Side of the Moon for the entire narrative.

In answer to the question, there were no references to wrestling prior to the scene of Ash appearing in the luchador mask. In the second season, Ash uses Spanish words indicating his cultural proximity to Mexico (not that of the Roadhouse context as such, located as it were in Nebraska, but the character’s personal connection). It also bears a note that in the third season, after the death of Ash, when Dean himself is dying, he wants to go to Mexico all of a sudden. Going to Tijuana in Mexico is the last thing Dean wants to do, his dying wish. It’s disguised in a humorous reference to a donkey show, but it is how he wishes to spend his last night on earth.

Then, in heaven, Ash appears to him in a luchador costume which @sandraugiga​ and myself discussed in the master post as paralleling Jo’s appearance in a Little Black Dress, as something that is erotic, sexy to Dean, if not for the audience.

Moving on to Carver’s story, Dean’s love of wrestlers and wrestling is revisited in Sharp Teeth in the eighth season, in Adam Glass’s episode. Then a wrestling past was retconned for Dean in the ninth season episode Bad Boys, also by Adam Glass. The less I say about Glass, the better. But the concept of wrestling and its importance to Dean has been carried over from the original narrative. There is a lot of history on the show laying the foundation for next week’s episode.

Wrestling is a very homoerotic sport, its roots harking back to ancient Greece where the sport celebrated the nude male form. Homoeroticism cannot be divorced from the sport, which is why strategies have been deployed for dissolving the homoerotic tension inherent in the concept. In the US context, it has been done through carnevalizing the sport, introducing a sense of the liminal, creating a space in the context of which certain acts are allowed that are denied to heteromasculine participants outside of the artifice. Having myself participated in combat sports for a decade, I can vouch that the acceptable level of queerness is constantly negotiated in homosocial spaces.

But the interesting thing is that Mexican wrestling in particular has created a special category for allowing and dealing with the inherent queerness in the sport.

Lucha libre, unlike the name suggests, is a staged performance following a script. The fighters, the luchadors, take on roles for the performance both inside the wrestling ring and outside it. The roles for the fighters are those of technico (the face) - the “good guy”, rudo (the heel) - the “bad guy”, and a third category, the exotico.

For those unfamiliar with Mexican wrestling, it may be interesting and strange to discover this category of wrestler that plays on sexuality and gender performance.

The exotico plays the role of a gay fighter, whether the performer is actually gay or not. It’s a role, and a role that is campy, humourous, liminal, a satire of masculinity. The function of the exotico is to reaffirm the masculinity of the other fighter roles by offering up an inversion of masculinity. The exotico can perform either the role of the technico or the rudo, although most often they are the heel. And the role of the exotico is not to lose to the other fighter, but often to ‘unman’ them, to deconstruct the machismo of the luchador.

Exoticos can swing either way, much like their over-the-top sexually; they can be a heel or a hero, but they do it in a style that is full of pomp and circumstance, all with a smack of lipstick, a touch of mascara and a knowing wink. [source]

If Ash from Supernatural were a luchador, he would be an exotico. Someone that challenges conventional masculinity through humour. Dean, on the other hand, exemplifies the rudo, the brawler, to Sam’s technico.

The masks or mascaras of lucha libre are further an analogy for queerness, concealing the identities of the fighters, and the removal of which can be considered 'outing’ the fighter, the act frowned upon.

But it’s not Mexican wrestling that’s featured in next week’s episode, but American professional wrestling. So, I thought we might also talk about Kevin Nash a little bit.

Kevin Nash is a mostly retired wrestler living in Daytona Beach whose entrance theme was Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, a song that has yet to be played on the show but which has personal significance for Dean as a character. Kevin Nash also went by the name of Oz, hailing from Emerald City, actually basing his character on the L. Frank Baum books.

His other character, Vinnie Vegas, was based on the film My Blue Heaven, which also contains a queer subtext we’ve discussed in the Dean/Ash masterpost. Even his main character Diesel is someone that would have found a fit in any Roadhouse, drawing from the biker aesthetic. Dude’s also famously appeared in both of the Magic Mike films. Kevin Nash has many points of connection with the show.

So, given that next week’s episode is to feature an aging wrestler, keep Big Sexy in mind while you’re watching. I know I will.

Why #StormPilot Matters

Of all the major fandoms in the world right now entertaining thoughts of a gay relationship between major characters (e.g. Sherlock and Watson, Captain America and Bucky Barnes, etc.), none is so passionate nor as popular as the #StormPilot movement, advocating a relationship between Poe Dameron and Finn in the newest Star Wars trilogy. I have, from the beginning, been a proponent of such a relationship, because it is phenomenal, logical, and so hot. But I am finally ready to elaborate on exactly I find it personally important, and as an extension why I think it is important to the larger world.

I am a 27 year old gay man. And, for various reasons which aren’t worth going into here, I didn’t come out to my family (the most important step) until just a few months ago, after (although I must admit not because of) seeing The Force Awakens. Still, the pro-gay backlash I witnessed in response to this very idea has heartened me to no end, and it is for this reason that I feel like I must speak out in favor of it now.

One of the common refrains I have seen amongst those who are resistant to the possibility of a gay romance in Star Wars, under the guise of being reasonable and not-at-all-homophobic, is some variant of: “Don’t sexualize Star Wars – it is a movie for children and it has never been about sex.” And that is, on the surface, reasonably true. This is what makes the claim seem so innocuous and valid. But my question remains: is anyone actually asking to sexualize the franchise more than it has already been sexualized in previous iterations? At most, proponents of a Finn/Poe (or whatever other gay pairing) relationship are looking for verbal confirmation that these two characters love each other, and maybe share one or two chaste kisses (which is even something I could begrudgingly live without, were the first part present). How is that any different from Leia and Han in the original trilogy? How is it not even less overtly sexual than the Anakin/Padme relationship in the prequels, which resulted in a pregnancy even though Anakin was supposed to be sworn to celibacy as a Jedi knight? Did those twins come about from immaculate conception? And how can one even claim, with a straight face, that the original movies were never sexual, when Carrie Fisher was paraded around in a metal bikini, which subsequent pop culture (e.g. That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother) has explicitly recognized as the fantasy masturbation material for many a young, nerdy, heterosexual man in the late 20th century? No one is lobbying for Oscar Isaac to march around in a thong in Episode VIII (although I would certainly be the last to complain if he did).

So accepting that introducing a gay relationship is not, in fact, about sexualizing anything to a greater degree, this gets toward a much larger point. Heterosexual relationships, whether the sexual aspect is particularly explicit or not, are totally normalized in mainstream, blockbuster films. And that is fine. A very large part of the human population is heterosexual, and of course that would be and will continue to be the norm. But that does not mean that movies, which have such a large influence on general culture and indeed pride themselves on pushing the boundaries of and even making culture, can continue to ignore non-heterosexual relationships to the exclusion of all others. Our media has a responsibility to reflect the actual population. And this is not even a new concept. In an American context, the majority of the population is also white (at least for now) – yet most enlightened circles have converged on the reality that racial minority representation in movies is extremely important. Why would sexual minorities be any different? Back up half a century, and the same majority values and religious arguments were being used against minority (especially interracial relationship) representation in popular culture, but such qualms have now been left in the past by anyone worth listening to. And today, when there is any indication that they have not (such as the #OscarsSoWhite controversy last year) it is to everyone’s general misfortune.

That’s not to say that gay representation doesn’t exist in film – it obviously does. But when looking at my own movie collection, I notice that I have exactly five films, of the 100+ that I love enough to have purchased in the this modern day of streaming, with explicitly gay themes. And I have explicitly sought those gay-focused films out. The average young person, struggling with his or her sexuality, may be quite likely to find Star Wars within the family collection of films. It is much less likely, growing up in a straight family, that he or she would find “The History Boys” or “Pride.”

Thinking back to when I was a young man, struggling with my sexuality but still nowhere near ready to actually seek out “gay” media, I cannot imagine how encouraging it would have been to have seen positive reinforcement, or even simple and tacit acceptance, in one of the biggest movie franchises in the world. Obviously, it wouldn’t have fixed everything. But it would have been a major boost to my confidence and a big step forward in my path toward self-acceptance. Here, in a universe and a story that most people love right alongside me, is a hero who is also gay, but whose sexuality has nothing to do with what he or she could do nor the value that he or she can contribute to the world. When the real world is throwing signal after signal at you that you are less important and less worthy than your straight counterparts, such a role-model – even of the fictional variety – is invaluable, because his or her existence provides hope that things could be different and better. And after all, what is the world of fantasy and sci-fi if not a representation of our hopes and dreams (and sometimes warnings) about alternatives to the flawed world in which we actually live?

I can’t help but compare this tame and easy solution to what we already have in the biggest franchises of the day. While most are relatively benign in their tacit expectation and depiction of heterosexuality, I can’t help but think of Deadpool. As the first major R-rated super-hero movie of our age, I was excited to see it since the source material promised a vulgar and pansexual hero of the 21st century. If ever there was an avenue toward at least partial gay acceptance in a broadly-popular blockbuster film, this would be it. And while I generally did enjoy the film for most of the reasons promised, the sexuality issue left me desperately wanting. Although Deadpool was quick with a homoerotic remark, it was almost exclusively as a joke. Any homo-specific remark, such as “suck my dick,” offered to another male, was still leveled as the basest of insults. There was even one explicit visual scene in which the very idea of having something inserted up his ass was the ultimate indignity that our hero could simply not abide. Even though he was meant to be open to all sexual experiences, he could only ever be seen to tolerate strictly heteronormative sexual activity. Again, no one is asking for an explicit scene depicting StormPilot penetration – that would indeed be quite outside the realm of the Star Wars universe and purpose. But a simple indication that these characters do love each other, with whatever that means left well off camera, would go miles toward progressing the norm of acceptance in popular culture.  And that in turn, would be enormously beneficial to many.

Fortunately for me, I never reached a level of despair over my sexuality so deep that I considered self-harm in any form. But the statistics show that I am one of the lucky ones, and this only serves to emphasize the point. The rate of self-harm and suicide for LGBT youths is dramatically higher than the rate for their straight counterparts. I, as a 27 year old gay man who by some miracle ended up relatively well-adjusted and was ultimately fully embraced by my family, sexuality be damned, am still pleading for positive representation in popular culture. So just imagine what more this positive representation could mean for a much younger gay person, who is subject to an even greater amount of self-ridicule over his or her inborn sexuality and has not yet found a level of self-acceptance nor a network of external acceptance to make these negative feelings bearable.  

I’m not a fool. I know that one major franchise will not a solution make to gay representation in the media as a whole. But I also know that a more comprehensive solution must start somewhere, and I don’t see any franchise better poised to make that essential first step than Star Wars is right now. Perhaps there will be a marginal amount of dollars at stake among those who are still resistant to the forward march of equality. But frankly, the franchise can afford to lose those dollars. On the other hand, and in a much larger and more consequential sense, there are human lives at stake if we, the forward-thinking and enlightened members of society, who know that this is right and necessary, continue to ignore the plight of the marginalized and refuse to recognize and depict their humanity. I don’t personally live or die by #StormPilot becoming canon. But in the larger world, now and in the years to come, there may well be some who do. I, for one, am much more concerned with their well-being than that of the bigots who will be temporarily pissed at seeing a dude kissing a dude.