gay subculture

there is not a single gay subculture that doesn’t have a superiority complex and it’s legitimately irritating beyond a joke to me bc they all have just as exclusionary beauty standards (including bears) but they all try to be like #onelove #acceptance

just either admit you’re all hypocrites or shut the fuck up about who you’re fucking for the love of god, I don’t care how fake woke your boner is

Chaos and the Gay Bears

@diannamuircastle​ and I raised @chaos-and-cake​ around LGBT+ people. To her, it’s entirely natural and normal.  They are Staff in her LARP group.  They have been her babysitters. They are her neighbors and her friends.  

One particular group, she was their cheerleader.  Sorta. :P

Many people, even some in the LGBT+ community, are not familiar with the “Bear” subculture among Gay men.  We had not heard of it before we moved to Philly and met the “Liberty Bears.”  

Chaos was just a toddler then, all of two years old.  Dianna had been using stuffed animals to teach her about different animal sounds.  Horse says “Neigh!”  Cat says “Meow!”  And of course, Bear says, “GRR!”

Well, as a matter of fact, Bears do say “GRR!”  When one Bear says that to or about another Bear, they mean, “Oooh, you’re sexy!”  

So the next time we were at a social get-together of the local Medieval Reenactment group we were in back then, Chaos marched right up to the Bear contingent, held up her Teddy Bear, and announced, “BEAR SAYS GRRR!”  Delighted, they all chorused back, “GRRR!”  And back, and forth, and back, and forth, while everyone else died laughing and Dianna dang near died of embarrassment.

Yes, our two year old daughter spent the evening around a campfire trying toasted marshmallows and flirting with the big, hairy gay men.  Unlike with other big guys, she always seemed entirely comfortable with them, and in return they adored her.  They looked and dressed like a bunch of Hell’s Angels at times, but as one of them told me, “Don’t let the leather fool you: underneath, it’s all chiffon.”  

She doesn’t remember those days, of course.  We had to remind her recently, and her face was priceless.  I used to joke that my future son-in-law would be a big and hairy Gay dude, and while obviously that isn’t going to happen, I can say that any of them would make a fine Son-in-Law for some other family.  Good people, them.

Oh, as an aside, here’s the Bear Pride flag.  Remember that controversy about adding the black and brown stripes to the Rainbow Flag?  Well, from the beginning, the Bear Pride flag has represented the full range of human skin and hair color:

So if you see one of those Bears, don’t say “GRRR!” unless you mean it–or you are an adorable little girl with a Teddy Bear.

And don’t do what I did and ask them if they really do **** in the woods. They’ll Grrrroan!

anonymous asked:

since yoongi has too many Gay Moments you could go over your faves/most gay or smth *shrug emoji*

i wrote out a whole answer to this and accidently closed the tabs but time to start againnnnnnnnnnnnnnn so here are are the ghighlights:

  • cypher pt 3 he raps about turning guys and girls on, and he’s literally using a metaphor about how good he is at giving head to tell you how good he is at rapping
  • agust d is directed at a man and there are a lot of sexual references (tongue technology, fat dick em, etc. )
  • good day from YOUTH (the japanese album) - his verse is soft and gay
  • wishing on a star from YOUTH - also soft and gay
  • that time he travelled all the way back to the dorm for hobi at new years with chicken because he was alone
  • when he said holly (a male dog) and rapmon (a male dog) should date
  • when he spoke about his type in men (older with beards)
  • first love is lowkey gay like the verse about ‘i rejected you then you accepted me back’ or whatever it is and also the fact that it was banned only he could do that with a song about a piano
  • it might have been a translation thing because it was from one of the recent USA interviews but he said that spring day was about a ‘him’
  • the spring day choreo bit where him and jimin are on two sides of the wall i’ve seen in a lot of couple contemporary dance performances it’s like the so you think you can dance contemporary trademark
  • during the rookie king episode where tae and hobi kissed, it was in reference to a film called ‘쌍화점’ (‘A Frozen Flower’) and Yoongi had a) seen it and b) could name the actors and main characters and c) was excited to be able to do so
  • exists
  • touches hobi’s thighs a lot (x)
  • that picture of him lying on the hot air balloon thing that looks like the pride flag
  • when he said his celebrity crush was the male presenter when they were in australia
  • whatever the hell the run episode in the prison was
  • when he was pretending to be yoonji on bts+ he called her ‘girl crush’ which is used to refer to a girl that girls like basically yoonji is a lesbian icon
  • sleeping is gay
  • gets away with everything like only a gay could
  • him and jk’s role in the hyyh series is coded as quite gay tbh in regards to how it’s shot especially the prologue
  • in blood sweat and tears, the film ‘chatroom’ referenced in his scenes has a m/m kiss
  • is good friends with my gay father heechul
  • the gntl boys gloves
  • whatever this was
  • these times where he was just……… gay and couldn’t hold it in here and here
  • he’s pretty left oriented politically from what i can tell which is generally a lot more gay n stuff
  • gay leather subculture looks in that Singles photoshoot
  • used the two guys with a heart between them emoji for the sope livestream 
  • ‘soul partner’
  • has spoken about high school crushes at some point but didn’t he go to an all boys school………………………………………….
  • that time he just……… snuggled into hobi’s arm during rookie king
  • this
  • the fact that his hair has been every colour of the rainbow
  • also that he could fight a hetero and win idk
Ep 8: “through science to justice,” Magnus Hirschfeld, Weimar Germany, and the Nazis

Hi everyone, today’s video is going to be a little longer than usual because I’m trying to fit in a whole bunch of things, like the first gay rights group, the flourishing of a gay subculture in Germany in the early 20th century, and the persecution of LGBT folks during World War II. It’s a lot, and I’m going to try and serve the totality of it as best I can, but this is just a brief overview. I wanted to keep these things together because I think each part of this story informs the ones around it.
[Just FYI, my German pronunciation is terrible, but I’m going to give it my best shot.]
In 1897 a group of people in Berlin formed the Wissenshaftlich-humanitäres Komittee [or the Scientific Humanitarian Committee] to lobby against anti-gay laws in Germany, including Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code, which outlawed sex between men. Led by the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, the committee was the first gay rights group in the world. Coming a generation or so after the coining of the word “homosexuality,” and the work of the first gay rights activists like Karl Ulrichs and Karl Maria Kertbeny (see episode one for details), Hirschfeld was at the vanguard of those using the most up-to-date science to fight against societal and legal attitudes that treated homosexuality as deviant and criminal. He wasn’t alone in this, but he was probably the most prominent scientist working on these issues at the time. In fact, he was sometimes promoted as the “Einstein of sex.”
Hirschfeld was the Scientific Humanitarian Committee’s first chair, and the committee was emblematic of his motto: “through science to justice.” Like Ulrichs and Kertbeny before him, argued that sexuality was an innate trait rather than a chosen one, and by this reasoning it was cruel and pointless to criminalize same-sex activity. To give you an idea of the kind of things that he did with the committee Dr. Hirschfeld often served as an expert witness for the trials of men charged under Paragraph 175, arguing for leniency in the courts. In doing so, he often succeeded in getting the sentences reduced for his client.
For his part Max Spohr, One of Hirschfeld’s partners in the committee, involved himself in the activist push by publishing sexological studies and popular gay literature. With titles like Die Transvestiten (or The Transvestites), these books spread the committee’s ideals across Europe. Germany was uniquely suited to this tactic, given that censorship laws at the time were fairly liberal. Despite this leniency, Spohr and other publishers occasionally came into conflict with the government, such as when he published homosexual and anarchist Adolf Brand’s literary journal Der Eigene, which had explicitly gay content. This and other propaganda from the committee turned sentiment among many of Germany’s elite against anti-gay laws.
Many of the texts published by Spohr’s press included both academic journals and longer scientific papers from Magnus Hirschfeld. Dr. Hirschfeld founded an institute in 1919 to further work in the field of sexology, or the study of human sexual behavior. Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science (Institut für Sexualwissenschaft) occupied a large building in Central Berlin, where Germans could go for help with a number of sexually-related issues, from birth control to gender transition services, and which housed a museum devoted to human sexuality.
Under Hirschfeld, the committee also circulated a petition among elites to urge the government under Kaiser Wilhelm II to repeal the anti-sodomy law. This petition even made it to the floor of the Reichstag (or the parliament) in 1898, though the statute was not overturned. The committee and other rights groups continued pushing this agenda even after the Wilhelmine government gave way to the Weimar Republic after WWI. A vote in 1929 promised to reform the law (activists called the reform “one step forward and two steps back), though this too fell through. Hirschfeld resigned his chairmanship that same year following this last attempt.
So, what was gay life like in Germany at this time? Around the turn of the 19th century, police in Berlin began an informal policy of monitoring but not raiding establishments that catered to homosexuals. This allowed a gay nightlife to flourish in the city. By the end of the 1920s, Berlin was well known throughout Europe as a center of homosexual life, especially for those who were well off. Clubs and bars that served gay clientele and featured cross-dressing entertainers were even established enough to warrant guided tours. It wasn’t all wine and roses, however. Despite relative freedom, homosexuality was still a punishable offense, and thousands ended up in prison as a result of Paragraph 175. Moreover, the Berlin police position of non-intervention didn’t really extend to the rest of Germany.
The openness of Berlin’s attitude towards homosexuality was always tenuous at best, and relied upon a fairly liberal society. After the Great Depression hit, and the collapse of the German economy on top of crippling reparations imposed by the victors of WWI, the previous open conditions gave way. By the time the National Socialists (or the Nazis) seized power, an atmosphere of fear, anxiety, and plain old xenophobia had made it much easier for those in power to scapegoat marginalized groups within Germany.
Despite the previous promise of the reform movement, Paragraph 175 continued into the Third Reich. After seizing power, the Nazis began campaigns against those they deemed “degenerate,” and much like leftists, Jews, persons with disabilities, and Romany, thousands of homosexuals were sent to concentration camps. These prisoners wore a pink badge in the shape of a triangle, marking their crime as homosexuality. This pink triangle was revived as a symbol by gay rights groups later in the century, most notably by ACT UP during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
Gay prisoners went through the same torture, privation, and cruelty as others in the camps. By the end of World War II, only about 40% of those who had been sent to concentration camps because of their sexuality had survived. And yet for many, even liberation came with a cost. Both governments in divided Germany maintained anti-sodomy laws on their books well after the war, and even re-imprisoned those who had been released. East Germany made amendments to the law beginning in the 1950s, and overturned it in the 80s. West Germany amended their law in the 1960s, though full repeal didn’t occur until after reunification in the 1990s.
As for Magnus Hirschfeld, he was away on a speaking tour when the Nazi party took power. He never returned to Germany, and died in exile in 1935. The Nazis sacked his institute in May 1933, destroying the sexological museum and burning the institute library, including Hirschfeld’s research and the research of his colleagues. Being a Jew, and a reported homosexual, as well as a liberal sexologist, Hirschfeld was a powerful symbol for them to attack, and it was unlikely he would have survived returning to his country.
You’ll notice that women are excluded from this narrative thread. In large part, it’s because Paragraph 175 only criminalized same-sex activity between men, and because the scope of Nazi repression of lesbians was substantially different, tending towards circumscribing the role of women as mothers and wives rather than by outright imprisonment. Hirschfeld, for his part, welcomed women into the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, and worked on feminist issues of the time like decriminalizing abortion. Others in the same movement, like Adolf Brand, tended towards dismissing women and lionized masculinity as the greatest ideal as part of the männerbund (or the male association) movement.
Now, I don’t know how many you have run across the idea of Nazis as being gay, but it is something I’ve witnessed personally. To be sure, some of the earliest Nazi leaders, like head of the Brownshirts Ernst Röhm, were gay, but the power of these leaders within the Nazi government was short-lived. Röhm himself one of many assassinated in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives. There is no doubt in my mind that the Nazis were virulently homophobic, and that’s where I’ll leave that idea.
Just one last point, although this video is already quite full. Hirschfeld’s approach, and the approach of the committee, necessarily left out a lot of people who were adversely affected by anti-gay laws, primarily the working class and sex workers, although those are often one and the same. For this and other reasons the movement as a whole broke down along ideological and class lines, and it’s possible that effectiveness suffered as a result.
It’s taken me a while to figure out how to approach this episode, because I see real parallels between what I’m discussing here and what our landscape looks like today in the US. That being said, I don’t want to give the impression that I think the election of Donald Trump is exactly analogous as the rise of Nazism in Germany. There are, however, a lot of troubling similarities, and I’m not holding out hope that things will get better soon for marginalized people in the US.
I’m passionate about history because there’s nothing new under the sun. What I’ve been trying to do throughout this series, whether consciously or unconsciously, has been to illustrate the strategies and tactics by which people have tried to foment change. Sometimes, like in our first episode, it’s by defining the issue, by giving us vocabulary to talk about it. Sometimes it’s through spontaneous (and physical) resistance, like with Compton’s cafeteria in episode 6. Occasionally it happens within the system; more often it comes from outside. Change doesn’t always stick, and it’s never easy. Progress doesn’t always win, and that kind of sucks.
So what can we do? We can pay up for people whose work has helped us out. With money if you can, by signal boosting if you can’t. Support your local library. I wouldn’t have access to most of the materials I’ve used in this series if it weren’t for the library. There’s a million things to do, they’re just a search away.
There’s so much more out there than I’ve managed to fit in this video, so don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at the resources in the description, and there’s a link to the transcript as well. You can follow me on Twitter, you can follow the show on Tumblr, and don’t forget to subscribe. See you next time.
So what can we do? We can pay up for people whose work has helped us out. With money if you can, by signal boosting if you can’t. Support your local library. I wouldn’t have access to most of the materials I’ve used in this series if it weren’t for the library. There’s a million things to do, they’re just a search away.
There’s so much more out there than I’ve managed to fit in this video, so don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at the resources in the description, and there’s a link to the transcript as well. You can follow me on Twitter, you can follow the show on Tumblr, and don’t forget to subscribe. See you next time.

Watch: https://briefcommaqueer.tumblr.com/post/159316183370/resources

anonymous asked:

I've been wondering for quite a long time now, what even was John's sexuality? I do think he was straight but somewhere inside me thinks he may have had small same sex attractions but I haven't personally found much information/proof to support that. + It was never confirmed by John himself which makes it harder for more proof. (Paul does make it seem like he was gay on many occasions but I don't know how much I trust it.) What do you think? It just really interests me. :-)

Personally, I think that John was bisexual with a preference for men, as is Paul. There are so many reasons why I think this so I’ll just make a list:

*When John was a teen, he had dreams of becoming a sailor, and it’s well-known that the navy has a very strong gay subculture attached to it. Many men would choose to go to sea for unlimited sex with other men, and Philip Norman referred to the navy as “a homosexual mafia.” (x)

*As a teen, he would invent wanking games with other boys (x)

*As a teen, he admired the gay poet Oscar Wilde. “I was torn between being Marlon Brando and being the sensitive poet - the Oscar Wilde part of me with the velvet, feminine side. I was always torn between the two, mainly opting for the macho side, because if you showed the other side, you were dead.” (x)

*(This quote is referring to when the Beatles went to Hamburg) “Though raised amid the same homophobia as his companions, John seemed totally unshocked by St. Pauli’s abundant drag scene; indeed, he often seemed actively to seek it out. “There was one particular club he used to like,” Tony Sheridan remembers, “full of these big guys with hairy hands, deep voices- and breasts. But they used to make an effort to talk English. There was something about the place that seemed to make John feel at home.”” (x) And here’s another story about him going to a transvestite bar called Monica’s (x)

*He has admitted to having a threesome with a man and a woman (x)

*The source is questionable, but Pauline Sutcliffe claims that John used to go to gay parties with Brian Epstein and other men, and that there was a lot of gossip around Liverpool about John not being straight (x)

*Pete Townshend says that among mutual friends, John openly talked about experimenting with men (x)

*He went to at least one gay bar with Paul in 1968 (x)

*He contributed a poem to the Gay Liberation Book in the early 70s, saying “Why make it sad to be gay/ Doing your thing is O.K./ Our bodies our own/ So leave us alone/ Go play with yourself—today.” (x)

*“When they got onto the theme of love, Andrews suggested that Lennon was troubled by his homosexuality. “‘Why do you dress Yoko as a boy?’ he challenged. John was enraged at the suggestion, rejecting it violently” (x)

*He said he was attracted to Yoko because she “looks like a bloke in drag” (x)

*Once when he was drunk, he grabbed one of the studio musicians and kissed him, then pushed him off and called him a “faggot” (x)

*He went around to gay clubs during his separation from Yoko (x)

*Many of his writings from his book Skywriting by Word of Mouth are blatantly homoerotic (x) (x)

When John Parsons, a Canadian researcher, published his 10-page report in 1989 on gays and lesbians in the GDR, he wrote from the vantage point of six previous years of research. “Back in 1983,” Parsons recalled, “the lesbian and gay subculture in East Germany was still very much underground, although not illegal.”


But, he explained, “By 1989 things have changed dramatically. Public displays of homosexual affection remain rare, but gay liberation has made significant and surprising progress in a short period of time. Not only is the gay subculture in the early stages of coming aboveground, but the process of liberation is now developing with the active support of the Communist Party. Lesbians and gay men, communists and non-communists alike, are exploring anew what sexual liberation means in a socialist society.”


He stressed, “The public discussion of homosexuality now being promoted by the Communist Party is one in which homosexuality is finally recognized as a natural aspect of sexuality and society.”


The lesbian and gay movement in the GDR debated whether to develop an autonomous community or integrate into society. The leading view of the movement and the state, Parsons reported, “is one in which autonomy is not set in conflict with integration. Lesbians and gay men have a need to meet together for personal, cultural, and political reasons. Their ability to collectively discuss and decide their views on their oppression and needs is an important step in enabling the society as a whole to address the issues.


"Integration, however, is also seen as a positive goal–not an integration in which lesbians and gays hide their identity, but one in
which their unique identity contributes to and changes the whole.”


Parsons reported these gains without glossing over the problems that still existed, bringing great sensitivity and objectivity to his observations.


He noted for example, “The Communist Party itself is not a monolithic institution. There are millions of members with various views on sexuality and sexual politics, and it is no surprise that different views should win sway at different times.


"But,” he added, “what is striking is that the Party has moved so quickly from a position of, at best, benign neglect to one of clear advocacy for a reasoned, humanistic and in many ways radically progressive position.”

—  Leslie Feinberg, Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 24,  Workers World newspaper (Dec. 30, 2004)

anonymous asked:

when do you think characters like jade jane and john who don't have their gayness really shown in canon (though if you count the snapd8s i guess jane isn't part of that maybe but my question i guess still applies) realize they aren't as straight as they maybe thought

i think jade, growing up in the middle of the ocean and not really interacting with society outside of childrens cartoons and furry subculture, never really had her own “straightness” established. furry culture especially is and always has been driven by gay artists. (theres gross hets sure and a lot of those gay artists are doing fetish porn but… its a gay-oriented subculture) so i think jade was always open to dating girls

jane would really struggle with it though. i think it would be something she has to talk through with roxy and callie - ftr i think callioxy were an established item earlier (per the marriage proposal) and jane got invited in later

john just gets distressed because he keeps having these weird feelings about all his friends being gay and he has no idea if hes a homophobe or if hes actually secretly gay so one day he texts dirk (who he has the least established relationship with and therefore has the least to lose if things break bad) and says “look if youre up for it come over to my place and well smoke a bowl and whatever happens happens”

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people on here posting their theories on John and Paul’s relationship, and it seems like everyone assumes that they were never aware or never acted upon any homosexual feelings they had for each other, or that if they did act upon them that they would continue to insist that they weren’t ‘queer’ and that they only felt this way for each other. But, to me, it’s so painfully obvious that they were both bisexual, and knew so even before they met each other. 

So many people are under the wrong impression that being gay in 1950’s Liverpool was so risky and unheard of that nobody would even attempt it. But in reality, Liverpool had a such thriving queer subculture, and was even considered “the gay centre of the North.” For someone to assume that people as smart as John and Paul would have been clueless to this just doesn’t make sense. Especially considering how much contact they had with things such as beatnik poetry, art, theater, and music, all of which had a very strong gay subculture attached. And just to prove my point, I’ve compiled a list of quotes that show just how much involvement John and Paul (but mostly Paul since he’s usually the one that people insist was completely hetero) had with the gay subculture in Liverpool in the 50s.

From a Wikipedia article about 40s and 50s gay culture in Liverpool:
“Although gay sex between consenting adults was not legalized until 1967, the gay community enjoyed relative acceptance in this area and establishments such as the Stork Hotel, the Roebuck, Spanish House, Magic Clock, Royal Court, and The Dart all boasted a substantial gay clientele, albeit liaisons were still held in secret to a degree. Closer to the bars, the Playhouse Theater also had a strong gay element and the gay community would often mix with members of the cast.”

From an article about the gay quarter of Liverpool during the 50s:
“A few yards away stood the Dart, on the site of the modern Playhouse Theatre extension in Williamson Square, where the young John Lennon and Paul McCartney would play in the back room.” (Why would two young men play music at gay club together back in the 1950s, unless they, too, were gay/bi? And don’t tell me that they were just doing it for money, because none of the other Beatles were aware that John and Paul played here!)

From Paul’s book Many Years From Now:
“Paul did not just read playscripts, he regularly attended the Liverpool Playhouse and the Royal Court, where he would sit up in the shillings seats by himself. “I was quite a lone wolf on that. I never used to go with anyone. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go! At the playhouse you used to have to go out on the stairwell to smoke in the interval and I remember on the stairwell for the first time in my life hearing someone say ‘Crikey!’ I thought it was just in books! But it was the Liverpool theater crowd, ‘It was very good wasn’t it, but crikey did you see that fella?’””

From an interview with Paul:
“Mind you, I used to hang around stage doors, I was a bit of a Stage-Door Johnny. I was so fascinated by all of that stuff. I loved it. I just wanted to be near it. I hung around the stage doors, got to meet the Crew Cuts. I sort of wanted it, wanted it bad. So did John. All the guys did.”

And let’s not forget about John - he would invent wanking ‘games’ with his friends, he dreamed of a life at sea, where one could have unlimited sex with other sailors, and he looked up to Oscar Wilde, the famously gay poet. “I look at early pictures of meself, and I was torn between being Marlon Brando and being the sensitive poet - the Oscar Wilde part of me with the velvet, feminine side. I was always torn between the two, mainly opting for the macho side, because if you showed the other side, you were dead." 

I don’t know, I just wish that people here would stop romanticizing the idea of John and Paul only being gay for each other and being so uptight about any possible homosexual feelings they might have had..

Homosexual desire among working-class men in the north in the Downton era

There are many things to grumble about with regards to historical accuracy in Downton Abbey, but I want to tell you my particular bugbear, which is how Thomas’ sexuality is understood. I can go off on a long, discursive explanation of this, complete with bibliography and quotes, but the basics are that ‘homosexual’, as an identity, had not reached the north during the period in which Downton was set. The Wilde trials codified 'the homosexual’ as a type of person in England, but more specifically in London: the trials were covered up north, but minimally and/or sympathetically (except in the Manchester Guardian which had a very insinuating description of Wilde’s lifestyle). This is an era before nationalisation: regional identity is paramount in understanding the outlook of the downstairs characters, except that Fellowes has apparently forgotten that he’s set DA in North Yorkshire (this Yorkshire lass is displeased).

In the north at this time (1912-1926), there is a strong tradition of physical intimacy in working-class male friendships. Male friends embrace, kiss, bathe together and enjoy watching other men bathing (no really), and share beds. The male and female spheres are very separate, and emotional intimacy is shared not between husband and wife but between same-sex 'mates’.

This also leads in several cases to sex between men, particular in industry, where men in the steelworks and mines would work in very scanty clothing due to the heat, then bathe together, leading to comfort with the naked male bodies of one’s compatriots. Since there is no conception of 'homosexual’ as an identity, this is just seen as something that men do sometimes, among themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Buggery, gross indecency and their like were crimes - but a lot, even most of the working-class men arrested for them at this time don’t seem to have even known this.

Keep reading

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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street
An intimate and revealing look behind the scenes of horror's most controversial slasher sequel featuring Mark Patton and Robert Englund

This is not your typical Nightmare On Elm Street documentary.  Whether you’re a horror fan or a gay advocate, Scream, Queen! has something to offer to everyone.  We delve into a deeper subject of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 that has been at the forefront for years, yet no one has fully explored.  This is a story not just about Mark Patton, the star of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2, but about Hollywood’s gay subculture in the 1980s.  For months we have been following Mark Patton around getting intimate accounts of how the backlash of NOES2 has deeply affected his life.  From its release in 1985, fans and critics have raised an eyebrow at the not-so-subtle hints of Jesse Walsh’s sexuality.  Did this create the whirlwind of questions that set the film so far apart from all the others in its series?  Village Voice publication was the first to officially comment on the film’s gay subtext, releasing a landslide of both good and bad commentary from fans and critics worldwide.  In 1985 being gay in Hollywood could cost you your career.  Now 30 years later, Scream, Queen! is asking why?

Interviews with celebrities, film historians and fans allow Scream, Queen! to bring audiences a deeper understanding of the social atmosphere when A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 was released in 1985.  The film explores the wide range of reactions elicited by the controversial movie – and how those reactions compare to those of today’s audiences.

This year marking the 30th anniversary of the release of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2, we were able to capture the reunion of the entire cast and listen in on their candid panel discussion.  This exclusive footage will be especially valuable to fans of NOES2. 

Following his appearance in the 2010 documentary Never Sleep Again: An Elm Street Legacy – which clarified that the gay subtext of NOES2 was not simply due to openly gay actor Mark Patton’s portrayal of Jesse Walsh, as critics and audiences had believed, but was intentionally put in by screenwriter David Chaskin – Patton began touring horror conventions, where he was lauded as mainstream cinema’s first male “scream queen”.  He donates most of his appearance fees to HIV treatment groups and charities benefiting LGBT youth such as The Trevor Project.

Appalachian Subculture: On being gay and Appalachian, by Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann is a widely published essayist and poet from West Virginia. This piece was published in Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, September/October 2003, Vol. 10 Issue 5, page 19. 

Appalachia has a bad reputation, especially West Virginia, the only state whose borders lie entirely within anyone’s definition of the Appalachian Mountains. Moonshine swillers and feuding hicks—these are the images that most people hold. “Hillbillies,” despite today’s politically correct climate, are still regular objects of mockery. City dwellers have been alternately romanticizing and demonizing country dwellers since Greek and Roman times, and American popular culture’s relation to Appalachia is our version of it.
    Several summers ago, some friends and I walked into a Mexican restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The young man who escorted us to our table, noticing my West Virginia Writer’s Workshop T-shirt, asked if we still slept with our siblings back in the hollers. My Appalachian Studies students have heard many a thoughtless comment, to wit: “You’re from West Virginia? But you have teeth! You wear shoes?!” One young woman told me that an acquaintance had been so amazed by her accent that he asked permission to audiotape her speech for the amusement of friends!
    Queer folk and mountain folk have something very important in common: both are frequent objects of satire, hostility, and contempt. Both feel the pressure to assimilate, to blend in “for their own well-being.” Voices from the Hills: Selected Readings of Southern Appalachia (1975), edited by Robert Higgs and Ambrose Manning, is a seminal work in the field of Appalachian Studies, and a quick browse through that volume provides a neat historical overview of attitudes toward the region. The early travel narratives depict violence and hospitality, laziness and industriousness—but it’s the negative qualities that outsiders tend to linger over. From the “local color” writers of the late 19th century to the well-intentioned “War on Poverty” literature of the 1960’s, all the observers have emphasized the exoticism, the otherness of the Appalachian people, as if the region were almost a foreign country or some remnant of frontier society frozen in time. Today’s attitudes continue to be shaped by such media depictions as The Beverly Hillbillies or the infamous film Deliverance, with its inbred banjo-player and toothless rapists.
    ”Hillbilly” and “queer” are two words that oppressed groups have tried to reclaim. They are words that I may apply to myself but that outsiders had better not use to refer to me unless they want an argument. Being a member of both subcultures is often a double burden, one that many mountain people are eager to escape. Gay culture is still primarily an urban phenomenon, while Appalachia, despite its many cities, is primarily a rural region. Making a life as a gay man or lesbian in the countryside or in a small town can be tough; not surprisingly, many young Appalachian gays and lesbians hightail it to the nearest city as soon as possible.
    I certainly did. It was in 1976, when I was sixteen, that I read Patricia Nell Warren’s novel The Front Runner and realized that I was gay. Unlike gay and lesbian youths of today, who have the Internet with its many resources to inform them that they’re not the only ones with same-sex desires, my generation had books, and I devoured them during my high school days in the small town of Hinton, West Virginia, and later at West Virginia University, where I read novels by the Violet Quill writers and relished the luxury of college-town gay life. Appalachia was, at that point in my development, a place from which to flee. With delicious images of Greenwich Village and Fire Island in my head (but not ready for New York), I found part-time work in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1985 and prepared myself for a new life filled with romantic and erotic adventure.
    Misery is often the stimulus to self-awareness, and I was miserable during that long autumn in Washington. A polite Southerner who hadn’t mastered the fine arts of cruising, anonymous sex, and emotional manipulation, I found myself as unhappy and celibate in the big city as I’d been in West Virginia. I felt like Tantalus, surrounded by inaccessible savories. On top of that, I missed the mountains and my family, and I began to realize how many of my values were thoroughly shaped by rural living and out of step with urban life. For someone accustomed to forests, pastures, and vegetable gardens, D.C.’s traffic, noise, and urban pace were abrasive and often maddening. In the midst of the city I came to realize that I was, inescapably, a country boy.
    Proximity to gay bars and bookstores was not worth the price, I decided, and by year’s end I returned to West Virginia, filled with a new appreciation for my native region. By the time I began teaching Appalachian Studies at Virginia Tech in the early 1990’s, I had changed from a young gay man eager to escape the mountains to a not-so-young gay man proud to be a member of both the Appalachian and gay subcultures. Living in a liberal university town in the hills of southwest Virginia allowed me the best of both worlds.
    For many people, however, claiming and retaining both identities is almost impossible. It’s so much easier to choose one subculture over the other than to deal with the confusions and complexities of balancing both. Those who remain in the mountains often feel compelled to hide or minimize their gayness, while those who leave for the cities try to erase their accents and assimilate into urban culture. The latter escapees face a particular difficulty. In an essay in his book, Appalachian Values, Loyal Jones discusses mountain people’s fervent attachment to place and to family. Gay hill folk are like their straight brethren: they display an inordinate affection for their native places, and they often suffer a bitter homesickness when they flee to big cities.
    Rob is a good example. A bear buddy of mine who had spent all of his life in West Virginia, he recently moved to Washington for the same reasons that I did over fifteen years ago, yearning for a rich and varied gay culture that was hard to find in the mountains. He’s had better luck on the romantic front—his handsome face, friendly smile, and well-built body are useful currency—but whenever I talk to him, whenever he returns to the mountains for holidays, I can hear the wistfulness in his voice. Everything’s so expensive in D.C., he complains. The commutes are long, the apartments small, the sound of traffic ceaseless. Maybe he’ll return to West Virginia and enter a graduate school program.
    I understand. As much as I love to visit D.C.—the Lambda Rising bookstore, the leather and bear bars, the innumerable gayfriendly restaurants along 17th Street—I’m always glad to escape the Beltway chaos and begin my retreat down the Shenandoah Valley. When I exit truck-crowded Interstate 81 at Ironto, Virginia, and wend my way along the tortuous back roads between hillsides of redbud, tulip tree, and sugar maple, I’m always gripped by the peace and beauty of the landscape. It is a loveliness I never take for granted. Perhaps it’s because my father (another literate West Virginian) raised me to be a romantic in the tradition of Emerson and Thoreau. Perhaps it’s because I’m in my mid-forties, happily coupled, and no longer delighted by late-night gay bar culture. Whatever the reason, these days the company of trees, creeks, and hills feels just as necessary for my spiritual health as relationships with other human beings.
    Many gay people continue to migrate out of Appalachia, but more and more I meet gay men and lesbians who are determined to remain in the mountains. Some are natives, while some are urbanites who’ve had more than enough stress and have decided to try something new. Harry is an example of the latter phenomenon. Originally from Staten Island, he’s lived in my little hometown of Hinton for twenty years. How does he manage to live a full gay life in an isolated town of 3,500? He does occasionally make the hour-and-a-half drive to the bear bar in Charleston, and he also attends Radical Faerie gatherings several times a year in Virginia and Tennessee. He always talks up Hinton to the people he meets, telling them of its beautiful mountains and river, its incredibly cheap property. And his strategy has worked. At this point, so many gay men, both Appalachians and outsiders, have bought property in Harry’s neighborhood that it has come to be known as “Harry’s Heights.” I’ve met more gay men in Harry’s kitchen—smack dab in the middle of Summers County, West Virginia, an area rife with religious fundamentalism—than I have in any gay bar.
    One reason that gay mountaineers flee to cities is, of course, to avoid homophobia. Though hatred of homosexuals is found everywhere, it’s sometimes more vocal here in Appalachia, where fundamentalist Christians usually assume that they’re the majority. In the Charleston Gazette, West Virginia’s most prestigious newspaper, the letters to the editor are often lousy with biblical quotations. One Kanawha Valley minister regularly harps on the sinfulness of gays and their supposed predatory pedophilia.
    However, despite this hostility, gay life in West Virginia has expanded and deepened in the last two decades. I imagine many citizens of Greenwich Village, Dupont Circle, or the Castro would be surprised to hear that Charleston, West Virginia, hosts four gay bars, a Mountain State Bear Contest, a Pride Parade, a Mr. Leather Contest, and an assortment of political and social organizations for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. For those who live in the many tiny towns of Appalachia, fear and isolation are still likely to warp their lives, but in West Virginia cities like Charleston, Morgantown, and Huntington—and their equivalents in other Appalachian states—living a gay or lesbian existence is becoming in many cases much more comfortable than I could ever have imagined during my lonely high school days in Hinton in the mid-1970’s.
    My friendship with Alan reminds me, however, of the restrictions that can still make Appalachian gay and lesbian lives lonely and unfulfilling. Alan is very handsome, lean and muscular, sweet-tempered, intelligent, and gainfully employed. Despite this, he is unhappily single. Yes, Charleston has a gay community, but it’s too small. Only a few weeks in the bar scene and you know everyone, he complains. Disillusioned and bored by the social opportunities the Kanawha Valley offers, he spends his evenings renovating his house or going to the gym. He dreams of better romantic opportunities in Washington or New York or San Francisco, but he never quite seems to go. He reminds me of the many poverty-stricken inhabitants of the central Appalachian coalfields, whose attachment to place keeps them in a region where economic possibilities have dwindled along with the coal industry itself. (Alan also reminds me of how lucky I am to have my lover John. After years of romantic debacles, I’ve been in a healthy relationship for six years, and I’m no longer prowling for erotic outlets or looking for love. It’s easy for me, a homebody who can take or leave gay society, not to resent Appalachia’s restrictions.)
    Loneliness is everywhere, of course, from the Castro to the most isolated hillside hamlet. Much to my surprise, my D.C. friends sometimes register the same complaints that Alan does about Charleston: the gay social world is too hermetic; it’s hard to find someone interested in more than an overnight frolic. But for mountain gays and lesbians who are comfortably coupled, for those who have come to terms with solitude, or those who’ve resisted the media stereotypes that encourage “hillbillies” to hold their own heritage in contempt, Appalachia possesses a rich regional culture that remains distinctive even as many other sections of America have become blandly homogenized.
    The scholar Helen Lewis once claimed that most Appalachians are bicultural, able to operate in both mainstream American culture and their own mountain subculture. That would make “mountaineer queers” tricultural, I suppose, if they are strong enough to wrestle with the apparent contradictions in their identity. That there are tensions and contradictions I was reminded a few years ago when teaching courses on gay and lesbian literature and Appalachian Studies in the same semester. The gay and lesbian students at first regarded me as a “Bubba” or redneck (I drive a pickup truck, have a mountain accent, sport a beard, wear cowboy boots and jeans, and listen to country music), while the locals in my Appalachian Studies class regarded me as one of them until I came out as gay near semester’s end, giving rise to a good deal of cognitive dissonance. I was tempted to quote Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself?/Very well then I contradict myself,/ (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
    The longer I live in the mountains and the more Appalachian gays and lesbians I meet, the more I realize how fortunate are those who master the complex art of balancing several subcultures. I’m also beginning to believe that future generations will more easily work their way through the stigmas and contradictions and will not feel the need to renounce one identity in favor of another.
    My ex-student Kaye is a fine example of the new breed of queer youth. She was raised in a coal-mining family in the small town of Fayetteville, West Virginia. Entirely comfortable with her lesbian identity, she is happily coupled and has little interest in leaving the region. “I like Appalachian gay bars,” Kaye admits. “Folk are pretty friendly around here, and, unlike the bars in cities, which often cater to a specific group of queers, West Virginia’s gay bars, since they’re so few, combine all the gay subcultures: men and women, younger and older, leather guys, dykes-on-bikes, and drag queens. It’s a rich mix.” Kaye also tells an unforgettable story about her years living outside the region. When she and her girlfriend moved to Florida and began socializing in a nearby lesbian bar, they were shunned as soon as the locals found out that they were from West Virginia. It turns out the other patrons took mountain incest jokes very seriously. Since Kaye and her lover were both tall and dark-haired, it was assumed that they were sisters as well as lovers! Unlike many gay people of my generation, Kaye is deeply interested in the traditions of mountain culture. As a student in my Appalachian Studies class, she recognized a kindred soul and gave me such local treats as home-canned corn relish, wild ramps, and creecy greens. Kaye is also passionately involved in such Appalachian controversies as the environmental effects of mountaintop mining and acid mine drainage.
    Everett and Glenn also come to mind. This spring John and I visited the young couple in their log cabin in southwest Virginia, which is set so high on a mountain that it’s only accessible via four-wheel-drive vehicles. Everett grilled steaks, Glenn poured iced tea, and the four of us shared a late lunch on the front porch of the cabin. Far below, the north fork of the Roanoke River rushed along. Across the valley, the fog that forms after a spring rain rubbed its belly along the ridges. Just over the fence, a neighbor’s herd of fat cattle grazed amidst buttercups. A mockingbird chattered somewhere, the porch wind chimes sounded. The rest was countryside silence.
    Everett and Glenn are both Southwest Virginia locals, one from Patrick County, the other from Alleghany County. They like their native mountains, and they intend to stay. They’re part of a widely scattered circle of bear buddies who’ve met on the Internet, friends with whom they exchange infrequent visits. Their families have adopted a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and officially regard them as roommates. What cravings they have for big-city gay adventure they defuse with several yearly trips to bear or leather busts in Orlando, Atlanta, and New Orleans. In between those jaunts, they have that quiet mountainside to come home to. “One colleague says I have two lives,” joked Everett as he doled out slices of his homemade pie. “I’m equally comfortable at wine tastings and Wal-Mart.”
    It’s that juxtaposition of the popular and the sophisticated, the wild and the groomed, the country and the queer, that gives one the sense of living between two worlds. John is due home soon, and I’m about to mix martinis. Some collard greens have been simmering most of the afternoon, and the barbecued ribs are almost done. Tonight we’re going to check our calendar—we have trips to San Francisco, Key West, and Lost River to plan—then watch a DVD of Puccini’s Tosca. Right now, however, I’m peeved, because the radio has just announced that the country music star Tim McGraw is performing at the nearby civic center this coming Saturday, but the event is sold out. The mountaineer in me loves McGraw’s music; the gay man loves his broad shoulders, furry cleavage, and handsome goatee. This double vision is the greatest gift of straddling two subcultures: the world shimmers with twice the meaning, twice the beauty.