Queer Literature

a study of sexuality in literature

Month: June, 2013

DOMA struck down by the Supreme Court today.

by Kelly Magee

DOMA struck down by the Supreme Court today. Wow!

Thanks to all my wonderful English 227 students

by Kelly Magee

Thanks to all my wonderful English 227 students for helping to get this blog going! I hope some of you will come back to guest-post when you hear of news and writing relevant to GLBT literature. I thoroughly enjoyed reading what you posted to this blog!

Same sex marriage in Africa

by flintn

Since our media isn’t going to acknowledge this since it doesn’t fit into the normative beliefs about Africa being an inherently homophobic backwards continent, I’m just going to leave this article here about two men in Africa who are engaged to marry, and hopefully this will be a good reminder that Africa is made up of 50+ countries, and the West really ought to stop homogenizing an entire continent.

http://mambaonline.com/article.asp?artid=7880

Boys Don’t Cry

by flintn

So I found an essay called The Brandon Archive by Halberstam that does a really interesting analysis of Brandon Teena’s life and the media that came out of his murder. It’s a PDF and isn’t letting me copy and paste the actual article, so I wrote up an analysis of the analysis:

The main arguments that I could identify were as such: Brandon’s death didn’t have the opportunity of being a personal moment of grief. Since it was representative of a cultural “truth”, it was used as a way of enforcing the rural-urban dichotomy that posits the rural as a place of rampant bigotry and intolerance, and the urban as the site of enlightenment and acceptance. In relation to that argument, Halberstram also seeks to identify how Brandon’s story functions as a link between “cultural anxieties” and metropolitanism. A third argument appears when Halberstram is discussing The Brandon Teena Story, and states that the film distances the audience, and in doing so “pins the narrative of violent homophobic and transphobic violence firmly to the landscape of white trash America”. With these as some of the focus points, Halberstram was also working on creating an archive for the details that lead to constructing an urban or rural identity, and how these creations rely on each other in order to write the mythology of both.

While describing their experience at a gay and lesbian film experience, Halberstram admits that when they went in to watch The Brandon Teena Story, they were operating under the belief that Brandon’s story was affirmation of the intolerance characteristic of rural life. It wasn’t until they were called out for their assumptions that they decided to reevaluate this idea and study the unique (when compared to my experience with urban queerness) way in which gender and sexual variance manifest in different ways that don’t include the overt activism associated with metropolitan areas

During their evaluation of  the film Farm Boys, Halberstram touches upon how gender and sexuality tend to be conflated in urban areas, but in the rural it’s clear that a distinction is made; sexual variance does not equal gender variance. Which gets into the issue of masculinity/the performance of masculinity, and how in urban areas it’s expected that homosexual men and women will display femininity and masculinity respectively. 

This is kind of the gist! I haven’t yet seen the movie, but this essay was more incentive to do so.

My final project.

by haggerb2

I know durring the workshop some of you guys wanted to read what I wrote when I was done. It’s still semi rough, but it’s the draft I turned it. It’s part of a larger piece that has grown out of this one idea. So please…. If you do read it, please give some feedback?

 

Samantha looks over her nude body in the mirror, inspecting herself. She was pleased with her body, including every scar and bruise that marred her body. Especially every scar and bruise. They told the story of her, and how she found herself in the position she found herself in now.

She touches gingerly the newly formed bruises on her ribs. She hopes after today she can let them fade. Wincing slightly as just the idea of having to bind herself again, she grabs her ACE bandage, and starts to wrap it around her chest. Over the past week she felt like she had perfected the art of binding, despite how much she hated it. But today had to go flawlessly, and that meant coming across as a man. She had put a lot of thought into every aspect of her disguise, testing out different parts out in public. Finally she had come together with something that seemed mostly believable

She looks over her newly shaped body, frowning as the bandage pinches and contracts around her ribs while she moves and arches her body. “Christ.” She whispers rubbing her hands over the bandages before pulling on her under clothes, a pair of boxers and an undershirt. She hesitates looking at her bed where a rolled up sock sits. The small fabric made the difference in the whole thing, but she hated it, she hated how it felt sitting between her legs. It was something she wasn’t sure if she would ever get accustomed to. She tries not to think about it as she slips the small ball into her boxers, and shifts to become reacquainted with its constant presence.

Slowly she pulls on the rest of her clothing. She had worked it into a ritual, each article of clothing marking another step in her transformation into Sebastian. Looking over herself in the mirror, she smiles proud of the over all image of her male alter ego. Though alter ego wasn’t really the right word, she was still Sebastian; she wasn’t trying to hide her personality, just her femininity.

She rocks back on her heals, arching her back, testing out her comfort in the clothing, flinching slightly as the ACE contracts around her body, pinching her skin. Other than the constriction around her chest she was comfortable. She just really hoped that it would be worth it, she couldn’t afford for it not to be.

She checks the time, and curses under her breath, of course on an important day like today she would be running late. She had an hour to walk the two miles to the bar where she was meeting the elusive ‘M’ who she hoped to work for. Panicked, she grabs her trusty leather jacket, and rushes out of the flat. Not before offering a quick goodbye to the family that shares her flat.

Pulling a cigarette from her jacket pocket she makes her way through the city. She was tired of having to walk everywhere, but it saved precious money, and she just couldn’t afford to squander her money on getting places that were in relative walking distance. Not that she didn’t mind walking anyway, especially today; it gave her time to fall into character of Sebastian. She puffs idly on her cigarette, focusing her concentration on holding her body right, mimicking the walk of the men she had spent the past week observing. She felt at ease and confident in her created body. She liked the different expectations for her when she was Sebastian, inside those expectations she felt the most comfortable.

Her walk went by quickly, her mind preoccupied with all the things she needed to remember to make her role convincing. The rest of her life depended on this one interview, on her ability to convey a convincing enough man. Though despite all the things she had to remember, and the pressure of this needing to go perfectly she felt confident about the interview. She knew her skills were up to par, and now that she had eliminated the reason why she was overlooked for this job, she felt like she was golden.

She slips into the bar, scanning the room for who could possibly be the ‘M’ who was her potential boss. She’s off put by the décor. Before the arrangement of this meeting she had never heard of the bar, and now she knew why. It was an expensive place, the type of place that over charged for the already normally over priced mixed drinks. She checks her watch nervously feeling out of place in a place like this. She was ten minutes early, perfect amount of time for her to get a beer, if she could afford it, and relax a bit. Still scanning the room she slides into a booth to sit and wait. She slips her hand into her pocket, her face paling when she finds it empty. “Fuck.” She mutters under her breath, patting down her pockets, frantically trying to find her money. It was supposed to hold her over till at least to the next day. It was all the money she had to her name, that wasn’t going towards her flat.

In her panic she doesn’t notice a looming figure standing next to her booth until it speaks. “Sebastian Morgan?” She blinks; confused at the name for a moment, before remembering he was referencing her male ego. “Er- Yeah. Are you ‘M’?” She asks, her voice cracking as she struggled to keep it in a lower register.  The figure just shakes it’s head, and backs away. “Follow me.” It grumbles, creating a path in its wake as it walks towards the private rooms in the back. Hastily she follows, curious about the secrecy surrounding this ‘M.’ They stop in front of a room, and the figure grunts at her to go inside.

Inside is what surprises and interests her the most of the whole dealings with ‘M.’ Inside she finds a well dressed woman, perfect in almost every sense of the word. Not only was her womanhood surprising, but as was how this woman chose to flaunt it. The small woman intrigued her, her approach to the womanhood problem was so different than hers, Samantha was baffled.

“So, you’re looking to be my bodyguard?” The small woman asks, a hint of an Irish accent coloring her voice. Her dark eyes inspect Samantha, they were unreadable, but she makes a sound of what seems like approval. “Please sit, Sebastian, if you are as good as you seem to think you are we’ll be here a while.” She grins, almost predatory, gesturing to the seat across from her. Samantha obeys, having a deep feeling in her gut that she would regret it if she didn’t.

“Jamie.” The small Irish woman offers, extending her hand, the predatory grin still on her lips. Samantha watches her eyes flick over her body, sizing her up as if assessing she would be up for the job.

“Sa- Sebastian.” She stutters, meeting the hand with a hearty handshake.

“Let’s get you a beer, shall we?” Jamie purrs, pressing a button on the wall. Almost simultaneously the large figure of a man that lead Samantha into the room appears. While Jamie talks to the man, Samantha takes the moment to look over the other woman, taking her in with interest. Her eyes follow the shape of the dress, surprised at how much it both flattered the other woman’s figure, and how much it exposed. She couldn’t think of when she had seen any woman with any form of power, especially what Jamie claimed to have, dressed in anything quite this feminine.

Jamie turns back to face Samantha, her face slightly softer, though she couldn’t help feel like there was something off about it. Like her eyes were boring into her, reading through her disguise. She shifts uncomfortable under the gaze.

“So, let’s get this started, shall we?” Jamie hums once the man returns with Samantha’s beer. 

by elysiagemora

Many of you have probably seen this video already. But I think it’s interesting to rewatch it after some of the things we’ve talked about in class. Mainly the interconnections of different types of -isms.
So many arguments that people have for why their discrimination is right could easily be interchangeable if you just swap a couple words.
I think this really shows how different types of discrimination can easily be brought together. While it is harder to change people’s minds if you’re trying to convince them that multiple types of discrimination are wrong, at the very least those being discriminated against can share in their oppression and work together for the greater good.

More Adventure Time!

by combss3

So this is Lumpy Space Princess if anyone does not know. She is another character that kinda has innuendo jokes and a questionable sexuality and gender. I feel like one cool thing about Adventure Time is how controversial it is without making it that big of a deal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJTrD3R5cj0

Adventure Time

by chasecarrollcc

Since the queer reading of Adventure Time, I have been thinking about the character on the show B-MO and all the themes of AT regarding gender/sexuality. For those who aren’t familiar with the show BMO is a robot friend of the main characters. Adventure Time season one is on Netflix for anyone who wants to indulge. I encourage everyone to enjoy all the seasons.

B-MO’s gender/sex changes depending on who is speaking and what pretend scenarios BMO is playing out at the time. Other characters in the show have referred to BMO as male or female at different times with gender pronouns.
I appreciate how the show does this, and also generally doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

 

Here are some episodes for your viewing pleasure. Thoughts?

http://animeflavor.com/node/32127 -BMO NOIRE : BMO plays a hard boiled male detective who has a relationship with a hen named Lorainne.

http://animeflavor.com/adventure-time-season-5-episode-16-b-mo-lost : BMO gets lost and has a relationship with a bubble.

http://animeflavor.com/node/35612

http://animeflavor.com/node/43429 In these two episodes BMO talks to itself calling it’s reflection “Football” and makes some gender remarks.

 

(PLEASE IGNORE THE WEIRD WEBSITE ONLY PLACE I FOUND VIDEOS)

Also BONUS http://animeflavor.com/node/41107 Gender Bent episodes.

http://animeflavor.com/node/43584

Does Homosexuality in Religion?

by elliotk4

In a short response to homosexuality belonging in religion…HELL NO. Religion is a whole territory of it’s own, whether it’s Christianity, etc. Homosexuality is usually considered a sin in religion, (along with a bunch of other bogus things being considered a sin). Unfortunately, homosexuality is being frowned upon when really, it should be welcomed with open arms. As you all can tell, I am not religious in any way, (hence my harshness in this post, sorry) but I can think of many problems that religion stirs up that really aren’t a problem at all. Homosexuality is one of those “problems”. It’s ridiculous. I don’t see a reason why people are trying to include homosexuality in religion, because in my opinion, things that actually matter and make a difference in society shouldn’t even have the word “religion” attached. It should be exactly like the separation of church and state. Keep the things that are true and factual out of myths. 

-Kendra Elliott

Playing sexuality

by kvistac

So I’m reading a book about the lives gay people in the bible belt, and it has been really interesting to see how some of the theories we’ve read in class show up in the book.  One quote from the reading really struck me when thinking about Judith Butler’s theory.  One participant’s mom would tell her that “I’m not stupid. I know you’re seeing her.  I always know when you’re seeing her.  You dress different. You act different.” The individual’s sister backed this up by saying “you talk different. You act different.  You wear your hair different.” It was really interesting to see how playing at being a lesbian was noticed by the family through the participant’s changes in behavior.