12 insane queer pulp novel covers

•January 31, 2013 • Comments Off on 12 insane queer pulp novel covers

http://www.buzzfeed.com/saeedjones/12-insane-queer-pulp-novel-covers

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Chasing Amy

•January 18, 2013 • Comments Off on Chasing Amy

This movie is terrible and should be avoided at all costs.  This movie’s only redeemable quality is it gives me an opportunity to judge it and explain all the ways that it fails.

Directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma), Chasing Amy was hailed by critics as a triumph, a work of serious contemplation by the typically satirical and irreverent Smith.  Starring Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Joey Lauren Adams, those involved in making Chasing Amy either never had any queer friends or worse, they did, and wanted to represent them in the worst light possible.  

Holden and Banky are comic book artists who have been best friends since they were in grade school and currently share an apartment together.  A mutual friend introduces them to Alyssa, and Holden develops a crush on her before she tells him that she’s a lesbian.  They become friends, during which time Holden begins to fall in love with Alyssa.  There are four particularly abysmal scenes that exemplify how horrendous this movie is.  In chronological order:

1) Holden and Leslie are talking about sex.  Holden attempts to define virginity and after some back-and-forth finally arrives at the conclusion that virginity is lost at the moment of penetration and therefore lesbians never lose their virginity (I really wish I was making this up).  Instead of arguing that defining virginity by penetration is heteronormative and exclusionary, Leslie attempts to show how lesbians do penetrate one another because lesbianism a) revolves around making straight men feel comfortable, b) fits into categories created, prescribed and perpetrated by straight men, c) is just a replacement for heterosexual sex, and d) is really, secretly all about penetration because lesbians just haven’t found the right penis.

If you care to brave it, you can watch here:

***trigger warning: the video mentions rape***

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqc8WWvcTN4

2) Driving in the car together (in the rain), Holden pulls over to tell Leslie that he loves her so they can’t be friends anymore because it’s too hard for him.  Because he’s been brainwashed to think that if he’s nice to a girl then she should fall in love with him.  Shame on her for being a lesbian!  He’s a nice guy!  So Leslie calls him out on his bullshit and gets out of the car, proceeding to hitchhike in the rain.  Holden runs after her, they fight, and then they kiss!!!!  They kiss!  Because being bullied by a male who is supposed to be your friend is super sexy.

3) Leslie is spending time with her friends, who, of course, are all lesbians.  They ask about her love life and she dances around with pronouns, using plural pronouns to avoid using male pronouns.  Her friends call her out on it, and when she reveals that she’s dating a male, they ostracize her.  Because that’s what good friends do.  

4)  And finally, the worst scene of the movie: Holden gets Banky and Leslie together at his apartment.  He and Banky have been fighting since he started dating Leslie.  Banky claims that Holden’s infatuation with Leslie is affecting both their friendship and their work.  In this scene, Banky and Leslie are sitting on opposite sides of the couch, and Holden crouches on the floor to explain his brilliant solution.  Banky’s jealousy is obviously caused by the fact that he’s in love with him so if the three of them sleep together, Banky won’t be jealous anymore, and they can all be best friends and live happily ever after.

Yup.

Banky actually agrees to this.  

Leslie finally stands up for herself, tells Holden that she’s not his whore, and leaves.

That’s the best part of the movie.  

So avoid this movie at all costs.

Losing Chase

•December 22, 2012 • Comments Off on Losing Chase

***Trigger warning: This post discusses mental health issues and mentions suicide.***

Released in 1996, Losing Chase stars Helen Mirren and Kyra Sedgwick and is directed by Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick’s husband.  Mirren plays Chase, a woman who is recovering from a nervous breakdown, and Sedgwick plays Elizabeth, the woman employed as a “Mother’s Helper” to take care of the house and the children for a summer while Chase recovers.  Although Chase is initially hostile towards Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s patient-without-being-condescending demeanor eventually draws Chase to her.  Chase’s husband Richard, played by Beau Bridges, spends weeks at a time away on business, and with his absence, Chase and Elizabeth’s friendship grows as they discover that they actually have a lot in common.

Losing Chase handles two current social issues with delicacy, understanding, and respect.  Themes of mental illness and lesbianism are subtly interlaced in this story as the plot develops and provides a commentary on both the lack of comprehensive mental health care and education as well as the dangers of repressing the fluid nature of sexuality.  The writer of Losing Chase, Anne Meredith, does not promote a causal relationship between mental illness and lesbianism, but rather writes a character whose disposition for mental illness is exacerbated by her repressed sexuality.

Immediately after her nervous breakdown, Chase spends some time in a hospital but is released without medication, plans to see a therapist regularly, or a conversation with her husband on how to live with and support someone who is recovering from a nervous breakdown.  Chase returns to her home in Martha’s Vineyard to be shunned by her friends as if mental illness is contagious and to be treated with kid gloves by her husband.  Without support, Chase becomes more withdrawn and prone to abrupt mood switches.

Chain smoking in her usual position as she reclines on the front porch under a blanket, Chase is initially openly hostile and rude to Elizabeth when she first arrives, having no expectation nor past experience to indicate that Elizabeth will be compassionate and understanding rather than condescending and isolating.  When Elizabeth’s actions indicate both understanding and compassion, Chase begins to participate in life away from the comfort and crutches of her cigarettes and blanket on the front porch.

As the only adults in the house, and miles from neighbors, Elizabeth and Chase spend a good deal of time together once Elizabeth has convinced Chase that she is sincere in her desire to help.  Chase shares details of her breakdown after Elizabeth asks and reveals that her loveless marriage and the artificial nature of life in Martha’s Vineyard made her feel trapped.  Elizabeth shares that her sister lives in a hospital where she is treated for a mental illness that was most likely inherited on their mother’s side.  Elizabeth’s mother committed suicide when Elizabeth and her sister were very young, and Elizabeth worries that she’ll battle with mental illness as she gets older.

With all the late-night conversations while the children are sound asleep, there’s no physical contact between the two until a trip to the beach.  Meredith gives us one beautiful, passionate kiss on the beach, and then the movie ends quickly with Elizabeth leaving the island and Chase and Richard getting a divorce.

While, in allowing herself to love Elizabeth, Chase gains a renewed sense of self, this alone will not alleviate mental illness.  Surely love and support are a great aid, but struggles with mental health should be dealt with in the same manner that any chronic physical ailment is dealt with–with a long-term, consistent treatment plan.  Elizabeth’s fear that she will one day exhibit symptoms of mental illness in the way that her mother did and her sister does should not exist.  Knowledge of mental illness in the family should not be pushed down into fear but examined and treated.  There’s no need to live in fear when there’s help available.

Overall, Losing Chase is a good movie with a soft and delicate soundtrack and beautiful panoramic shots of the landscape of Martha’s Vineyard.  The characters are sincere, and the acting is wonderful.

How to Be a Queer Virgin

•December 20, 2012 • 1 Comment

Anna Breslaw wrote an article on Jezebel entitled “How to Be a Virgin,” and while it’s a decent article, it’s written by a female-identified heterosexual for a female-identified heterosexual audience.  Read here: http://jezebel.com/5968334/how-to-be-a-virgin?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

And while there’s a dire lack of queer sex education, there’s an even larger lack of queer education that isn’t connected to sex.

The term “virgin” holds different connotations for different populations depending on their gender and/or sexual orientation, but being queer and being a virgin is particularly difficult in a society that upholds heterosexuality as the norm to the point of perpetuating aversion therapy.  No medical school training is required to perpetuate aversion therapy.  Simply constantly challenge anyone who asserts a non-heterosexual identity.  These challenges make it difficult to be queer and a virgin.  Here are two aversion therapy statements that exacerbate the identity of a queer individual.

1) “Well how do you know you’re queer (read any non-heterosexual identity) if you’ve never slept with anyone?”

What?  Did you realize you were straight by having a fuckfest?  That doesn’t sound healthy, particularly for individuals who aren’t provided with any sex education.

2) “You just haven’t met the right [insert morally and societally acceptable individual here].”

No.  That’s just encouraging promiscuity, which is a terrible idea for someone who has no sex ed and is questioning their identity.  Or someone who is certain of their queer identity but not ready to share themselves with someone else.

That idea also makes individuals susceptible to abusive relationships.  If the premise pushed upon someone who identifies as queer is that their identity isn’t legitimate, it makes individuals vulnerable to relationships where they’re comfortable being considered as less-than.

So my sexuality-questioning or queer-identified readers, you do not need to have sex to assert your identity.  You can be queer and a virgin.  Because being queer is not about sex.  Like being straight is not about sex.  Like being human is not about sex.  No one is only one aspect of their identity.

If you want to have sex, if you’ve thought about it and you’ve educated yourself (because no one else will), go for it.  But never have sex to prove something, especially to anyone else.

Heterosexual Questionnaire

•December 13, 2012 • 2 Comments

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4. Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. Isn’t it possible that all you need is a good same-sex lover?

6. Heterosexuals have histories of failures in same-sex relationships.  Do you think you may have turned to heterosexuality out of fear of rejection?

7. If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, how do you know you wouldn’t prefer that?

8. If heterosexuality is normal, why are so many people who suffer from mental health issues also heterosexuals?

9. To whom have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies?  How did they react?

10.  Your heterosexuality doesn’t offend me as long as you don’t try to force it on me.  Why do you people feel compelled to seduce others into your sexual orientation?

11. If you choose to nurture children, would you want them to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face?

12. The majority of child molesters are heterosexuals.  Do you really consider it safe to expose your children to heterosexual teachers?

13. Why do you insist on being so obvious and making a public spectacle of your heterosexuality?  Can’t you just be what you are and keep quiet?

14. How can you ever hope to become a whole person if you limit yourself to a compulsive, exclusive heterosexual object choice and remain unwilling to explore and develop your normal, natural, healthy, God-given homosexual potential?

15. Heterosexuals are noted for assigning themselves and each other to narrowly restricted, stereotyped sex-roles.  Why do you cling to such unhealthy role-playing?

16. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

17. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling.  Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

18. How could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual, considering the menace of overpopulation?

19. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals.  Techniques have been developed with which you might be able to change if you really want to.  Have you considered aversion therapy?

20. Do heterosexuals hate and/or distrust others of their own sex?  Is that what makes them heterosexual?

 

***Brought to you from the lost and found at the library***

Dyke Problems tumblr

•November 5, 2012 • Comments Off on Dyke Problems tumblr

Shameless plug!!! Check out this fantastically humorous and informative tumblr!

 

http://dyke-problems.tumblr.com/

Day 31 of LGBTQ History Month

•November 5, 2012 • Comments Off on Day 31 of LGBTQ History Month

Rev. Robert Wood

Gay Pioneer

b. May 21, 1923

“Is it proper for two of the same sex to enter the institution of marriage? To which I must reply, ‘Yes.’ ”

The Reverend Robert Wood authored the first book in the United States on Christianity and homosexuality. He is the first clergyman to picket for gay rights.

Wood was raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He enlisted in the Army and was severely wounded in the invasion of Italy. He was awarded a Purple Heart, two Battle Stars, a Combat Infantry Badge and a Bronze Star. With the help of the G.I. Bill, Wood graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the Oberlin School of Theology.

In 1951, he was ordained in Vermont in the Congregational Christian denomination. He served on the Board for Homeland Ministries for the United Church of Christ and on the World Ministries Board.

In 1956, he wrote an article titled “Spiritual Exercises” for a gay physique magazine, which featured a photo of him in his clerical collar. After meeting Edward Sagarin, author of the groundbreaking book “The Homosexual in America” (1951), Wood was inspired to write “Christ and the Homosexual” (1960). Wood’s book was the first to call for the Christian faith to welcome homosexuals without repudiating their sexuality.

In 1960, the Mattachine Society and The Prosperos honored Wood with Awards of Merit. Each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, Wood picketed in his clerical collar at “Annual Reminders,” which launched the LGBT civil rights movement. He appeared in “Gay Pioneers,” a documentary about the demonstrations. In 2001, the Christian Association at the University of Pennsylvania honored him as a gay pioneer.

Wood retired from the ministry after serving 35 years in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. For 27 years, he lived openly with his partner Hugh Coulter.

All information from lgbthistorymonth.com