“I Seen Beyonce At Burger King”
*Sorry for the influx of Youtube videos*
Throughout this course, when discussing queerness and race in entertainment, we tend to decipher meaning through videos made by heterosexuals, for heterosexuals. There may be queer themes in Beyonce’s If I Were a Boy and Single Ladies but what about queer videos made by queers? Much earlier in the semester, Professor Macharia asked when LGBT background dancers’ stories would be told. Luckily for us, Youtube has made available many expressions of queer art; whereas before there were no venues to discover artistic proximities between queerness and race, now exists many different ways to view proximities between the two entities. I included the above Youtube links because they explore race-queer intersections in different ways. The Nhojj video explores a black gay male relationship- it is rare to find this kind of representation in a music video, much less one that was apparently a popular MTV video. The Jonte video explores queerness in a much more assertive manner. Vogue dancing, ridiculous costuming, and lines such as “I will make your pussy tickle” make this an over the top video- one that is quite aware of its niche audience. Cazwell’s I Seen Beyonce queers heterosexual performer Beyonce (who already has established queer elements in some of her music videos). Beyonce’s character is portrayed by a man in drag and one can argue that the video lacks any kind of comprehension. However, gay-identified Cazwell, the drag Beyonce, and various other aesthetics (dancing, crazy outfits) undeniably transmit the ways in which we understand queerness. The last video I included, Will You Marry Me Boy?, takes the politics of the same-sex marriage debate and explores it via entertainment; despite its display of male on male love and general campiness, the video is no different than the average heterosexual rap video. There are many other videos and songs available that I could have included but I wanted to express the variety of queer/racial music videos- made by and for the queer community.