Queer/Race

Look Over Here: Queer as Folk?

Posted in Architecture by kth14 on May 4, 2010

I’m a little late with my third blog post, but here is the issue I want to talk about: representation of queer peoples or people of race in the media, my main focus being on Queer as Folk. Now, I love this show but it is horribly flawed as a representation of queer life. First, there are no characters (none) that have any sort of significant role who are not white. This is true of many shows, however. There is usually an all-white cast or all-black cast or all-latino cast; take your pick of which race and you can usually find a show that shows a certain “racial culture” without actually including anyone of any other races. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part certain shows target certain audiences with a certain race, age, gender, and queerness. I guess my question is: is this lack of diversity of race a product of the television/film industry, the audience or a true representation of reality?

Now, while there is very little racial diversity in Queer as Folk, there is a wide representation of “queer” people, including porn stars and drag queens and Queer as Folk does address a lot of queer issues and the realities of being a queer person. Yet, there is a lack of “normal” or heterosexual people on the show. The only people I can think of that have a significant role as straight people are Debbie and Daphnie. While I understand that it is a show designed to show queer life (and Debbie and Daphnie could count as queer, despite being heterosexual) it seems that the characters have little contact or interaction with heteros(except when they are causing problems), which would be very unlikely in the heterosexual-dominted world. It seems as if they are living in their own little world of queerness and when something disrupts this, it is a big shock to the outside world of heteroness.

Most shows in general do this. Friends is completely set in their own little world wih no queerness or race to stir things up, and it does not change anything in the world we live in. Queer as Folk I feel had a large impact on the way others view the queer world, whether good or bad, the show tried to make a difference and put some controversial issues out there. While this show suffered from a lot of issues that are more than likely to present in television shows (overgeneralization, character exaggerations, radical plot changes, etc) I think it did make a difference for the queer community, whether within it or how others view it. I just want a show that can accurately depicts queer and race in reality and still be fun, witty and entertaining. I realize this is next to impossible, but I think it is important for people to realize that these shows are not accurate representations of queer life, although some of it can be.

However critical I am of the show, I absolutely love Queer as Folk! And, here is a video I found which I thought was interesting and kind of supports my post. Also, you can see how realistically all of the background dancers are extremely well-built and attractive, which if this depiction is true, I am immediately moving to Pittsburgh to dance at Babylon where everyone (besides Ted) is extremely attractive.

Advertisements
Tagged with: , , , ,

Gays Adopting to Keep Kids from Prison’s Dangers

Posted in Architecture, Today, Uncategorized by extremedancer14 on April 21, 2010

In an article Published in USA Today titledBoth sides on gay adoption cite concern for children”, a reflection not only on gays adopting children comes into debate, but also how by doing so can help ensure a child’s well being and keeping them out of prison. A step into the lives of Harold Birtcher and Thom O’Reailly, a couple from Ohio who have been together for over 25 years, address that when traveling to the state of Oregon to adopt a child, were denied the advantage. Butcher mentioned that in this occasion, “no one is stepping up to adopt these children”, in turn, leaving them in the hands of both abusive families (both biological and foster care families) and over-crowded, sometimes unsanitary orphanage’s.

Children, in these situations, tend to look for, and find, dangerous outlets that put them in contact with drugs, gang life, or worse, prison life, in order to fill the void of a family life (or poor family life) they lack. The situation most certainly creates a double standard. Birtcher says that “our prisons are full of people who were in foster care, and those people were in, quote unquote, straight family homes. If I can provide a loving, stable home, that’s the goal.” This in turn raises further questions of fair adoption to couples, although homosexual, can provide a loving stable home for a child in need.

In a study conducted by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) cite that children with gay or lesbian parents “fare as well as those raised in families with a mother and a father.” Other studies have determined that these children receive equal nourishment and have the same opportunities, both in child and later adult life, as ones to a heterosexual couple. The article states that there are about 520,000 children in foster care and are in desperate need of adoption. The issues surrounding gays allowing to adopt is in desperate need of recognition in order to allow children in foster care a chance to lead a normal, positive life and allow a couple that opportunity to provide them with love.

 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-02-20-gay-adoption-foster_x.htm

Tagged with: , ,

Blog 3: Why am I freaking out?

Posted in Architecture by anj316 on April 8, 2010

The only thing I could think about was if I’d be welcome at temple after I told them. I don’t even go to temple that often. I kept freaking out, not knowing what they would say. I mean, they’re my parents. They have to love and support me, no matter what, right? RIGHT? I still didn’t know what to think or how to act. I thought my “subtle” hints in the last year should have tipped them off, and that they would talk to me about it. But no, they never said anything. They never address anything unless it’s hitting them in the face. And even at that, it takes them a while to pick up on it and digest. Why am I still thinking about temple?! Will the rest of my family accept me? What about my grandparents? Oh god, they’re all so prude with convention. I wonder if I can convince them that this is my convention? Will they buy it, will they understand? No, I don’t even want them to understand, because that would just be ridiculous. I just want them to accept me. I want my family to understand that love is love, and that’s all that matters. That is how they taught me how to live, actually. Live, love, be happy. That’s all they want me to live up to, so they’ll have to be at least kinda okay with it, right?

These were some of the many things that were going through my head, as I was about to come out to my mom. Things that I actually never put into coherent words until now. My parents were pretty accepting. The only thing was, that I was not allowed to tell anyone else in my family. My parents didn’t think anyone else would be able to handle it. This whole thought process basically shows how I was so scared to mess with tradition and culture if I came out to my parents. It went as far as caring about going to temple, which I never thought about before. It was so nerve wracking at the time I was coming out, but now I think I’m stronger for it. The only thing is that I still cant tell the rest of my family, and is still wonder what reactions I may get when the time does come for me to tell them. One thing I do know, though, is that I’m not so scared because I’ll have my parents by my side, with or without their conventions.

Posted in Architecture by anj316 on March 3, 2010

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Top_US_court_declines_to_block_DC_g_03022010.html

This article is about how the U.S. Supreme Court decided to reject a petition by opponents of gay marriage. This petition would have prevented the law from taking effect. But with the rejection, legislation will commence on 3/3/2010.

http://www.advocate.com/Society/Culture/Remembering_The_B_in_LGBT/

This is essentially about how bisexuals are real people too. Bisexuals around the nation want to be included in things like the National Gay and Lesbian Task force, as well as expand the saying of ‘gays and lesbians in the military’ to including bisexuals. The main point is that bisexuals demand inclusion.

http://www.365gay.com/opinion/neff-you-cant-tell-if-weir-is-gay-by-looking/

This is primarily about the U.S. skater, Johnny Weir, and his sexuality. The author talks about why his sexuality is being assumed just because of outward appearance, and how other stereotypes should be questioned, like athletes who are “typically male” and therefore not gay.

These specific articles are good ones to focus on for the week, simply because they are current events of the community, as well as the nation’s public. Same-sex marriage has always been a hot topic, especially since the last presidential race. Now, the Nation’s Capital is getting same-sex marriage, which, I hope, will rock the boat and get more states on the way. The bisexuality topic is an issue that I always personally have to deal with. Many people always ask if it’s real, and question my decisiveness. But because I am bisexual, although I normally resist any labeling terminology, I know it’s real, and that people sincerely feel this way. Lastly, the piece about Weir is pertinent because the Olympics were just on for a fortnight and figure skating was a big deal. But while Johnny Weir’s teammates were being boasted about, in National Championships, Weir was being called “flamboyant” and “fabulous,” without any mention of his repertoire of medals and winnings. The focus was his sexuality and not about his athleticism, which should not have been the case, in my opinion. The Olympics are about athleticism and hard work, sexuality not included. All in all these articles are reflective of queer news, in my opinion, of the last week. Also they were articles that were interesting to me because they were interesting and made pertinent points about people in and out of the community.

Around The World in February

Posted in Architecture by kaykay on February 26, 2010

Equality in the Military

The article, “Equality in the Military” proves that we need every able-bodied soldier serving in the military, whether gay or straight. It has taken many years to progress in a positive way for gays and lesbians in the military, but it is slowly but surely changing. If you serve in the military you should not have to hide your sexual preference. You are serving a job and should not be looked upon differently because of that.

England’s Anglican clerics back gay marriages in church

Across the world in London, homosexual partners are granted the right in marriage. The Clerical belief of the Anglican Church was the importance of religion and marriage, not of sexual orientation. They have realized that it is more important to celebrate the promise of religion and “to deny people of faith the opportunity of registering the most important promise of their lives in their willing church or synagogue, according to its liturgy, is plainly discriminatory.”

Gay Rights in China: Road to Respect

The U.S. military and people of the Anglican Church are not the only ones celebrating a piece of freedom. Pensioner, Ba Li, celebrates his 72nd birthday with his boyfriend after living years of being imprisoned for his sexuality. Ba Li is hopeful for the future of the gay and lesbian community, despite the hardships he’s had to face in the past. Although the community is slowly progressing, he believes that “people now enjoy more freedom than ever to express their sexuality” than ever in the past.

These three current events really stood out to me because they are all interlinked in the LGBT community as a celebration of progression. As shown in these three different articles, I believe that it is most important that we celebrate the progression of freedom. We shouldn’t shy away from talking about the setbacks, instead we should acknowledge them and see how we can move onward from them.

It is interesting to me that people the U.S. are not the only ones facing progression with gay and lesbian movements. As a world, and within each own’s culture, people within the gay and lesbian community face a discrimination whether dealing with the politics, religion, or acceptance of their culture.

I would simulate the first article in comparison to discrimination in the workplace. It’s not about your sexual preference, it’s about your ability to preform your job. It is such a sickening discrimination to separate someone from the military because of that. I’m glad that we are moving forward with removing that rule in the military. As for the marriage of gays and lesbians within the Church, I agree with the fact that marriage should be more an important celebration of religion (if applicable). As for the story of Ba Lai in China, it is an extremely hopeful and celebratory story. If more and more gays and lesbians can celebrate their freedom in a country that was once so repressed and against gays and lesbians, then the world will be moving in a positive direction. As I am Chinese-American, I have not dealt with such harsh environments, but knowing some background knowledge of the Chinese I am proud that they are moving forward from ignorance.

“Arts” Collage

Posted in Architecture by kth14 on February 24, 2010

queerrace    queerrace Hopefully, this works. It should be a collage on a powerpoint slide.

I decided to do a collage of pictures for the Blog number 3 option. I really like collages and I think that it works well for the idea of this class/the assignment because it intertwines the ideas of queer and race together. In order to find pictures, I googled (of course) under google images.

First, I tried queer. Then lesbians. Then gay men, black gay men, race and gay, gay families, lesbian families, gay pride and probably a few more combinations. One of the first things I noticed was how predominately white most of the people in these pictures were. I had to start searching with racial words in order to find more diverse people in those pictures. Also, most of the pictures I found at first contained only men, so I had to specifically look for lesbians, or black women or black lesbian women.

But, just searching “queer” resulted in almost all pictures of white, gay men (including many pictures from the show Queer as Folk, which I love, but also contains predominately white, male gay characters). A lot of the pictures of the men (and for the women as well, but less so) were very sexual or showed half (or more than half) naked men/women, together or alone. It was hard sometimes to find pictures appropriate for the collage. I just found it interesting how sexualized the queer community is within itself or made to seem.

However, when I searched for gay pride images, I found a little more diversity concerning race, although not much. I really liked the pride pictures,with all the rainbow colors and such that represent the queer community’s differences, yet the main image for this community which prides itself on being different and diverse is mainly white males, which is the main image for Americans in general.

One of my favorite pictures is the one of the two black men wearing shirts saying “Gay is the new black”. I love this image and it seems a perfect intersect of the two ideas we focus on: race and queer. I am not really sure what this saying is supposed to illustrate, however my interpretation is that the queer community is the new group of people who are fighting for their rights, like people of different races had to do previously (and still today fight against racism).

I guess the queer community is fighting queerism? Or is there a different word to describe the hate towards queer peoples, like racism or sexism?

Tagged with: ,

News this week

Posted in Architecture, Uncategorized by mchambe2 on February 15, 2010

February is Black History Month. Many of us probably didn’t know that February 7th is also National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. I found an article on the Human Rights Campaign website (hrcbackstory.org/2010/02/the-work-continues-on-black-hivaids-awareness-day/ ) reminding us all about the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment…especially for one of the most profoundly affected communities- the African American community.

The quote “In Washington D.C., everyday is National Black HIV Awareness Day” really struck a cord with me. Prevention, treatment and public awareness and education goes beyond just one day… the article reminded us that it was a rededication to the movement. The article went on to say that the number of people tested, and the number of people receiving free HIV medication has doubled.

My second news article also comes from the HRC website.  (www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/02/sen-gillibrand-and-rep-baldwin-suggest-action-on-lgbt-refugees/ ) This article concentrates on state representative and senators reaching out to the State Department  to address issues concerning foreign LGBT individuals. Specifically, the article cites the violence and persecution of Iraq and Iran LGBT individuals who are forced to flee their homes. One prospective move towards progress cited by the article is the increased promotion of LGBT human rights by the U.N.

The third news article I focused on was found on a website dedicated to the LGBT community of West Virginia. http://www.wvasqueernews.com/headlines.html

the article discussed the recent news that Prop 8 trial judge, Vaughn Walker, is gay… and how the National Organization of Marriage is having a conniption. (figures). they described the judge as ‘biased and incompetent’. the article then makes its point by saying that any judge, gay or straight, could be considered biased in a judgement about marriage due to sexual orientation. Although this article is not specifically focused on race, i thought it was interesting first, because the website is from a West Virginian LGBT community… an area that may not necessarily be associated with LGBT and secondly because Prop 8 has seen its own race issues specifically the claims that the African American community is CA was to “blame”. I think it is important to keep track of the changes/progressions and criticisms of Prop 8 in order to gain a greater understanding.

Now for the reflection.

I chose these three news stories because they all contribute to lgbt and race understanding and the relationship between the two. Also, these three stories are incredibly relevant to the times today. Although HIV/AIDS awareness does not seem as public as other world news, it is still an immensely important issue. It shows that this disease still affects huge numbers of people, especially in the African American community and LGBT community. the presence of a National Black HIV/AIDS awareness day is evidence of the need to reach out to a specific ethnic group. the focused attention highlights areas of concern and great need. it allows us to concentrate and work toward a specific goal. It shows insight into queer/race living by focusing on health issues that affects a great number of African American and queer people. i think this website showcases a particular understanding of knowledge surrounding the need to spread awareness and prevention technologies.

the HRC is criticized heavily for its lack of ethnic representation, but i think this article is a step in a more cohesive understanding. the fact that its a national ‘day’ could be seen as a double edge sword. although specific days like such work to highlight an issue and rededicate members towards a common goal, it could als0 be seen as a mockery.. that the fight against AIDS stretches generations and decades and calls for more than a days attention. although the services span time, the recognition is a mere flicker, which could also contribute to criticisms against the HRC, that more ‘white news’ makes daily headlines on a more constant rate. what do other people think about the HRC’s coverage of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

I chose the story abut Iraq and Iran LGBT refugees because of our countries on going tension with the Middle East. I think it is important to acknowledge and works towards LGBT human rights all over the world. Recently, LGBT world news has focused on Uganda… this article shows that much needs to be done world wide for the larger LGBT community. It shows how the U.S is on its way to being more progressive, although the journey is no where near to being over… in some countries it’s incredibly worse.

The difference in queer/race living world wide shows the widespread attitudes and the importance of keeping up the movement and working towards a more transnational agenda. it shows that our understanding does go beyond our boundaries, and acknowledges the need to recognize problems and work towards resolutions.

lastly, the short article on Prop 8 trial judge displays an important side of understanding. i believe it showcases how the National Organization of Marriage is quick to combat a gay judge’s involvement in such an important case without realizing that calling his judgement bias is only a half thought out statement. if sexual orientation deems someone bias then won’t a straight judge contain a certain degree of biasness? it shows how the national organization of marriage understands queer living…. they don’t understand at all.

all of these sources are pro-LGBT, and therefore reflect a more positive and progressive form of knowledge, but how do you all feel like they reflect knowledge pertaining towards race relationships?

Tagged with: , ,

Rainbow History

Posted in Architecture by kaykay on February 10, 2010

The website Rainbow History is a good source for our class blog because it not only keeps an archive of the history of the LBGT community, but the one in our metropolitan DC area.

I believe that it is important to keep in mind and study the history of our nation’s capital and the area in which our university is located in. The Rainbow History Project keeps archives of papers, research, guides & notes, tours, images and much more in each decade of the LGBT community in Washington, D.C.

By focusing the history of the LGBT community in Washington, D.C., we are able to view positive or negative changes in our nation’s capital. We are able to view the strife to achieve as well as the setbacks our LGBT community has struggled to obtain. I believe that the Rainbow History project is also important for our class blog because so much happens in our nation’s capital, (ie passing bills, marches, etc.) that as a class and as a community we are able to take advantage of being close to the epicenter of the congress in order to fight for change.

The Rainbow History Project’s mission is to “collect, preserve, and promote an active knowledge of the history, arts, and culture relevant to sexually diverse communities in the metropolitan Washington DC.” It is important to capture the essence of all these topics in the LGBT culture in order to realize how far we have come in the community.

The Rainbow History also holds events to celebrate the history as well. It is important to celebrate for the sake of keeping the history alive. Also to promote and teach others about the history is vital to the community. The history of LGBT in the DC metropolitan area portrays the link between race and queerness very well, being that the DC metropolitan area is widely diverse and accepting of all types of queer.

Zines: A Way of Studying Queerness and Race

Posted in Architecture by ahart1314 on February 3, 2010

We picked this website because it has a variety of information and seemed like a useful website that members of LGBTQ community could use. The website is a great intersection of race and queerness because it shows how race and sexuality are connected but can be complicated connection with queer well.

We found that this website also accurately gives credit to people of color for starting the queer revolution like the Stonewall Riots. The website not only gives credit to people of color in the queer community but provides wonderful blog stories that other people of color can relate to. The stories give an intimate look into the struggles, pains, and events they supported.

This empowers people of color and all races by presenting their many efforts on building a strong LGBT community. It also uplifts people of color to continue to add new ideas and continue to change society views with the queer movement. The website also contributes to the movement posting anything that the queer community can get involved in and how to support the movement.

This website is also important because media has become important on how the main patterns, values, and norms are established in society. Therefore, it is vital that queer publications are preserved to still embed them into society. The problem is usually queer publications or archives websites usually cost to use their resources. This website allows completely free access to past zines for free. Overall, this website shows clear connection to queer history and visual archive but it preserves it as well.

Good/Informative Web Document

Posted in Architecture by anneabigail on February 3, 2010

I found this document:

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/HTML/military_race_comparison.html

I believe this is an important website for our class’ blog because it provides an in depth look at the contrasts and comparisons between race and sexual orientation.  Also, that author talks about how American culture effects the way political figures and U.S. Military groups respond to minorities, and what is expected from the general public as an appropriate response.

It also provides an eloquent description of what racial minorities and LGBT individuals have in common when it comes to their disposition and oppression in society.  Another important point the document touches upon is that race is almost always evident when one looks at someone else, whereas sexual orientation is not as physically obvious.  This may contribute to homophobia in America, since homophobic individuals can feel deceived if they are unaware someone they know is homosexual.

The document also makes an interesting comparison between the link between both race and sexual orientation and socioeconomic status, noting that race tends to be compared with socioeconomic status and income more than generalizations made between socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.  This is an important point to consider when analyzing how people judge racial minorities versus LGBT individuals.

Tagged with: ,