Something that I think is worth looking closer at is how the ideas of queer and racial identities evolved in our class over the semester. I think it’s interesting to note how our discussions of both queer and racial identity have been framed. Queer has been equated to a gay man or lesbian and race is either black or white. At the beginning of the semester we discussed what queer might mean in theory and what the “umbrella term” might cover. But all of our reading assignments, which heavily frame out discussions, have stuck to this dichotomy. Both queer and race have become so narrowly defined that they became exclusive rather then inclusive.
Watching this slow narrowing of terms that I had always envisioned as incredibly broad suprised me a great deal. Maybe I was expecting a more diverse range of authors and stories from this class. Sure there were glimpses of diversity with Arnaldo Cruz-Malave, some references to queens , and a little talk of different fetishes. But where are the bisexuals , transgendered, or those queers so enigmatic as to be unclassifiable? Where were the Asians, Indians, Middle Easterners, Latin Americanss, etc? Does literature by Persian Transgendered individuals just not exist? (Or maybe it’s just not very good literature?)
I can rationalize the lack of both queer and racial diversity in out course materials because it may not have been as productive of a class or the class may have lasted for near five years if we had discussed everything and everyone under the sun. However, I think it’s very interesting that in our discussions we never strayed away from the texts to discuss these various aspects of queer and racial identities. We strayed to things like the House of Gaga and Noah’s Ark but not to transsexuality?
But there is a wide range of literature by a plethora of Queer authors out there. Here are some interesting links that I found that I hope will act as a leaping off point for further exploration:
Lately, I seem to be obsessed with deciphering queer celebrities through a queer/race scope. For my last, let’s say, “controversial” blog, I talked about celebrities coming out only when the height of their careers were ended a good while ago. After learning more, I changed my opinions about this subject and displayed my learning on the Final Paper, I do see now that mainstream society is sort of a “culprit” in destructing the sexuality of celebrities when they “sense” that their sexual orientation is other than heterosexual.
For this “Arts” blog, I took the essentialism/constructionism dynamic that we discussed in class and applied it to Ricky Martin and Lady Gaga. The essentialism/constructionism dynamic can get a bit complicated at times, so I tried my best with my understanding of the topic. I think this dynamic is imperative to see queer and race intersect and, from what I learned and observed, I think that the queer community prefers to be seen on the essential spectrum rather than construction because essentialism identifies them as individual people and not categorized and shoved in to a “group” with other people. I think that is a reason as to why the queer community stands out as unique, which is something I highly appreciate.
Please click the link below to see my “artsy” piece.
**Note: The fonts express a tone for each side. Such as for “Constructionism” the font is all bold because of the monotonous categorizing that must take place for this paradigm. In the same note, “Essentialism” is typed in different, unique font to represent the specific identity of an individual, which goes along with that paradigm. **
**ALSO: You guys should be able to see the document, but if for some weird reason you can’t, please don’t hesitate to let me know, PLEASE! Thanks!**