Independence Day

Every year on the Fourth of July I remember a song from my childhood that exists in my mind as the ultimate emblem of campy Americana patriotism. I’m talking, of course, about Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.”

Released in 1993, the song was an instant hit peaking at the number 12 spot on the US Billboards Hot Country Songs. It went on to nab two Grammy nominations and win two CMA Awards for Song and Video of the Year. Continue reading “Independence Day”

Before Pose, there was Saturday Church

By now many of you have probably seen or at least heard of Ryan Murphy’s newest FX series Pose. The show–which premiered on June 3rd–is a musical drama set in the ’80s ballroom underground subculture of Harlem. It’s also notable in that it stars a cast of trans women of color–faces rarely seen on television. In fact, the show boasts the largest cast of transgender actors in television history.

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Flyer from recent screening of Saturday Church at the LGBT Center.

Before Pose, many of the actors’ first exposure to the camera came from Saturday Church, a film written and directed by Damon Cardasis in 2017. Continue reading “Before Pose, there was Saturday Church”

On the New Roseanne and Queer Spectatorship

The Roseanne reboot–which aired on ABC on March 27th to a whopping 18.2 million viewers–has been met with critical acclaim and a flurry of opinion pieces. The crux of the controversy lies in Roseanne Barr’s politics–both from her character and in real life.

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The Connor family reunites after 20 years in the Roseanne reboot.

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Film Review: Keep the Change

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Keep the Change (released March 16, 2018, in the US and now playing in select theaters) has the same look and feel as any number of mainstream romcoms. A man from the Hamptons meets a quirky girl in the city, and after some initial setbacks, they eventually give into the transformative power of love and start falling for each other. As you watch them walk hand-in-hand on the boardwalk of Coney Island and face disapproving glares from their parents over dinner, you think: Haven’t I seen this already? You haven’t.

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The rundown on Anchorage and Pulse

Want to know what’s catching this queer eye in news and politics? Here’s my take on some of the most hotly-debated issues crowding my Twitter feed over this past week.

Have anything to add or an opinion to share? Sound off in the comments!

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The problem isn’t “top privilege”

One of the most valuable insights I learned from studying sociology is that there is a big difference between what people say and what they do. Humans are complex, contradictory creatures whose behaviors evade simple explanations. Yet, more often than not, we opt for the simplicity of common sense ways of thinking because it’s comforting, and the alternative can be mentally exhausting.

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Photo of Rembrandt Duran by George Lewis Mott.

Rembrandt Duran’s recent think piece on gay sex, while seemingly progressive at first glance, commits precisely this type of error by treating socially constructed identities as indisputable truths. A self-professed expert on the matter, Duran begins by informing readers that the time has come to talk about “top privilege.” Extending ideas about race made famous by Peggy McIntosh back in 1989–which have recently gained cultural traction with the rise of Black Lives Matter and other social movements–the author wants to make tops (i.e., insertive partners) aware of their social and cultural advantages in comparison with bottoms (receptive partners). But what exactly he wants tops to do with this political consciousness remains unclear.

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RuPaul’s not queer, but Drag Race is

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Caught once again in a firestorm of controversy over transphobic remarks, it seems RuPaul and his reality TV empire continue to miss the point: Drag is not the performance, gender is.

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