Dispatch from Kim Davis Country

In the wake of the 2018 midterm elections, political pundits noted that the so-called “blue wave” turned out to be more of a rainbow. With over 150 LGBTQ candidates winning races across the country, Tuesday was a night of many firsts: a gay governor in Colorado, lesbian congresswomen in Kansas and Minnesota, two trans women in the New Hampshire state legislature, and the list goes on.

However, it was one Republican incumbent’s loss in a closely-watched race in Kentucky that set the Internet ablaze. I’m talking, of course, about Kim Davis, who came up about 700 votes shy of her Democratic opponent, Elwood Caudill, Jr., in her re-election bid for the Rowan County Clerk’s Office. Continue reading “Dispatch from Kim Davis Country”

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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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.

Continue reading “RuPaul’s not queer, but Drag Race is”