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”

Let Them Eat Cake

Capture
Jack Phillips poses in front of Masterpiece Cakeshop – “Serving Colorado Since 1993”

The Supreme Court’s decision on June 4th in favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, was undoubtedly a setback for many LGBTQ advocates. In an overwhelming 7-2 majority, the Court demonstrated they value one man’s religious entitlement to discriminate more than the dignity of gay couples seeking services from a business otherwise open to the public. Continue reading “Let Them Eat Cake”

Feeling Blue in the Brooklyn Museum

IMG_2244
276 (On Color Blue), Joseph Kosuth (1990). Now on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

I first encountered Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts because of the #MeToo movement.

Bored one afternoon at work, I found myself wandering down a Google rabbit hole that led me to a young woman named Moira Donegan. In January of this year, as many of you may remember, something of a scandal was made of a phantom spreadsheet floating around the internet detailing a number of sexual misconduct allegations against “Shitty Media Men.” Within hours the spreadsheet went viral and caused a heated debate over the limits of female accusers’ credibility and spawned a number of think pieces from all sides. Continue reading “Feeling Blue in the Brooklyn Museum”

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.

IMG_2121
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.

Continue reading “The problem isn’t “top privilege””

RuPaul’s not queer, but Drag Race is

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 1.58.28 AM

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”

Why “Kafka’s Door”?

For as long as I can remember, I have been aware that there is something different about me. As a small child, I was uninterested in the world of boys–with their roughhousing, competitive sports, and dirty clothes–and instead gravitated towards my sisters. Girls, it seemed, always got to have all the fun. From a very young age, my older sister and I would spend hours playing dress-up and choreographing dance routines. Serving as a sort of life-size doll she could mold into something more fabulous, I was always more than willing to participate in impromptu performances before an audience of our siblings and pets.

Continue reading “Why “Kafka’s Door”?”