Hey everyone, I hope you’ve been having a good week!
Today I wanted to talk about topics that revolve around different aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community. From the world of books, to Netflix, to Pride itself, here are a few topics I’ve seen discussion about, and wanted to highlight in this post.
Before we go any further, I want to share that today, on Juneteenth (June 19th) there is a 48-hour read-a-thon in honor of Tony McDade and to celebrate all Black queer lives. So, if there’s a Black queer book you’ve been meaning to pick up and read, now’s the time!
Now, let’s get into this post!
Topic #1: The Death and Life of Marsh P. Johnson vs. Happy Birthday Marsha
First, I want to discuss the controversy surrounding the The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson by David France on Netflix. For those of you who don’t know, back in 2017 when the film first was released, the director of the documentary, was accused of stealing from the work of filmmakers Tourmaline (formerly known as Reina Gossett) and Sasha Wortzel. Tourmaline, a black trans woman, and Wortzel produced their own short film Happy Birthday Marsha, about the hours leading up to the Stonewall Riots of 1969. According to Tourmaline, France had seen the grant application video for her and Wortzel’s project, and used their research for his film. Janet Mock, a well-known activist in the trans community, came to Tourmaline’s defense by making her own post about it on Twitter, which France responded to, saying he was a friend of Marsha’s and wanted to tell her story.
If you want to watch Happy Birthday Marsha, you can follow the link below:
Here is Tourmaline’s Instagram post:
Here is the Twitter post from Janet Mock:
Here is an article from the LA Times that goes into more depth about the controversy.
Topic #2: OWN Voices and Telling Stories Which Aren’t Based on Your Experience/Identity/Culture
The second topic I want to discuss ties in perfectly with the previous one, as it deals with the topic of OWN voices novels, specifically with a lot of straight, cis-women writing YA stories about gay teenage boys.
A long time ago, I remember reading a thread about how gay men were uncomfortable with the portrayal of gay teenage boys in certain YA stories. Some of these stories seemed to be fetishizing gay relationships, as opposed to simply including a romance which happens to be between two guys.
Hopefully I can find the thread (SPOILER ALERT I didn’t find it), but I think it’s necessary to discuss how to handle telling stories revolving around based on experiences other than your own.
As far as telling stories with characters that fall outside of your personal experience, this thread says it best:
There’s nothing wrong with including diverse characters from different backgrounds in your story; in fact, you should be doing that! However, it’s important to consider a few things:
-What your story is focusing on? Is it the struggles the character faces because of their identity? Or is their identity not the main focus of the story?
-If you are discussing the struggles of an identity/culture which isn’t your own, are you consulting others who identify as such? Or are you basing the character’s portrayal on stereotypes and how you believe people of this identity/culture act?
-Are you promoting and sharing OWN voices novels (or whatever type of media it is you create) related to this identity/culture? Are you helping elevate these stories which might have a hard time receiving attention?
I can’t tell you what to write about, and I don’t want to be policing people concerning what they should be creating. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be mindful and make sure you aren’t simply reinforcing negative stereotypes about a culture or people which you aren’t a part of.
Topic #3: LGBTQIA+ Issues in Poland
If you aren’t aware, there has been a lot of problems in Poland concerning the rights and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community. There have been attacks on Pride parades, there are the “LGBT Free” zones, and with the campaigns for president underway, there has been a lot of anti-gay rhetoric being touted by Andrzej Duda (the candidate for the ruling Law and Justice Party).
Here is a Twitter thread that goes into more detail about what’s happening in Poland:
If you want to read further about what’s happening in Poland, you can read this article from Politico.
This article from NBC News discusses the “LGBT Free” zones being implemented around Poland.
The website, Foreign Policy, also has written an article that goes into further depth about what is happening to the LGBT community in Poland.
For more information and resources to help, check out this link: https://polandlgbt.carrd.co/
Topic: Race and the LGBTQIA+ Community
I recently discovered Tarek Ali’s YouTube channel, and I really enjoy watching it! My first video of his I watched is the one below, and I thought the topic was interesting and relevant, with it being Pride Month, as well as with recent discussions about being Black and the racism they face in the United States.
I highly recommend checking this video out, Tarek is hilarious and I love hearing his perspective!
After watching Tarek’s video, I saw Jade Fox’s video about how Black lesbians channels struggle to get as much attention as White lesbian channels. Here is her video:
Topic #5: The Queer Eye Cast discusses the Black Lives Matter Protests
I just wanted to include this next topic because I recently watched the fifth season of Queer Eye, and it has been a great show to watch with everything happening right now. The Hollywood Reporter talks to the cast of Queer Eye about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the importance of educating yourself.
This isn’t necessarily a topic, but it’s a sweet Instagram post from Justice Smith, that seems like a good way to end today’s blog:
Thank you guys for reading, and I will see you next week with a new post! Have a great weekend, and Happy Pride! 🌈❤
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