Tag Archives | queer art

My new Love

Don’t start any rumors, I’m keeping my old love, and not just because I’m afraid to give up the political connections our partnership contains. But I’ve got a new love: local anonymous queer propagandists f.i.e.r.c.e.n.e.s.s.. They have posted a really excellent text on privilege and queerness, which I’m happy to attribute to its author if they come forward….

It’s not just what you know — it’s what you never have to know. It’s happening every day, at that party or park or potluck, when you can look like what you really are and touch who you really want to touch without feeling like you’re violating others’ expectations. It’s never being forced to examine accepted ideas of gender and sexuality, despite their arbitrary nature. It’s never having to realize that people are seeing you as something you know you are not.

Privilege is about safety and belonging. It lies hidden in identities and desires that don’t need to be justified or defended or even spoken of, because they reaffirm the identities and desires of most of the people around you. Privilege is assuming, before you even get there, that your gender and your sexuality are welcome and expected wherever you might want to go. (emphasis mine)

I don’t know about you but I think about how welcome my gender and sexuality will be whenever I go out, and I’m almost always prepared to be unexpected at best. It doesn’t usually influence where or when I go, or much of how I present myself, but it certainly influences my feeling of armoring up to go out into the world. Being visibly queer is a complicated thing, and many brilliant folks I know are marginalized because of it. Being accepted in the mainstream is lovely in many ways, but it comes with the pressure to be acceptable to the mainstream. I think hard about where I am and am not willing to compromise. (I don’t shave my legs, but I always wear pants.) My gender is not an unconscious thing – it’s something I do, think about, wrestle with, and prepare to confront folks about on a daily basis.

I’ve been hearing some pushback that some recent queer events have been hostile to folks perceived to be heterosexual or heteronormative. This is not part of my vision of queer liberation. I’d love to think and talk more about how we create spaces to be queer in its original sense: transgressive and nonconformist, outside the norm. Not to rigidly expect that everyone look like us, or that only freaks and outlaws be invited, but where the new norm is no norm. Because we all deserve the privilege of feeling like we’re welcome and expected.


Queer Art Bustin’ Out All Over

It’s June, it’s Pride month, and there’s a ton of queer art happening. Tomorrow night is the kickoff of Q30/30 Days of Queer Arts, a monthlong multimedia celebration designed to coincide with pride month. Paint It Pink’s hosts a dance party and events are happening all month. Click here for a full schedule.

And if you’re up for a trip to NYC, local artists Julie Smith and Pete Hocking are part of an show called QUEER FROM ZERO TO ONE HUNDRED at the TNC Gallery in New York. The artist’s statement describes their work accordingly:

Pete Hocking painted 100 graphically similar portraits of 100 queer men who each replied to a general open call for sitters. Artist Julie Smith mirrors Hocking’s work with 20 stylistically similar portraits of women. Ten are straight. Ten gay. The viewer’s task is to identify which is which, and by what standard of measure?

The whole show looks interesting but I’ve got a favorite piece, one of Pete’s “Men Like That: 100 Queer Guys” pieces:

So get out there. Be Here, Be Queer. Look at some art. Make some of your own. And whatever you do, be yourself.