Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hate in this Country

I try to be an optimist. Sometimes it is hard. In terms of civil rights I was not alive in the 50s or turbulent 60s. I was not a college student during Vietnam or during the other now famous student movements. I was not alive during the start of the homophile or gay rights movement (post Stonewall). I was not a Freedom Rider, or a member of SNCC, I was not a part of Act Up, I here in my room, watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann. I am not an active member of any activist groups. I am not going to say I don't care or do my part. There are days when it get hard to be an optimist. These days are here now.

It is extremely saddening that there is so much hate in this country. So much hate. In NYC there is so much hate directed at our Muslim sisters and brothers. There is homophobia. There is so much hate against immigrants that some are discussing changing the Constitution!!!! I we cannot forget racism and sexism and discrimination/oppression in general. We're fighting two wars and more seem likely. There is so much hate.

Monday, August 2, 2010

To Whom Do We Turn...?

Hello All,

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. Work, research and life came up. I have been pretty devoted to my Twitter page though. That's where this blog really starts.

I follow Jessie Daniels, a professor at CUNY Hunter College, and we began discussing The Kids Are All Right and I stumble on The Lesbian Mafia and their review of the film. In our conversations many issues were brought up and many of us were disturbed that GLAAD did not denounce this film but after pressure they did release a post with a poll asking LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) individuals to comment on the film, which of course I did. Upon further conversation there was a piece posted by ColorLines discussing the way race is played in this film. Not good. I wanted to see this film, it looked good and was received well by mainstream critics generally. I do not think I should give my money to this film.

I began to think about the next layer of this. The director of the film is an out lesbian. What?! How is it that a lesbian could make a film that is so problematic and has been rejected by many lesbians? Selling out? Going mainstream? Does she have a responsibility as a lesbian to make films that are not stereotypical? I have spent hours discussing this very issue with a friend of mine. On Monday August 2nd I stumbled upon a blog I check out every so often, Blabbeando. The post that piqued my interest was called "When Latino pop stars turn their backs on our rights" and it is interesting because I have been thinking what standard do we need to hold celebrities/famous people to?

Lady Gaga speaks out for LGBT rights and was asked to speak out for people of color in Arizona and she did. Should we expect celebrities like Lady Gaga to speak out for people of color just because she speaks out for LGBT rights? What about Latino celebrities? Should we hold them to a different standard regarding issues of race? What about Lisa Cholodenko the director of the Kids Are All Right? Should we expect different things from her as a lesbian? Should we be accustomed to being let down by the artists that are mainstream?