Annotated Bibliography

My tracking topic is children/youth: 

Source #1


In our experience we have talked with hundreds of thousands of Transsexuals and Transgendered users either in our chat rooms or in our forums or by email. Our main mission is to prevent suicide which for us numbers 31%. Over 50% of our users from 13 and up have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday many more cut or mutilate themselves especially in their teenage years. At puberty all live through the horror of watching their bodies change into something foreign to them. The male minded (FTM) are growing breasts and starting their periods. The female minded (MTF) are getting erections, muscles and body hair along with their voice changes. To them it is a curse. that will be with them the rest of their lives. Sadly much of this could have been prevented. You see most of us knew and insisted that we were in the wrong body as our first remembered thought at the age of 4 or 5. Why weren't we treated? In most cases our parents thought it was just a phase and didn't listen. In others parents would just force the wrong gender down their son's and daughters throats forcing them to suffer in silence. If all Transgendered and Transsexual children were treated at an early age our suicide rate would be much lower.

Source #2

Gender torment of 10-year-old Cameron 


A BOY of 10 has been found hanged at his South Yorkshire home after telling his mum he wanted to be a girl.The court heard Cameron was a lonely boy with no friends outside school. He spent all his time at home listening to music, playing on his XBox and using a laptop computer. His mother revealed Cameron had been very interested in recent reports of a spate of teenage hangings in Bridgend, South Wales.

Source #3


Discovering what it means to be gay and the idea of gay identity.

            Children who become aware of their homosexual attractions no longer need endure the baleful combination of loneliness and longing that characterized the childhoods of so many gay adults. Gay kids can now watch fictional and real teens who are out on shows like Desperate Housewives, the dating show Next on MTV and Degrassi (a high school drama on the N network whose wild popularity among adolescents is assured by the fact that few adults watch it). Publishers like Arthur A. Levine Books (of Harry Potter fame) and the children's division at Simon & Schuster have released something like a dozen novels about gay adolescents in the past two years. New, achingly earnest books like Rainbow Road (Simon & Schuster), in which three gay teens take a road trip, are coming this month. Gay kids can subscribe to the 10-month-old glossy YGA Magazine (YGA stands for "young gay America") and meet thousands of other little gays via young gay america com or 

In so far as to say, hooray

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Hooray, for many things. For the start of winter break. For the end of classes. For the time we have had together...but also for the literally life changing, consciousness-raising topics we have covered and discussed through out this term. Queer/ing has a definite place in all over our lives, whether we choose to call it by that term or something else...questioning, trouble-making, connecting, multiplying and eradicating...all of us are thrown into this world and the systems that we've created to make sense of it, for the better or worse, it is navigated. This class in of itself has been an experience of queering pedagogy and the academy, while still maintaining the very core of what I believe liberal arts is supposed to be/do. By not only acknowledging the relevance of online media, but actively engaging and shaping it, we develop valuable skills in communication, critical processing and reading.

Throughout the semester, I was tracking the term "Bodies & Material Experiences", and, as with most topics covered in this course, I decided it is not nearly as simple as it seems. What constitute a body? What experiences are valid, authentic, worth remembering/grieving? What is material? Virtual realities have very real, material consequences, how are they mediated in our physical lives? What perspectives, ways of knowing or epistemologies, are worth maintaining, archiving, or perpetuating? These are the questions that come to mind as I consider my tracking throughout the semester.

I feel that as I came into this process and class, I underestimated the gravity of our topics and potential for intense thought processes. After taking it, I feel that many of the things we talked about we covered very quickly, tangentially, and sometimes on narrow terms. The idea of the diablog was successful, and I feel that if we could expound on that further and perhaps focus more either on less readings, or split of readings between class members it would allow for even more enriching discussion and critical engagement.

To wrap it all up in a tasty soft shell taco...

Queering the Non/human can be approached by various disciplines. As a tracking term, I failed to annotate bibliographies in connection with it. This, however, does not necessarily betray a lack of interest or intent in coming to know the Non/human. As a student of science I approached my disciplinary studies with a curiosity of the interconnectedness of all things perceived to be organic and inorganic. Within these frames lies everything perceived to be human nonhuman and inhuman. To be human, one might say, in its most general terms is to have life. Through time understandings of life have shifted from a philosophical understanding, one based on a permeating essence of life, to one formulated by empirical molecular atomic subatomic and sub-sub atomic phenomena, and constructed theories of natural laws that derive from abstract mathematically logical conceptions. While these developments have sought to distinguish more readily between existing categories of stuff they have, to the dismay of taxonomists and all classifiers of the sort, blurred lines and permeated barriers that have long influenced the human paradigm. Thus, definitions of life have become necessarily more detailed and complexly constructed in order to save withering ideologies. Definitions of life have become increasingly unscientific. Through this, life has failed us as a fundamental base for beginning to understand the non/human. If the human is composed of stuff, and we struggle to distinguish what stuff is capable of life then we must admit that the human can be any stuff. More forward to our thought processes is that we are (humans) composed of any stuff. Again, we fall short because everything that we perceive is composed of stuff. But wait! Is not science the study of stuff? There may be hope for a discrete human phenomenon yet. We allow the human to be directed by science, that is to say, the human is an object of science (stuff). For example, human medicine addresses the pathologies of stuff. If science is the study of stuff but stuff fails to define the human then our endeavor begs we go beyond stuff. However in going beyond stuff we go outside of science. Our constructions beyond this point prove to be rigidly unscientific. Without stuff to follow contrived laws of interaction there is no absolute reproducibility, in fact, there is no falsifiability. If the non/human is most fundamentally understood to this point as any stuff, and going beyond this foundation leads to constructions that cannot be falsified then the non/human wins over any logic. If you claim to be human I cannot falsify that claim and must cede to you the fact that the human as it exists can be anything you want it to be. Are you human? You bet everything is you are!
In this analysis I have diverged from our own course readings that have, in a sense, set to create a theoretically legitimized category termed the non/human. I have been more concerned with persons' frames of reference or perceptions. Can we create a space where categories must answer to all abstract theories from all disciplines of intellectual pursuit?

While I encountered excellent examples of people posting helpful links through tweets, I found myself lackluster throughout the semester about this form of media in particular. In my experience it failed to bring out intellectually stimulating conversations. I observed it to be a useful tool for potential blog clustering assignments as well as any that would generally seek to mine various media. I am so sorry to disappoint my friends that found a loving interest in the realm of Twitter, but I found no such affair. I was not swayed :(

Stay healthy, and do your assignments. There are many new terms to familiarize yourself with and it cannot be stressed enough the importance of raising questions and discussing these ideas that are so expansive. We have found in this course that you can always say something different. Even if you think you know, just give it a try: reexamine these terms in any new moment or state of feeling. For your efforts you will create a comprehension that takes you to places you never thought of-REALLY!

The Promise of Happiness and Wikileaks

In working with the idea of feminist killjoys, I am interested in reading Wikileaks this way.

For those of you who are not yet familiar, Wikileaks is known for disseminating classified documents in an effort to expose government, corporate, and state corruption, oppression, and questionable ethics. It has received huge amounts of news coverage, both the organization itself, and its main spokesperson, Julian Assange, for releasing large amounts of communications dealing with many US foreign affairs and policies. It has been hailed as courageous and invaluable, but also as terrorism and short sighted.

I'm interested in reading Julian Assange's work, and the Wikileaks organization as a whole, as a form of a feminist killjoy. It disturbs and disrupts the "business as usual" and "happiness" or complacency found for and within our government institutions. Can killing joy be thought of as whistle blowing or consciousness-raising? How does it affect our idea of the good/happy citizen? Julian Assange claims government bodies are directly and indirectly affecting his personal liberties as well as groups ability to function. Of what value are state secrets? Can we really turn a blind eye, "for the greater good"?

Topic - Queer Youth

Benilde-St. Margaret censors student anti-homophobia editor


The editors of the Knight Errant knew things were going to get a little hot when their latest issue dropped last Thursday.The student newspaper at the St. Louis Park Catholic school Benilde-St. Margaret was going to include a staff editorial condemning the Archdioceses' anti-gay-marriage DVD mailing.

On top of that, the issue would include an essay by senior Sean Simonson about his own recent experience coming out as gay at Benilde-St. Margaret.

Editors warned the administration, who didn't stop the publication. The papers were delivered to the school and the website went live Thursday. But by Saturday, school principal Sue Skinner had ordered the two contentious pieces removed.

The Knight Errant is pretty highly regarded among high school papers. On Saturday, when the stories were taken down, the paper's faculty adviser and editors were in Kansas City accepting an award at the National High School Journalism Convention, the paper's third national award in three years.

Skinner explained the removal of the articles in a short statement on the paper's website.

"This particular discussion is not appropriate because the level of intensity has created an unsafe environment for students. As importantly, the articles and ensuing online postings have created confusion about Church teaching."

Some of the paper's staffers aren't taking the censorship lying down. Bernardo Vigil, the arts and entertainment editor, started contacting other news outlets as soon as he learned of the article's disappearance down the memory hole.

Vigil spoke to City Pages this morning after getting kicked out of class for wearing duct tape across his mouth with the word "Censorship" written across it. He said other paper staffers are wearing rainbow clothing in protest.

"The people who said it was inappropriate for us to publish these stories are the same people who are perpetuating an atmosphere of homophobia on campus, so caving to the calls for censorship is basically showing solidarity with the view that homophobia is okay," Vigil said. "The articles need to go back online."

* Dennett, Daniel Clement. "Where Am I?" Brainstorms Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.: MIT, 2000. Print.

Where am I? What Daniel Dennett theorizes here is a seemingly simple question. He uses a fictional first person story to thoroughly make problematic our understanding of objective experiences and realities. In his story, he tells us that his brain has been put in and sustained by a vat, and by means of advanced technology, the "connections" between the brain and his body are maintained. This allows him to function "normally", save for the fact that his brain is no longer within his body. He spends a great deal of time pondering on the significance of this.

brain in vat

Where is he? Is "he", the I that is so easily bestowed upon us, in the nutrient-filled vat? There was no way for him to "see" himself as the brain in the vat, as all of experiences are mediated through his body, and interpreted in his brain. How does he know what "here" means? To him, this means that there are fundemental problems with how we orientate ourselves in the world.

I was doomed by sheer force of mental habit to thinking systematically false indexical thoughts, or where a person is (and hence where his thoughts are tokened for purposes of semantic analysis) is not necessarily where his brain, the physical seat of his soul, resides.

He goes so far as to name the different aspects of himself: Yorick is his brain, Hamlet is his body, and "he", the "I", is Dennett to work through philosophical problems he postulates with his experience. The story continues further to make even more problematic his situation, where by his body is no longer functioning and his mind is connected to a completely new one, and even further to point of having a "spare" brain.

At what point are we "real"? Of what value are "objective" claims if there is no true way to "prove" anything?

* Bent. Dir. Sean Mathias. Perf. Clive Owen and Lothaire Bluteau. MGM, 1997. Web.

This is a scene from the film adapted from the play of the same name, Bent (1997). Max, played by Clive Owen, is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). In camp he falls in love with his fellow prisoner Horst, played by Lothaire Bluteau, who wears his pink label with pride.

The Nazi regime, through its false convictions and manipulations, destroys the lives of thousands of people. This is a very "real" thing that happened, and I find no value in denying it. The experience shown in this clip illustrates the possibilities for destruction of selves by the concentration camp, but also the capacity for "real", physical, intimacy, without actually touching...anything. The imagined experience overtook the material one, showing the ability of our mind, to alter or perception of space and time. What is real in this instance? The orgasm they experience? The guards possibly off to the side watching? The piles of corpses not shown in the image?

* Haraway, Donna. "Situated Knowledges." Subdomain Index. Web. .

This annotated bibliography concludes with Donna Haraway's seminal piece "Situated Knowledges".

Through her piece, she discusses the disembodied "I", and the value of acknowledging only partial perspective. Is politically and scientifically motivating the notion of interconnectedness and value across racial, gender, ability, education, religious, etc lines.

As creatures, we are born without choice onto this world, and with this birth, imparted onto us is the I. The idea of I as separate from the non-I is cemented as we become "civilized". By queering and critically analyzing our relationships between each other, the "natural", "nonnatural", "contaminated", "human", and "nonhuman", we can challenge the very structures that perpetuate undemocratic practices, institutions, sciences that privilege capital (and social signifies of it), while marginalizing others. What is left? A sense of wholeness, belonging, and a commitment to community building.

"It Gets Better" video from Twin Cities Terrors Men's Roller Derby

I am proud to call these guys my friends. You guys are so great.

Topic - Queer Youth

We need better shelters for queer and trans youth


There's no ONE particular entry of mine that I would like to go back and point out. Instead I'd rather make a more general note.

Since the start of this course, I think I've come a long way. My first half-dozen posts, I didn't even know what we were talking about - I didn't even know how to add a link or a picture into my blog post. During class I felt like people were speaking a different langauge, and reading the articles was barely an option because I'd become so discouraged. I looked to others' posts' so that I knew what to summarize in my own.

You might say it sounds like I wasn't trying and I'm a bit negative, but believe me my head was turning and I was attempting to grasp anything. Eventually things started to click and blog posting got easier, I was able to add pictures and link - a huge step for me. Further down the line, I no longer had to use someone elses entry as an example for what I should write. In class, words began to become clearer - although I wasn't understanding everything, it was a big jump from the beginning of the semester.

So I'll conclude that my later entries were more independantly and confidently written than the ones I wrote at the beginning of the semester.

Final Wrap-Up

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Well it's all over now, but what a fun and interesting ride it has been. This was my first GLBT course that I have ever taken, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned from being an avid listener and blogger. The tracking topics assignment was a great way for me to grow my understanding of queer theory and queer principles by studying about queer activist, Michael Warner. He has written and spoken about the inequalities and adversity that is experienced by queer individuals on a regular basis. He goes on to note that there are not such substantial differences between gay and straight people as many people like to believe; I mean we are all people first, so we share that similarity, thus we all deserve the same rights! Being able to blog about a topic like this made me feel that I contributed more to the fight towards equal rights and made me feel proud of who I am. Blogging has also taught me that there are multiple ways to go about analyzing one particular topic, and it has really been exciting to read about all of these different perspectives online, at my own pace, so then when it came time for me to write something, I could not only consider my own personal opinion, but I could read about the opinions of others and then write something profound and really engage my audience.

I really enjoyed some of the other assignments that we did this semester too; one of my favorites would have to be Queer This! Queer This! gave us the opportunity to look at a particular idea or concept and then somehow relate it to queer theory or at least have it analyzed in a queer manner. It was a chance to explore and go outside the box with an exciting idea and then engage out peers and ask them what their take was on something like this. I really liked it when someone would post a video; I like having a visual stimulus to go off of, because it really makes me feel like I am directly involved in the situation! I also liked the whole It Gets Better program. Watching all of these coming out stories and life obstacles experienced by these motivated and persevering individuals brought tears to my eyes, because every single one of those people in those videos made me think of myself and just how far I have come as a 19 year old homosexual male. It has instilled hope into my life and has made me realize that things do actually get better throughout your life, especially if you believe they will. You are who you are, and I like who I am and plan on never changing just because I am among the minority--if anything it makes me a stronger individual.

Twitter was also another fun way to engage in conversations that took place outside of class. It's a great system, because they only give you so many characters to make a brief point. I liked the idea of going paperless in a class, because it was the first time that I had ever done so. By not having to physically write anything on paper, I was forced to go on the blog and see everyone else's typed work and again, it was just another beneficial way to make connections with the other students and share our own opinion over matters. I really don't think that there is a whole lot of preparing you can do if you have never blogged before. I liked how at the beginning of the semester that you went over the basic idea of how to blog and tweet, and then we all seemed to catch on after a few practice rounds!

Thank you again Sara and class for a nice semester. Good luck to everyone on finals!


My tracking term was "Queers for Economic Justice", and I think this focus set the stage for how I engaged with a lot of topics and issues raised in class. Placing poverty and the most marginalized of the queer community at the forefront of their politics are clear, and have for some time informed my critique of mainstream US GLBT politics. The critique of gay marriage as not central to their needs or desires and instead calling on recognition of rights afforded to alternative (or no) familial structures of all/any kind is instead the vision QEJ seeks. Also, recent legislation for increased sentencing for hate crimes for queer bashers is not supported because their resistance to anything that increasing the force of the Prison Industrial Complex that disproportionately criminalizes poverty and is one of the most sexist, racist, queer unfriendly and unjust systems that exist in our country. It is not hard to see why those is poverty or those experiencing complex intersections of multiple identities do not see themselves as having their interests in mind when evoking GLBT or queer or any single identity political agaenda. I mentioned in another post of mine that I have met many of the current and existing members of QEJ and this deepened my personal connection with their work and I am glad to have had the opportunity to engage further with their mission and resources.

CLASS BLOG AND TWITTER:I find myself wishing I had engaged more on the blog earlier in the semester, but am also finding it very beneficial at this point to revisit the blog and engage now that we are done meeting. It sort of feels like cramming for a final, yet totally different. I still feel able to take my time thinking through a response or question and fully engage because the blog isn't going anywhere and the quality of response isn't dictated by the confines of the classroom or time/space of the blog (though I do realize there were in fact due dates and grades and such). I obviously wrote a LOT when I finally got around to it, often more than what a 10 or 20 point assignment might call for. I think I found myself torn between what to choose to engage with, whether or not to prioritize all required reading for classroom engagement, and struggling with the ideas and concepts themselves. I finally, as of yesterday, figured out how to link sources to an entry and I do see the value and use of twitter after struggling a bit with that. I used twitter to link to things I simply wanted to share with the class without critiquing or to highlight quotes as a way of taking notes but letting others know what stood out to me when reading. Perhaps getting the hang of tweeting early on by live tweeting in class can serve to document discussions (like the day you live tweeted one of the diablogue discussions) and use those to turn into blog entries to further engagement beyond the classroom and keep people on a somewhat similar track as a class. Also, maybe an encouragement to pull up twitter while reading to see what other are saying and to post thoughts and quotes as a way to 'talk' before meeting. This might have been super cool.

ADVICE:I kinda already said what I needed in this post or elsewhere, but the amount of required reading was tough. While it was great to have a wide variety of articles from some amazing theorists, I found it hard at times to make connections and struggled differently than those not exposed to the concepts prior to this class. Our in class discussions seemed to be a little split, some of us taking very different approaches than others. It was great sometimes to see all of the angles that people were coming from and they all usually did have some bearing on what was being discussed, however at times it felt frustrating to not have a clear idea just how far off on a tangent we were led or to have some things be made explicitly clear. If there was a way to hold us more accountable to each other as classmates such as smaller ongoing in-class and online discussions and being responsible for doing close readings, it would be a lot harder to miss class and procrastinate completing assignments. Which is, you know, a good and bad thing depending on who you are I guess. Really though, the biggest advice is smaller groups that could be sustained (and changed) throughout the course as a way to narrow the number of blogs you might consider prioritizing and engaging with as a way to narrow the focus a bit and minimize confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed by the amount of posts.

Query Response #3

#query2010: How do inter-web interactions queer time and space? How does this queering disrupt one's personal integrity/ethics? #qd2010 11:18 AM Sep 27th via web

I think inter-web interactions such as twitter, facebook, various blogs, flicker, and oh so many more, allow for individuals to access them from almost anywhere, at almost anytime. This is very queer in itself. It is also queer to be accessing these while in class, while driving, while in the restroom, in the wee hours of the morning, or all at once. This ease of access allows for this fluidity that is really not possible within real time. For example, we must go to work or school at very specific times and follow these routines. We are not allowed to come and go as we please to these areas. Within these space is also a required etiquette that must be followed. In web interactions the only person we are truly held accountable to is ourselves. This leaves room for exploration that might not otherwise happen in real time.

Final WrapUP :)

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As a transfer student, this was my first semester here at the U of M and to begin with I was a little hesitant about what classes would be like. In my other courses this semester I was surprised to find that TA's were grading my assignments and I had very little, if any, interaction with the professors. I hadn't really put into thought until the last few weeks of the semester how Sara doesn't just stand at the front of the classroom and lecture/give out assignments. Being new to campus, I found this class more inviting and friendly than the others taken this semester. Sara greets us, sometimes individually, talks and participates with us in class discussions, and grades our work herself. She even does some of the assignments along with her students on the blog. I've never experienced a course quite like this. To be honest it was a little weird to get use to because instances like this don't happen often enough within your undergraduate career. Sometimes I even felt shy to say anything because I knew she was always there to hear what we said. Overall the structure of this classroom wasn't what I had expected, but it was a great experience to have received.

Not only was I new to this campus and this structure of classroom, but I've never taken a GLBT/GWSS course before. I've also never blogged or twittered before! It was all new and very overwhelming at times. Throughout a lot of this course I found myself feeling so lost in the readings and assignments. I felt like even if I tried the hardest I could, I still stood below what others would consider their worst (if that makes sense). I felt very behind and as if I missed a prerequisite to get into this course. But this course really made me think, it really made me have to challenge myself and my thinking - and that's a very good thing. I felt relieved when others would voice that readings were a little hard for them as well. Toward the end of the semester I began to feel a little more comfortable with accepting where I was at, and that I wasn't as advanced as some. You have to start somewhere, and that's what I was doing. I felt there was just the right amount of assignments. There was always something to be done, but it wasn't complete overload. Today in class, someone voiced that maybe there could be a list of assignments and different ways to complete the points, like in our diablogs - I thought this was a great idea. You'd still be doing assignments, but you'd get to pick what ones. I also had the slight thought that maybe this wouldn't be a good idea because then you might not be pushing youself to do the harder assignments that don't interest you. It was good to complete a well rounded circle of assignments.

Blogging and Twitter stressed me out to the maximum the first few weeks of class. Although I still have more to learn about blogging and how to get all my cool pictures and videos to show up (like Mary) - I feel great with what I've accomplished. I no longer sweat about how to post entries and comments on the blog; nor to do I curse at Twitter any longer. I'm glad I was able to figure out the technology part of this course.

Because I didn't have anything physical to hand in, I sometimes found myself posting assignments to the blog a little late. But I think it's a great idea to have a blog and reduce paper use. I enjoyed the blog because I was able to look at others' posts about readings in case I didn't understand the article. It was neat that I could read others' assignments instead of people just handing in homework to the teacher that I'd have nothing to compare my work to, or help me develop deeper thoughts. The blog was also a neat way to interact with our classmates thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Overall, I liked the blog (once I got use to it).

I would like to say thanks to all of those who exchanged kind words to me during this semester, as this course was a challenge for my thought process. I'd also like to say thanks to the great blog posters, and the few people who had big voices in the classroom - your ideas and perspectives were heard, and helped me to learn more in depth. This course took a lot of thought and a lot of time for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it because I'm coming out of it with new ideas and views that I wasn't aware of in my daily life before.

Queer This! Comparison (actually just a comment)

I posted this as a comment, but it didn't embed the video I wanted to show. So is just so people know what I'm talking about I wanted to share this. Happytree posted 'confessions of a hipster' earlier in the semester:

I enjoyed this post, and it reminded me of another video about queers battling it out to be the most queer of all. The connection I draw is that there is ways in which we construct ourselves, and there are ironies when identities get so wrapped up in certain signifiers or ideological boxes that sometimes confine all the same. I struggle to find this balance at times and find myself cautiously and critically approaching technology and academia and finding ways to adapt rather than reject some mainstream conventional ways of being. I am still finding ways to live as 'happily queer' in a sometimes overwhelmingly unjust world, finding some queer spaces to be more exclusive and directed towards particular ways of life that can be ironic for sure. Having certain interests in music, movies, food, authors, events, bars, websites, clothes, hair style, etc. all come to signify a sort of loose group identity. For both hipsters and queers, which are problematic and sometime indistinguishable-ish categories, it seems that identity is shaped equally by what we do/wear if not more by what is signified by rejecting certain conventions or norms. Using myself as an example, biking, eating organically with very little meat, not watching mainstream t.v. (mostly), my engagement with queer politics, thrift store shopping, and other behaviors in part relate to my rejection of some aspects of consumerism and waste. It becomes problematic when we become self-congtradulatory and hyper-critical of others, or when these become only signifiers of an identity being constructed as more radical, more unconventional, and more 'queerer than thou' without serious self-reflection or deeper understandings of their potential significance.

Annotated Bibliography #3 Queering Intimacy

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In this final annotated bibliography for queering intimacy I wanted to relate it to my personal life as close as I possibly could. I chose a couple articles that discuss more in depth the initial reactions of a parent coming out and the reactions of the children later at various ages. I found both of my academic sources via JSTOR. I have been using JStor quite a bit most recently for a paper that I am doing on Transgenderism and the Representation of the Body. I found Abigail Garner's book and website "Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is" by searching "children of gay and lesbian parents".

Child Development (Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents)
Vol. 63, No. 5 (Oct., 1992), pp. 1025-1042
Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development

The article "examine(s) evidence from the social sciences regarding the personal and social development of children with gay and lesbian parents" (1025).

**Estimates of the numbers of children of gay or lesbian parents (although difficult to obtain accurate numbers because of fear of safety, loss of child custody, etc.) : between 6 and 14 million
**Estimates of lesbian mothers: between 1 and 5 million
**Estimates of gay fathers: between 1 and 3 million
There has been little research on the children of gay and lesbian families. In fact there are only two major research studies that have been performed in the US. The author's go on to say that, "Although both lesbians and gay men may become parents in any of a variety of ways, the preponderance of research to date has focused on children who were born in the context of heterosexual marriages, whose parents divorced, and whose mothers have identified themselves as lesbians. Some research is available on children who have been born in the context of heterosexual relationships and whose fathers have identified themselves as gay" (1029). The article continues with these two prominent studies in mind discussing gender identity, sexual identity, gender role behavior, sex role behavior, and sexual orientation.

Family Relations (Gay's and Lesbians' Families-of-Origin: A Social-Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Adjustment)
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Oct., 1996), pp. 397-403
Published by: National Council on Family Relations

I chose this article because it discusses the many effects on the family when a family member comes out. This was important to me because my younger brother handled my dad's homosexuality in a much, much different way than I did. The article discusses the idea of having the "burden of knowing". This burden is created when a family member discloses their homosexuality before the rest of the family. The author"s state that the family member who is withholding information from the rest of the family , "has the responsibility to tell (behavior) other family members, sometimes it means he or she is responsible for making sure that other family members do not find out, and sometimes the role prescription (intrapersonal cognitive schema) for the knower is ambiguous, potentially creating anxiety (intrapersonal emotion) for him or her" (398). The article goes further by discussing reactions of the family as a whole and its outcome. The author's state, "...a broad model of family members' responses to disclosure by a gay or lesbian family member. This model suggests that family members' reactions are dependent on three components: (a) the
values (intrapersonal) concerning homosexuality held by the family members to whom disclosure is made; (b) the effect that these values have on the relationship (cognitions, emotions, behaviors) between the gay member and other family members; and (c) the conflict resolution mechanisms (behavioral repertoire-communication and problem solving skills) available to family members,with the most significant component being the ability to reconcile values that family members hold concerning homosexuality with the reality of having a gay or lesbian...(family member)" (399).
gay lesbian family of origin.gif The article concludes by saying that the coming out process effects the family unit as a whole; and the reactions of the initial coming out can perpetuate for years based upon differing variables.

Families Like Mine

This website is actually endorsing Abigail Garner's book "Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is". families like mine.jpg
Much like the book, the site delves into various thoughts, questions, and feelings of the children of GLBT parents. There is advice, question and answer section, info about the book and author, and various resources. I thought this section was particularly interesting:

* How did you come to terms with your dad being gay?
* What are the odds that children with gay or lesbian parents will grow up to identify as gay or lesbian themselves?
* Isn't it confusing and complicated for a young child to have two moms or two dads?
* Isn't it easier for you to just say "queer" instead of LGBT?
* What is an "intentional family"?
* Are you a lesbian?
* Are you advocating parenthood for all LGBT people?
* You talk a lot about your difficulties as a teenager with a gay dad. What could have made those years easier for you?
* Where can I find resources for my family?

These answers are specifiaclly geared toward the children. There also an advice section for gay parents as well which include:

* How do I come out to my kids? Should I come out? When should I come out?
You are not alone in feeling lost about this issue. See the archives on this topic. I am asked so much, I devoted an entire chapter to it in Families Like Mine.
* How will having gay parents affect my children?
Kids are individuals and since I don't personally know yours, it's not fair for me to say. Again: read the archives and read other people's comments for additional perspectives. My book will give you a broad overview of how adult kids think they were affected by having gay parents.
* What about my children's sexual orientation?
A hot-button issue for us all. The last two chapters of Families Like Mine are all about this. The short answer is some turn out queer, some turn out heterosexual. It is their process in "coming out" either way that is notably different from kids with straight parents.

LGBT History should be told

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State senator proposes bill to require LGBT studies in schools

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - State Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, proposed new legislation Monday to ensure that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals do not go unnoticed by California students.

If enacted, Senate Bill 48 -- the Fair Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful, or FAIR, Education Act -- would prohibit the exclusion of LGBT people in school curriculum and instruction materials in grades K-12.

Wrap up

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Thinking back to the first week of class..........
I was extremely OVERWHELMED.

This picture is titled Virtual-Intimacy-Overwhelmed.....way TOO appropriate!!

I have to admit that I thought I was in over my head. Twitter.....WHAT?!?!....tweeting.....HUH?......blogging....HMMMM......a paperless class.....REALLY!?!?!??!?!?? This all was too much for me at once. I didn't quite know what to do with myself or the anxiety that had come about. I VIVIDLY remember doing my first queer this assignment. It took me over two hours to complete. Not because I didn't understand the assignment, but having to blog my thoughts, feelings, and ideas seemed nearly impossible, well at the time :)

As the semester progressed Sara assured our class that the process would get easier and it did, kind of. As I mentioned in class today, last night was the first night that I actually began to enjoy using the blog and twitter. For me, the huge technological barrier seemed impossible to cross for a looooooong time! I think Sara brought up a great idea in class today about the future of
queering.jpg.queer desire.jpg.
It would be wonderful to have this course spread across a whole year instead of one semester. There simply isn't enough time for those who have never blogged or tweeted before to fully grasp and enjoy the capabilities each provide.

For this semester I chose to track intimacy. When choosing this topic I wasn't exactly sure where the topic would take me. To me INTIMACY means an experience of feeling close or sharing ourselves with one another. This experience can be shared between lovers, friends, parents, peers, teacher/pupil, and it can be short or long, good and/or bad, intense or dull, and on and on. Within all societies there are regulations on intimacy which are put in place through religion, courts, family, education, health care, the media, and more. Because intimacy is important and mostly wanted, these connections are a central feature of social life; it crosses disciplines inherently.

Tracking intimacy was not only fitting within the course, but within my personal life as well. While tracking intimacy I chose to follow the subject within GLBT families. This is an important topic of interest for me because my dad came out of the closet to our immediate family when I was 12. Tracking the term throughout the semester caused me to think about it all the time. It I would see it or when I would research for another class I would get distracted by articles mentioning intimacy within GLBT families. I found sources that were relevant to the course and also helped me to identify/question with others in my same or similar situation. Also, by going back to look at the topic with a new annotated bibliography helped to extend ideas that were already brought up or to bring about new ideas.

Twitter is fun and challenging. especially when using it academically. When you have to tweet a really interesting scholarly source it is hard to get it into 140 words or less, but you are forced to really bring out the most important points you want to make. Within the last week I have just begun to tweet a few things personally, unrelated to the course. It is kind of like letting someone see your diary. I like the fact that i don't have any friends who use twitter. It gives me this freedom of expression that i definitely do not capitalize on in other social media outlets i.e. facebook. When discussing Ahmed for our diablog group I mentioned to Amy that i thoroughly enjoy reading her tweets because they are SO witty. She told me that she began her twitter account for this class. That was enough of a boost for me to say, HEY, you can do this too!! Now i have to learn how to use twittpic and how to talk @ others via twitter. I can't wait! :)))

The assignments/readings were eye-opening and quite new to me. I had heard of many of the authors, but had never critically engaged with them. Some of them were hard to understand, but I see now that it is ok to have a mushy brain that has been confused beyond belief. Looking back, I wish I would have spent more time time with the readings in order to engage more with the class to have had a better understanding on a personal level. I would mention at the beginning of class that the readings are not only lengthy, but quite academic as well. Tell the students to set aside several hours for each reading in order to be fully engaged. By doing this and taking the time to figure out the technology, the course experience will be that much better.

This class was eye-opening, challenging, fun, and stressful. Learning how to blog and use twitter was initially frustrating, but now I want more of this. I feel as though I have this edge on others because I can use these social media outlets in an academic way. Sara, I am not sure if this is course style is common at the U at all. I just wanted to tell you that the way in which you present the class and its technologies is inviting, empathetic, and fun all while maintaining the course's scholarly foundation.
Thanks for your patience and expertise!


I chose my first queery response to revisit, the one where I answered the question: Do you really think that FB helps youth find their identity and form intimate relationships?

I still believe that social networks, like Facebook can help a yound adolescent find out who they are not only as a person but what an impact they will have on other people and society. Just by blogging with all of the members of this class, I am incorporating my persepctives on various topics, and at the same time, I am becoming a better listener and am making connections that I never thought I would experience before. By engaging on social networks like these, I have been able to move from putting my toes in the water to diving right in and been able to anazlyze different components of queer theory and identity. It's been like a social gethering right from home, and I am able to read everyone else's entires at my own pace and whenever I want a further understanding of something. I have learned that relationships can be successful without being intimate--as long as there is something to go off of, people can work together to construct a bond of logical ideas and thus collaborate on shared viewpoints. Facebook, this blog should all be credited to enhancing relationships between people.

J. Jack Halberstam's "Queer Suicide: A Teach-In/It Gets Worse"

I meant to post this last night, but I didn't get the link until today. I also can't remember if we've already read this or not, yet another critique of the 'It Gets Better' campaign.

Remix/Redux/Revisit Second life, Real life...?

I have decided to revisit my first direct engagement on the HASTAC forum which discussed the article/video of "Becoming Dragon".
HASTAC-Digital-Storytelling.jpgI discussed Micah, the UCSD student, and her choice to lead a second life in virtual reality. I reflected on the importance of experimenting in these alternative spaces and how they can give freedom and choice to many that would not otherwise choose to act in certain ways. I also mentioned that this space should not be a qualified place where people who are transitioning can spend their life in the sex that they identify with. Looking back on this forum, "Becoming Dragon", and the idea of space, lets me see how very substantial space can be for different people in different situations. The idea of space is not just a room, but what happens within that room (what is/is not being said, topic(s) at hand, educational, coffee chat with friends, restroom, library, etc). Within these space different people gather and different things occur. Like we have discussed in class queer space is well, queer. We don't follow the typical classroom setting where students face and listen to a teacher lecture. Instead, we engage with one another and lead the class with a force that seems very natural and appropriate. For me it was incredibly helpful to look soooo far back to my first direct engagement. It reminded me of what I was thinking and feeling at the time. It also was nice to relate what I had learned early on and then go back to apply concepts and ideas that I had learned after the fact. It was nice for me to be able to look at a situation that seemed fairly straightforward, to then readdress, and TRoUbLe the idea and delve deeper than I had the first time around. Posts from Sara and other students help not only to explain certain ideas or reiterate them, but to cause to me to think differently. This often was frustrating at first. As students were are told we have learned something when we are able to take a concept and project this concept and its relation to life via paper, presentation, exam, etc. In this class we are left with more questions than answers and this is still something I am struggling with. It is hard to realize that having questions is still grasping the idea, but only taking it further. This is critically engaging at its best!

Final Wrap Up

The beginning of this class scared the shit out of me.
I have never taken a class like this, and the brussel sprout penis made me almost pee my pants, not in the good way. I thought that I would hate this class, especially since we spent the first two weeks talking about how to blog and how to tweet. Turns out... that was probably one of the most important parts of the class. Also, I thought that the class was going to be super easy because all i had to do was tweet and blog about stuff, hahaha.... oh man. Looking back I think it was one of the hardest classes I've had because it forced me to learn new technology and new concepts and ideas at the same time.

Blogging and Tweeting is hard work.
I learned so much about my writing process and learning process through queering the normative classroom style. I was so resistant at first, but I feel like I learned a lot more than I thought I could just from my reflections on articles and the reflections of my classmates. It was almost as if we were all teaching each other. It is an out of control experience when I look back at it.

So what do I think?
This class has been amazing, and has really changed my learning process and opened my eyes to the real world. Sara, you really did a great job incorporating technology into a classroom learning setting. I think you need to keep on the idea of the live tweeting during class, and maybe involve the rest of the students. Blogging is great, but there was a lot of work that needed to be done. My only suggestion is to spread the readings and assignments out a little more. Other than that, it was an amazing experience.

Queery Response #3- ON TIME. holler.

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I think this is a very interesting question. My answer is Yes, in a different way. Obviously physical violence is not present online, but the threat sure is. Mental abuse is just as prevalent and people are more likely to say more heinous things to people behind a screen name than in person.
That being said, this question makes me think that maybe there is no safe space for queer teens as long as heteronormativity is at play in our society. Gay and Lesbian teens get teased for no reason other than their "abnormalities." But without heteronormativity, would homosexuality be abnormal?

Remix DE #1 Virtual Disruption

Returning to my first DE was a good exercise for me... I feel like I've come a long way since this initial entry.

I realized at first blush that this entry lacked the kind of depth needed for a direct engagement. It is boring and monotone, and more about my personal opinion than the actual article. It lacks quotations and evidence from the article needed to make a valid argument.

My thoughts at the time were that children were mostly influenced by their own internet searches and not as much by their families, schools and social systems. Social networking was their outlet for personal identity formation.

I've recently come to understand through this class that this is not the case. Gender and sexual identity formation is as much a function of a community as an individual. Heteronormativity in schools have terrible effects on GLBT kids, and no social network site can completely remedy that. Social networks can help kids find communities to which they belong but they can also be areas where they are subject to teasing by their peers. There is no perfect solution for this problem, and after experiencing this class, I've learned that.


I decided to look back at my very first Tracking term post: "Queer Space: A Divided Space" This was my first chance to show what I interpreted as space and I took a literal definition of it. However at the time in the semester I was just beginning to see from our class readings and the in class discussions that queer advocacy groups (that i once thought were infallible) were not as inclusive as they were made out to be. So in my first track term post I took the devil's advocate side of things and decided to write on what is wrong in the queer community. I wanted it to especially talk about Minnesota because I think that we need to look locally if we want to solve things on a much grander scale. Looking back at this post, I wish I incorporated more. After writing all of my tracking term entries, I think if they were put together as a whole cohesive unit and if I were to expand upon it that it would be more understandable. The way in which I wrote most of my entries was in block format. I went back and re-read the sources I gave and found that I could have gone even further with it. I think my biggest flaw in that first Track term was I did not mention the transsexual community and their misrepresentation. I talked about the exclusion of race, age and bisexuality but nothing of religion or transsexualism. Now after completing the course and having finished reading all of the required readings for the class I still believe that there are issues with inclusion within the community. In fact, most of my posts touch on this fact. What I got most out of my previous posts and the content learned in class was the youth element which is something I care deeply about. When talking about youth, it is important to consider how they can be influential, how they are included/excluded and more importantly to recognize their issues. For me, it is important to revisit your writings not only to learn from your mistakes but to expand upon them. It is a little uncomfortable sometimes- to re-read what you wrote but in the end, revisiting my writings was nostalgic in a way and it allowed for me to conclude the class by seeing my progress without having to dig up old folders. It is nice to have my writings all available to me in a click. queer youth.jpg


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Oh dear..I remember the excitement of having to pick terms and at first I was very interested in writing on Audre Lorde, a woman who I admire and love to read but I changed topics to Space, feeling that it would be a better way to challenge myself intellectually. This was my first class in the GLBT department and certainly an interesting way to expose myself to this kind of thinking. In tracking the topic "space" I challenged myself to look outside of how space is traditionally defined. I thought of space as the physical realm of space but then thought about anything that exists that could be re-defined into a different existence. Queering space to me felt more like trying to find ways in which an object, a place or an idea could be turned "queer"- the vague definition that we have. So, I do not have an absolute definition of what "space" is but rather an idea of how we might use it further in discussion. When talking about space...i think it is important to inquire about in what ways are we not including people in this space..whether physical , mental , spiritual, how can a space that is normally taken for something and turn it into something else. To queer something for me does not necessarily have to do with the sexuality. To queer a space could take something normative and turn it into a space that tries something different. I took this to heart when thinking about my youth studies course and how could I queer the way I study and work with youth? How can we make queer the system? How can we make something that is traditionally adult oriented to be inclusive of youth? To take it further, my studies of space made me question how can I queer my work place? my home? How can I disrupt what is traditional?
Participating on the blog and twitter was weird. I was against it at first because I did not want to become that person who obsesses about it and quite frankly, I love writing. In fact, I love type writers ...just saying. After a while however, I liked the dialogue that was started. The commenting and the ability to talk to someone through twitter was an interesting way to carry on a conversation. I liked that our conversations that were held in class both reflected and deviated from the conversations held online. For the assignments, the readings were beneficial to me. I wish that we had a course packet; although, my wallet probably would tell you otherwise. While reading online is fine, after a while I get tired of staring at a computer screen and as a proficient note taker, it is difficult to scribble all over the paper if there is none. At first I thought that writing the blog entries would be easy and that the amount we had to do would be no problem but soon after the first few were due I realized that writing one blog entry or even a comment took a lot of thought and I re-wrote each one several times.
In reteaching this class all I would have to say is a course packet and more tutorials for blog and twitter. All of the cool things that people had done when posting their entries made me jealous and I wish I knew how to do it in the future. Social networking is here to stay and I would not be surprised if blogging became a requirement in other classes. I enjoyed this class a lot and will look back on what I had learned in my future classes.

Summary of Diablog

The diablog assignment was definitely one of my favorite ones, because it gave me an opportunity to collaborate with other people and really, as a group, delve into the subject matter and then talk about what we learned with other people. I enjoyed breaking up into 2 groups and talking about the 2 different aspects of Ahmed's main points: unhappy queers and achieving happiness even when nobody backs you. Then getting the entire class together to share what each group discussed was beneficial because now everyone was able to hear both sides of the story--people always seem to talk more in a smaller group too.

I was in the unhappy queers group, and we first discussed Ahmed's theory behind happiness. Half of the group said that happiness is dependent on other people and that someone is never going to be happy unless they are surrounded by people are are happy. But then what makes those surrounding people happy? How does happiness originate? The other side of the argument was that people are able to find happiness and that it is a subjective concept, so in other words, if you believe that you are happy, then you are happy. We also talked about the examples that Ahmed used in her chapter and that some of them were fairly obvious to understand if not over exaggerated. I personally enjoyed the use of her examples, because it put a clear understanding of what she was trying to demonstrate with the feelings experienced by unhappy queers.

I particularly enjoyed watching the movie clips as a whole group, because again it was nice to see her examples come to life and paint a picture in your head about all of these negative emotions towards unhappiness. Ahmed seemed to have a very appealing writing style as compared to Judith Butler, because everything seemed to flow in a logical order and the language was simplified to a point where you could thoroughly understand the use of her examples. Fun assignment!

Final: Where do we go from here?

Very fortunately indeed, JPuar remains for me "a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma." I still have time to submit an application to Rutgers should I choose to and ask professors to submit letters of recommendation, and I am seriously somewhat tempted... She could probably really push me into some intense thought, but I'm still not convinced that Rutgers could ever be the right place for me overall. The pros are many, and on top of it all her current book in progress is focused on queer disability studies with assemblage and affect theory (Affective Politics: States of Debility and Capacity), which just sounds awesome (see Prognosis Time: Towards a Geopolitics of Debility, Capacity, and Affect), but besides JPuar there doesn't seem to be a lot of faculty support for me there. I am glad I chose to stick with tracking JPuar solo, and found it strangely freeing to work with tracking a theorist and her theory rather than a term, even though we didn't get to read and engage with her as a class and I was a bit disappointed by that-- I still crave some more interaction and community around the deep shit I've gotten into with her (maybe someone to help me with digging my way out, you know, so to speak). I have to keep plugging away at JPuar's first book some more anyway, so I should have plenty of opportunities.

It's probably clear that I enjoy the blog and twitter workings of this class, they seem to fit for me and, yes, I also fell deeply in love with tweeting theory and interesting tidbits of theorizable material. Both formats have helped me in different ways-- twitter with brevity and clarity (notes) and blogging with solo engagement (thinking through/beside/against). I could have used our digital tools more for engaging with (more different) classmates, but I do also enjoy how these digital mediums allow for selective engagement.

Overall, I can tell that the flow of qd2010 benefited greatly from our rocky road in Queering Theory 2009 (and probably a whole lot of experiences before that). Timelines for assignments and their due date clusters were mostly manageable-- especially compared to some of the rushes we found ourselves in in 2009 (yikes!), trust me. For many reasons, the whole dynamic of the class was shifted with a change in enrollment from eight or so to nearly thirty (the odd physical space of our classroom is a part of this). We did have a longer class, which helped a lot (although and because it was only once a week), and we were able to have deeper conversations between the few of us in that time. If memory serves me correct, we also read EVEN more in 2009, thoroughly covering all of Gender Trouble (rereading some of it even!) as well as significant portions of Undoing Gender, Disidentifications, and Curioser, among other books that also came up this year. (It may have been the best preparation possible for this year.) I think qd or QT students need to know that testing the waters of these theories and assignments will start off most messy and confusing, but the systems developing in these classes will ultimately give you more space to learn how and about what you want to, period. The messiness may not (ever) clear up, but it will (even in one semester) become more of a contemplative discomfort once you get the hang of slinging around some queer theory, playing with it, and not worrying too much about being right so much as just wondering. It (the class, the action) can be whatever you need it to be for your adventures in gender and sexuality, and power and privilege, and embracing it will forever change the ways you think. This is important stuff to carry with you wherever you go, because it effects everyone.

That sounds kind of cheesy, and I believe it.

Remix: Queer(ing) Pedagogy

I'm glad for the benefit of revisiting ideas through our blog, in particular as I've been somewhat of an unhappy queer thinking that we've never had enough time (ugh) for discussions of queer(ing) pedagogy-- after our 10.05 and 10.07 classes I was craving so much more. I guess I'm kind of perversely into teaching (and with lofty aspirations), so I definitely grew discouraged by our beginning of the year technology pains rather quickly; I really wanted to get directly to understanding some of the nuances that could help me develop as a teacher! I still won't be able to do the discussion justice solo, suffice to say I have kept these drives with me over the semester and feel the need to briefly stream current engagements with queer pedagogy.

First, I remain interested in troublemaking as a mode of queering pedagogy-- these paths, especially through the work of JButler, are certainly important for all of my forays into binary-busting. The 10.05 class summary was and is a helpful refresher/run-down on trouble (especially in combination with all my hoarded materials from Queering Theory 2009)-- and I am drawn especially to this passage from Luhmann once more:

Alice Pitt (1995) points out: "Learning about content is not the same thing as learning from it. In other words . . . learning is something more than a series of encounters with knowledge; learning entails, rather, the messier and less predictable process of becoming implicated in knowledge" [p. 298](Luhmann, 8).

This reframing continues to be radical for me, and is going to be worth at least another revisit. Learning isn't grades, clearly, but beyond that learning is neither content read nor produced, nor really something we can justly measure. I like that learning is messy, and I like even more how this queerness in education creates space for the many relationships possible in "becoming implicated in knowledge."

In terms more akin to affect, I long for community to get into the nerdy details of how to make such concepts materialize in the classroom. I was somewhat discouraged that this wasn't explicitly happening in our class until I paid a little more attention to the perimeter-- I have had many chances to watch queer(ing) pedagogy in action this semester, and although they're not always discussed, I'm carrying them with me. The more I think through pedagogical concerns, the more I'm convinced that I can make space for the questions I'm forming next semester and as I (hopefully) continue in grad school. I can see now that not all my undergrad peers are going to find this as fascinating as I do, and that's just fine-- in fact, that itself teaches me about new connections to queer pedagogy working through resistance, boredom, confusion, rejection, etc.

I want to highlight three organizations with three videos found on youtube. I linked their websites here again, and will let the videos speak for themselves. Obviously this annotated bibliography is incomplete, however I honestly can't say much more than what shown.

Trailer for "Toilet Training"

Sylvia Rivera Law Project, also sharing physical space with QEJ.

Trailer for "Toilet Training" by SRLP

"Liberating Gender and Sexuality"

US Social Forum 2007: Southerners on New Ground

Just watch. Very Important, and at the heart of what QEJ also stands for. SONG is a strong ally organization of QEJ with similar aims.

FIERCE @ USSF Social Forum2010: Trans and Queer People Movement Assembly

Another strong ally of QEJ is FIERCE. This video literally made me cry. Just a little. Is it just that it's finals week and 3:30am, or is this just powerful?

Ohhh noooo....Mercury, even more dangerous than we thought!

Mercury Poisoning Makes Birds Act Homosexual

homosexual penguins.jpg

Homosexual Penguins........????.........."This study badly needs to be replicated."

A quick break......

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jeshries finals week 2010.jpg

Cramming to finish my final blog folder; I thought this would be a nice break from the stress of finals. Even my cat, Jeffrey, has had enough! :)

Query Response #2 (yup. still up. going strong.)

(I apoligize for my lack in ability to make this look cool and post the tweet all pretty...)

Momentaryisle 'queeried': How do inter-web relations queer time and space? How does this interrupt one's personal integrity and ethics?

I'm going to give this question a shot, though I have a feeling I will only scratch the surface of a super interesting question that I'd haven't thought of in quite these terms before.

First of all, I super like the term 'inter-web relations' as a way to capture what and who we interact with online as relations to things, ideas, and people. That is all.
Next, a simple example of a sort of 'queered' time and space on the web is of course facebook, for the sake of familiarity. Commenting, posting, messaging, tagging, and the like continue to exist in your absence. Logging in reveals all that has happened while away, yet they are suspended and waiting usually for response and attention, whether you pay attention or not. The sharing of links and conversations started on facebook is also a way to share resources to a wide audience, who may or may not stalk you every so often. Leaves one to question how far some information does go, and how this level of transparency (of sorts) impacts people who might stumble across something that has been posted. Unrelated to queering time and space and as a personal side-note related to queer as and identity: I actually do post a TON of things on my page that clearly show my politics and identities hoping they might reach someone. Lately, I have been thinking of other ways to compile information, such as starting my own blog, or other better ways to reach more people and share resources I think are important or interesting.

As for interrupting morality and integrity, I think there are multiple ways this plays out in ways that erode and/or support aspects of these considerations through 'inter-web relations'. Speaking just to one that immediately pops up is the common practice most of us have at least minimally engaged in is facebook stalking. Being one's friend or having a publicly viewable profile is an invitation of sorts for other to look at photos and anything ever posted on facebook (depending on security settings). I do not find it difficult to post mostly unrestricted, yet there is a way in which a public identity is nonetheless constructed. I wonder about the impact of this especially in light of its relatively new function, and what it means to know all kinds of information about people that have never been quite this available.

What does it mean when we piece together identities with bits and pieces of life as viewed through facebook? Or when we know entirely too much about people without ever speaking? And what about the intentional efforts to display personality and identity through what is accessible and available for those allowed to view? What are the various and contextual ethical imperatives guiding different practices: wall posting/pictures/shared links/'likes'/profile/etc.?

Direct Engagement #3 Ahmed

"The recognition of queers can be narrated as the hope or promise of becoming acceptable, where in being acceptable you must become acceptable to a world that has already decided what is acceptable" (106). This is the idea of the assimilation of happiness. What constitutes as happy is this ability to blend in, to be as "normal" as possible. Then you will truly be happy. By conforming to these heterosexual ideals of happiness you can be happy without others questioning your happiness. In return, this freedom gives the happy hetero room to breathe.

Validity......realness.......ability to........

"One could also ask whether queer happiness involves an increasing proximity to social forms that are already attributed as happiness-causes (the family, marriage, class mobility, whiteness), which of course suggests that promoting queer happiness might involve promoting social forms in which other queers will not be able to participate" (112). This draws attention back to Dan and Terry's so-called activism behind the "It Gets Better" campaign and the fogginess of queer happiness. Dan and Terry are conforming to these heteronormative scripts via white, upper class coupledom. Their idea of happiness is not very queer at all. "Everybody wants to be happy" (1), but in order to be happy you must follow certain gender and social scripts; otherwise, you will be infringing upon someone's happiness. This POWER of happiness is a hard thing for me to fully wrap my head around. This idea of happiness is a script people must follow in order to be happy, look happy, think happily.....It reminds of a similar idea in which Foucault mentions power through its representation of a docile body. These bodies which are conditioned to act, think, and feel in a particular way. He mentions a man in the military who has large thighs, a small belly, dry feet (to run quickly), broad shoulders, etc. This ideal that is represented is what people should strive to become in that situation. This is the same idea of happiness that it is this ingrained idea that is placed at birth. Ahmed says, " The very promise that happiness is what you get for having the right associations might be how we are directed toward certain things" (2). By having connections to or being a part of heteronormative happiness will in turn bring those who choose to follow these scripts, as docile bodies, to greater happiness. Exactly what is it to be happy, when is it OK/not OK, how should one be happy, who should be happy/unhappy, where does happiness come from?????

Query Response Entry #3

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I actually think that online social networks are not going to be as intense as face to face bullying, just because you are not physically there to experience it and that it seems that it does not occur as often. Take Facebook for instance--it's hard to say that you would be bullied on a network like this, because in order to chat with someone, you have to be friends with them. What are the chances that one of your friends is going to all of a sudden start shooting you down online? Probably slim to none, unless you have someone who sends you a message over Facebook degrading you, but even then, they would have to search for you and find you, and you are able to adjust your Facebook privacy setting too, so the chance of it happening just appears to be very little. Then you take chat rooms...well for someone to discriminate you against inside one of those, you would first have to disclose of your sexual identity and then I guess hope that the other person is cool with it. If someone does choose to discriminate against you, all you would have to do is simply close out of the chat room and leave. My point of all this is that you basically control your own fate when you're online. If someone was being bullied face to face, chances are it is a group of kids (bullies) involved, making it that much harder to physically run and get the hell out of the situation. Also, hearing and seeing someone ridicule you is much more intense than reading words off of a screen--more of your senses are involved when you are in a face to face setting, putting more stress on the brain thus making your reaction and appearance that much more vulnerable.

Query Response #1 (woo. incredibly late. oops.)

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Briana | September 28, 2010 8:29 PM | ReplyBribird6 Query: How do straight individuals fit into the queer community; and what is this seen as? #qd2010

This depends on just what type of queer community is in question, and depends entirely in contexts that are infinitely variable. However, I can speak to some of my experience with gays and straights and queers and some patterns or common assumptions and/or conflicts engaging in each sphere.

I am extremely happily surrounded and shaped by people that are heteronormative and/or self-identified as straight. Some of these people are some fierce allies, and many have taught me not to assume that I will be dismissed by disclosing my queer identity. Sometimes I do have some hesitation to 'out' myself, but a million times more often than not I have been warmly received and have had my mind blown by the kindness of others. That being said, there are all types of folks, no matter gender /sexuality/race/class/dis/ability... and on and on. Just sayin'.

Those who are mostly allied identified and are a part of the queer community one way or another do seem to face initial judgment, and is definitely also tied in with heteronormativity and gender conformity being subject to curiosity and question. A cis-gender person (female identified woman/masculine identified man) who conforms to gender expectations and does not set off gay-dar WILL (you know it guys!) lead people to wonder either, "Are they 'gay'?" or "Why are they here?" Again, really depending on the situation and context, the presence of the straight-identified friend or ally being able to be amazing hinges on a ton more than this one seemingly differentiated identity.

Wrap up

My tracking topic "affect" I think was a really good topic to track. I was able to compile a lot of useful information, that I can use for years to come. I learned a lot while researching, like why certain schools do not incorporate "queer" ideas and education into schools. Some schools feelt that pushing that type of information onto children young pushes them towards experimenting at a young age, and for them thats no good.

To simply put it "affect" is about the ways in which certain issues bother people. Not only how their affected by it but their reactions towards what the issue may be as well.
My thoughts towards the blogging and twitter at first was" awww hell naww, I'm not going to be able to keep p with at this, and I dont even know how to twitter or blog at that". But as we continued on with the class I found my way around the blogging and twitter very easy. I actually liked it and got used to it very quickly. I did not use the outlets as much as I could have or as much as others in the class but that was simply because I was not as comfortable as them. The assignments were great. I think the topics and issues that we tackeld were great and very informative. It most definately helped me engage with the assingments a lot more and easier.


In this revist i would like to go back to the first diablog post that i did about my being molestate at the age of 7. I was first kind of afraid to what people reactions would be, then I was like f*** it this is a part of me and who I am and I gonna share it. Also it tied in perfectly with the reading by Kincaid. Any way all in all when I think back to my feelings and thoughts to what i wrote, i feel that the class has further reinforced the feeling that I felt when reading Kincaids point of view or theories. I think that it is very helpful to revist past comments that you have made because it helps to build your relationship with yourself. you are able to be more intune with your thoughts. when you look back at something that you said , you may feel that "nawww i did not word that correctly" or after further learning things you notice that you no longer feel the same way, or that you do. so yeah again going back to past comments is a very useful tool.

Ahmed Unhappy Queers Summary


For our group discussion in class we chose to divide the class into two groups. One of the two groups were to discuss happiness in Ahmed's Unhappy Queers and the other to discuss unhappiness. In referencing back to our discussion the week before Sara had mentioned the difficulty in doing group work and the distraction of working beside one another. I found it really interesting that both groups were busy talking about their set topics, but the group that was discussing happiness was not laughing nearly as much as the group discussing unhappiness. Maybe this shows the queer space of this class and the queer people who are a part of it??? In this space it brings up an important part of the chapter that was discussed in both groups, which is the ability to breathe or have the space to breathe. There is this idea of being able to live/breath in a certain way. A predetermined way to "breathe right".........Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breathe-right.png

This script to breathe is prescribed in a similar way in which happiness is defined. "Having a space to breathe, or being able to breathe freely,... is an aspiration. With breath comes imagination. With breath comes possibility" (120). breathe-you-are-alive.jpg
This right/ability to breathe for queers is yet to be obtained much like the idea of happiness. Happiness and space to breathe must be acquired in a certain way, usually a heterosexual way. When queers don't follow these scripts they must become unhappy.......Queer happiness=inevitable UNhappiness! "It is because the world is unhappy with queer love that queers become unhappy, because queer love is an unhappiness-cause for the others whom they love, who share their place of residence" (98). Heterosexual happiness via coupledom, marriage, children, whiteness,class, domesticity is thus forced upon queer lives in order to achieve any sort of happiness..."Happiness for some involves persecution for others: it is not simply that this happiness produces a social wrong; it might even depend on it. The unhappiness of the deviant performs a claim for justice" (96). This right to prove and define happiness is not only saying that I am happy and you clearly are NOT and NEVER will be, but it is also a way to impose all heteronormative standards of happiness and social scripts. It perpetuates the idea that the only way an individual and their family will ever be happy is if they follow these scripts exactly.

waaaay late: annotated bib (kinda): QEJ

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The latest post under the events tab on is an overview of accomplishments and the past year as well as plans moving forward in 2011. I will not fully summarize here it as it is very short and you can easily read it for yourself if at all interested (first post under the events tab on Among the news is that Kenyon Farrow has stepped down from the executive director position. I had the opportunity to meet Kenyon and other staff from QEJ this past May in New York City as part of the U of MN's leadership year trip, and also saw him deliver the final keynote address at the Minnesota Out! Campus Conference about a month ago. He gave a very touching speech, and I just want to briefly try to touch on a few key points I was able to jot down as notes as they shed light on partial reasons why he may have left:

He opened by speaking to the recent media coverage of youth suicides that we are all too familiar with this semester by trying to explain how people deal with this when we are not shocked and when we know all too well that this is nothing new. Shortly after, another young queer male activist whom he viewed as having a lot of potential ended his own life, posting his last words onto facebook and carrying though before anyone could reach him. Reflecting on certain reasons why he perhaps was not a strong as mentor as he may have been, he explained that he did not want to appear to be making advances as an older queer male. That sexuality can be read especially between intergenerational relationships of queer men is a constructed barrier that in this case played a part in Kenyon's hesitation to engage as a mentor/friend.

He reflected openly and honestly about his current role as Executive Director of QEJ, and says that during his time in the position that he has become a worse friend, son, brother, and partner. While there is so much to accomplish and so many urgent pressing issues of today, in light of his friends death and simply being too busy to slow down and take care of yourself and loved ones calls for a fundamental change in how he wishes to engage. I wish I had more notes on his exact final words, but essentially he urges us to prioritize the people in our lives and highlights both personal care and care of our community as central to whatever radical agenda we face. I cried. Anyone else who was there (Remy...?) remember anything else?

Further research and interests for me is to try and follow where Kenyon goes, and also to seek out resources addressing healing resources accessible for low-income/queer/immigrant groups. I do think there is space to prioritize wellbeing and health as central goals for any movement or activist work, and burn out doesn't do anyone any good.

SOURCE #2: "Taking Freedom Home" released by the Welfare Warriors

Posted Nov 9th, 2010 to under the "news" tab

The following video has just been released, and you can read all about it here, and watch the video posted below. It's about 30 min, and chronicles 2 years of the Welfare Warriors Collaborative, a project of QEJ. Important areas of focus are access to medical care that are glbtgnc (QEJ uses this acronym, adding 'gender non-conforming') competent, housing issues, any counseling including addiction, and brutality and harassment at the hands of law enforcement. Below I will list links to QEJ's collaborators and allies that aide their work or have a common vision. Because of the scope of what QEJ aims to do, I thought it might be most beneficial to provide these as a resource on this post.

Okay... I cannot embed the clip apparently. But there is a link from the page listed at the beginning of this post. Sorry.

Audre Lorde Project:


Critical Resistance:


Silvia Rivera Law Project:


All of these are listed at the end of this video, and there is a TON to investigate. Most are focused on queer people of color, immigrants, economic justice, and dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex and police violence as central and inseparable in theory and practice to their work. They are all inspiring to say the least.

SOURCE #3: Dean Spade and "Trickle-Up Social Justice"

This is a short 5 min clip explaining how and why it makes sense, politically/legally and otherwise, to center the least advantaged and most marginalized as a priority. There is a longer version of this lecture, which I think can be located on the . I was first introduced to Dean Spade during the "Feminist Debates" spring 2010 class I took with Sara and have watched this a few times in the past. He is one of the founders of the Silvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) which focuses on trangender law and provides legal services, and now share physical space with QEJ as well as FIERCE. He is amazing, and I am glad to introduce him to those who may not have had the opportunity. Enjoy!

A bigger piece that also contains the above 5 min clip within it if you are interested that I highly recommend from a lecture at Barnard College entitled "Trans Politics on a Neoliberal Landscape" delivered Feb 9th, 2009.

Dean Spade from BCRW Videos on Vimeo.

Query Responses

Glyma_08g666_F #qd2010 (Query): in what ways does the language we use pertaining to GLBT leave many queers, especially in rural areas, unaccounted for?
queer young and rual.jpg

Doing Drag in Wal-Mart Interview
While I am not sure about the language that we use, I know that when talking about the queer community or LGBTQA community, one normally identifies a substantially wealthy white gay male who lives in an urban area. Many people who live in rural areas are proud of where they live and are uncomfortable with leaving. Yet the queer community blatantly argues that LGBT identifying people cannot be happy where they are and should expect hostility if they stay in a rural area. However, rural America is also known to be predominately white; therefore, how do queer people of color navigate that space? One must be aware of the overlapping of marginalization. The argument of inclusion within our rural communities is a difficult one. When answering you must also take into consideration the religion that predominately takes hold of the cultural mindset of that community. How is religion a factor? The bible belt especially can be known for its harsh realities on its queer population but the incorporation of social media and technology has made access to advocacy groups and knowledge easier to obtain. Another point would be to compare the violence against the queer community in inner cities to recognize that violence against queer individuals in rural areas is simply different but not more or less violent than that against queer individuals in the city. Within my own knowledge, many queer individuals in rural America are gaining ground in starting their own advocacy and support groups. Queers may not be unaccounted for in rural areas but simply misunderstood or not taken into consideration when talking about the queer community as a whole. Like anything else, queer individuals in rural America have special issues that need to be recognized.

Sharpbubbles:This is a really interesting blog post about women's magazines and heteronormativity- Really interesting. #qd2010 Monday, November 22, 2010 9:11:09 PM via web

I fell in love with this site when I "stumbled" across it the other day and of all of the post secrets that I have seen, this might be one of the best. The question I have is when did we, as women, become more concerned with how men feel? If one succeeds in not saying what he doesn't want to hear, give get him hot and then have sex with him for as long as he wants what will this give the woman in the end? Thinking back to Ahmed and her happiness scripts, is making sure that the man is happy the answer to the woman's happiness as well? I used to think that a woman's magazine, which initially sprung from the desire to have our issues and voices raised, was a way to find out about things that are dear and near to us. If one can complete the things that things magazines say we must do to please the man, will this give us the ultimate happiness? Furthermore, as a queer woman, I do not want to hear about 10 things I can do to please my non-existent man. As a woman's magazine, shouldn't you be inclusive of all women. This means LBT women, women of color, women of different religions, etc... I understand that most of these magazines have taken a turn to fashion but to be quite honest, I would like to see a women's magazine that doesn't have to describe itself as feminist if it talks about more than sex, fashion and gossip. Lesbian magazines such as Curve don't do much better, advertising sex tips, shopping and celebrity interviews. While their snips on politics and social issues are nice, I would love to hear about the news, culture and art. What is it about women's magazines and what image are we sending to our youth? Whether you are reading Cosmo or Curve as a straight or queer identified woman, are your needs really being fulfilled when you open up that magazine? What happened to a magazine for women's needs instead of the needs and news of others?

Wrap up

For my tracking topics assignment I ended up tracking Michael Warner. Initially I wasn't really stoked about having an author to track but such is life. Turns out I am really glad I ended up with Warner. He is a fascinating person and I enjoyed reading his work. I have had several classes in the past in which I was required to complete annotated bibliography; I found this to be the most challenging. Prior to the assignment I had never heard of Michael Warner nor was I familiar with Queer Theory. Since reading several of his articles and parts of his book I feel I have a much better grasp of the material. So in that regard the assignment was positive. Out of all the assignments we worked on over the course of the semester this was my least favorite and I think the big reason for that was that I found it difficult to fully engage with his writing. Not because of his writing style, that I really enjoyed. It was due more to my lack of knowledge base when it comes to Queer Theory. Regardless of that I felt that by the end I had gained at least a little understanding. The part of the reading that I enjoyed most which I think is really a key piece to his arguments is his thoughts on marriage and the queer fight for it. I loved his ideas and agreed one hundred percent.
In terms of the rest of the course in regard to Twitter and Blogging, I am still not sold on Twitter. It was really interesting to read the dialog between the rest of my classmates but I didn't ever feel like I had anything to contribute to the conversation, much like how I felt through the whole course. I found that even though I was keeping up with the readings, I wasn't able to really understand a majority of it. Perhaps, that is the point though. We touched on that in class last week. Perhaps I should just learn to accept the fact that all questions don't necessarily need to be answered. In my academic mind that is a difficult concept to grasp. The blogging was great once I got the hang of it. I especially liked the Diablog and Mash-up assignments. It was a really low key way to engage with other members of the class while simultaneously engaging more deeply with our reading materials. I at first was a little hesitant but after the first couple of weeks I was rolling right along. I do appreciate the slower pace at the beginning of the semester. It was hugely helpful in my development as a blogger. All in all, I enjoyed this course and although I felt extremely unprepared for it I feel that I am leaving with a whole new perspective...which is fantastic.


This is the summary of the class that we were supposed to do that I forgot about until just now!

When I first started the class I thought it'd be pretty easy because there weren't any papers or stuff like that... but I was totally wrong.

It took me awhile to get used to the online part of the class (basically the whole thing) but it was good to have a physical classroom to have to go to as well so I couldn't just blow it off as something that didn't really matter. I feel like I'm now more prepared to take a class fully online now maybe...

Once I became more accustomed to the online components of the class it was really fun and extremely helpful to have the blog available as a space to figure out what we were talking about in class. It's a formal enough venue to be academic and helpful but it's informal enough to not be intimidating. It's nice to be able to say things and ask questions and being able to think about them and get them just right before you have to publish it... it helped me kind of prepare myself to say things in class because I could gather my thoughts on the blog and then be a bit more literate about stuff in class.

Having a tracking topic was really interesting. I was helpful to me because it help my understand Judith Butler a little bit better. She's still pretty confusing to me, but after having read her essays for class and having done research on her for my tracking topic I understand what she's trying to say a little bit better. In the beginning of the class I really had no idea how to grasp the kinds of theories she was talking about but now I think I can get a little bit more of a handle on it.

I think the readings got to be a little much at times but I think they were all really important to discuss because they all had a kind of different perspective on "queering" and what it means to be "queer." I think that our in class discussions of the readings really helped me understand them better than I would've otherwise and I'm glad that it was informal enough so I could learn from both Sarah and my other classmates.


I really enjoyed doing the tracking term assignment and reading everyone else's posts. I think it's a wonderful project for people to do and for people to learn how to connect things that might not be very obviously connected. I have actually wanted to do a little research on my topic before I entered into this class but I was never given the option (nor the free time!) to do so until we were assigned this project. What I found really interesting (and also something I learned) was that BDSM is a form of feminism because women are choosing to be in this lifestyle and feminism, to me, means that it's a woman's right to choose what she wants to do and make her own decisions. I used to think that feminism was rejecting the social norms for women but after reading one of my sources I've since changed my mind to the notion that feminism means a woman's right to choose. I was also very interested in seeing how social medias (like Facebook) can influence opinions and openness about BDSM in both positive and negative ways. To be honest I don't think that radical sex has one set definition for all individuals. I believe that each individual person has their own ideas and definitions about what radical sex is but I suppose if someone from the Webster Dictionary company came up to me and asked for my definition of it I would have to say that: Radical sex is a non-normative act within society that often comes with judgment.

I had a great time interacting through the blog but I didn't enjoy twitter that much. Twitter was just something I used to post something that was due and to read queries. However, I loved reading everyone's posts and all the information and opinions they gave on the blog. I really liked the queer this! assignments and the queries. It was interesting to see all the things that we could query and engage with other thoughts and questions related to outside events. Although the direct engagements weren't my favorite they did help me understand the readings more and sort out my feelings for each reading and what I thought about them. I think the diablogs helped the most with engaging with other students because it was a group oriented projected and it was helpful to talk to other students within our groups about what we got from the reading and what we didn't understand and then be able to talk to the whole class about it.

I think it would have been more helpful (and it would have also better prepared us) if we were notified in some way that we needed to use twitter and the blog before the first day of class so that we could have started on that a little earlier. I think that is we would have been able to start earlier then we would have had an extra day or two to save for more discussion on more difficult articles such as Arondekar and Butler.

Breakfast with Scot

I am going about this direct engagement a lot differently than my previous ones. funnily enough, while reading the first few chapters of Ahmed's promise of happiness, i also found myself watching the movie Breakfast with Scot, a film based around the lives of two gay men and the disruption of their lives when they become parents. this direct engagement is not on one reading but rather on Ahmed's chapters entitled Feminist Killjoys and Unhappy Queers. I will summarize what I was able to get out of Ahmed's work and compare both the similarities and differences that i found in Breakfast with Scot. In both Feminist Killjoys and Unhappy Queers, Ahmed analyzes happiness in relation to societal roles i.e: as a woman/queer person how is your role in society dominated or conceived by happiness? However, I would like to examine the role of the child. For Ahmed, the role of the child is to take on the parent's happiness or, to have a child is the culmination of one's happy marriage. Within a heteronormative society, exists happiness scripts which are ultimately gendered scripts that detail how one's place in society dis/allows for constructed happiness. For example, as a woman one must find a husband and get married to fulfill the parent's happiness. Then, after marriage, one must consummate this happiness by having a child of one's own-that child then takes on the role of fulfilling that parent's happiness and so on. Children then are the embodiment and bringers of happiness. Ahmed goes on to conclude that "if queers have the approximate signs of happiness in order to be recognized, then they might have to minimize the signs of queerness" (94) and furthermore that "in being acceptable, you must become acceptable to a world that has already decided what is acceptable" (105). The movie Breakfast with Scot both plays for and against Ahmed's argument within a few crucial points: gendered roles assumed by either parent, the homosexual nature of both men and the disruption of their lives when taking on a child. When Eric, an ex professional hockey player turned sports reporter and his parter Sam, a lawyer, become parents to a very flamboyant eleven year old (Scot) their lives are turned upside down. Both men live a closeted happy life in the suburbs and spend a great deal of time trying to conceal their lives in the way they talk, act, dress and interact with others. Everything about their appearance and mannerisms would suggest a heterosexual life until Scot and his "desire to be a queen" turn their life around. In the end however, Billy (scot's father who, ironically is straight but perceived as a metrosexual) relinquishes his rights to Scot and Eric and Sam take custody thus becoming a happy family but against the acceptable standards placed by the societies in which they have incorporated themselves. -Analyze their life in the suburb minus the want of a child-How are they approximating happiness? -How do Eric and Sam take on gendered roles or not? How does Scot's gender bending play into this? -How is their family happy before and after Scot?

Chapter 3: Diablog Response Post #2

Sarah Ahmed seems to use example of unhappy queers that are trying to fit the heteronormative standards. In If These Walls Could Talk, Fran and Val want to have a child. They feel the need to blend in with other mothers and families, and I think that sometimes they are more concerned on how something will appear to others in the outside world, rather than inside of themselves and each other. Then we watched that those It Gets Better videos with the 2 gay men and the one gay girl, and it really made me think how lucky I have it, because it could always be worse. The standards will always be the same, but I may not have been the person I am today if I didn't have the support of my friends and family. Would those standards appear more intense? Would I want to conform to those hetero standards more? It's amazing the influence people or society can have on an individual. I want to know who invented the standards of a perceived "normal" life. Why can't we live in a world without any standards on how to live an ideal happy life?

Direct Eng. #3 - Sedgwick


Eve Sedgwick - How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: War on Effeminate Boys

I was glad to be reading this article because I felt like it was one of the articles that I could relate with better than others this semester. Being my future career is related to children in their younger years. This article focused much of its attention on gay boys and stepped back from female youngsters.

The author spent time discussing other's views on gender vs. sexuality. After reading this article I found a few different quotes from within the journal that seemed to stand out more than others.

"assuming that anyone, male or female, who desires a man much by definition be feminine and that anyone, male or female, who desires a woman must be the same token be masculine."
"a boy can come only in the form of masculinity, given that masculinity can be conferred only by men, and given that femininity in a person with a penis can represent nothing but deficit and disorder..."

These are not all the author's opinions, they come from GSM-3, Friedman, and others' books/journals.
Sedgwick argues that there are dangers in these assumptions between culture and nature and some "desire that gay people not be" gay.

In this world, there is a need for gays, just as there is a need for straight people. Why is it that feminine boys are more frowned upon than masculine girls?!

Final Wrap-Up

FINAL WRAP-UP due Dec 14th
Tracking the term intimacy has been very interesting and has broadened my definition of the term. When applied to a homosexual community I noticed that often in the broader sense of the term it is regarded as negative. In our society there is a negative connotation when it comes to gay intimacy. I found that in popular view it seems that in a heteronormative world intimacy means sexual intimacy especially when applied to homosexual couples and relationships. It is largely seen that when gay people are intimate it only means that they have sex. In one of my sources I viewed a television show called "What Would You Do?" where gay couples held hands and kissed in public and the reactions of people passing were recorded and then later interviewed. The majority of the people passing reacted in shock and began and continued to stare either in curiosity or disgust.
I also included a source where a gay man is talking about his definition of intimacy. He has a theory that gay men do not date they just have sex. He believes that this is a problem since every man he "dates" just wants to have sex but he wants the intimacy of the relationship. For him this means talking, sharing, spending time together and loving each other. It is indicated by his clip that he thinks that the gay community has intertwined the term intimacy with a purely sexual application and that is should stop because it is preventing real relationships to form in the gay community.
I think that after researching this term I have come to the conclusion that the actual word 'intimacy' has different meanings for different people. It is important for the individuals within the couple to define it together. Although being intimate often includes a sexual aspect it does not always center around it. As we move forward in society I think that the term will change in accordance with the representation of intimacy in popular culture. Right now gay couples being shown in a positive light has not really broken mainstream media. Some shows include gay couples having healthy intimate relationships but not all. There is still a large percentage of media that encourages discrimination among the gay community.
I did not get that much out of my twitter experience because I was not familiar with it. I think the class would have been fine without it. Using the blog was difficult and I still do not know how to post a link. I liked that there were no quizzes or formal papers. I think that it is encouraging to students to participate when the writing assignments do not have to be formal. I liked that I could just post something to the blog without having to write a formal paper. The assignments were helpful I think. I did not do every reading but was able to participate in class and understand what was going on and being discussed. The blog was helpful in engaging with other students and exploring interpretations. I was able to engage in queering our class and queering the academy. Thanks to my interactions with other students I now know what queering means.
My advice for an instructor teaching this class is to make sure no student is left behind in understanding the main ideas of the class. I wish I would have been more familiar with using a blog and twitter before coming into the class. I think the more a student is savvy with blogs the more he or she will be prone to engaging critically. I also wish that I would have had more feedback on grades. Overall I thought that the class was beneficial and fun.


For this entry I decided to revisit one of my earlier posts. It was one of the first I made for the semester so I was really, really new at the whole "blogging" thing.
I wrote about how when I walked around my dorm and everyone was getting to know everyone else I heard the questions like "Do you think he's gay?" "Is she a lesbian? I can't tell" a lot. I just thought it was interesting that everyone was questioning everyone else so much.
Now that we've all been living in the same building for a semester most everyone knows at least a little bit about everyone else, so you hear the questions a lot less. Sometimes it still comes up though...

I think that although it may be rude to be that inquisitive about someone's life when you don't even know them, it's also really interesting and (I think) kind of a cool trait about the human race. We are, without a doubt, one of the most interesting races to date. Our mental process allows us to do things and think about things that other species would never do... so it makes sense that other humans would be interested in what other humans do.
I think there's possibly two reasons for those kind of questions. One is that people are just being nosy for the sake of being rude and wanting to know everything about everyone else, and the other reason is possibly that people are simply curious and want to know other people better. In today's world, it seems like your sexual orientation is a big part of your personality and regardless of that being true or not, I think a lot of people consider it to be a pretty important thing to know about a person.

I think this class taught me that it's ok to question things and be curious, but that it's also ok to not know. I think that I'm going to try to teach others that it's not really as big a deal that everyone seems to make it.

Queery Response!

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I think that it definitely depends on which social network you're using. Some are infinitely better than others.

That aside however, I think it's always dangerous to put yourself out on online sites. Some people can be really supportive and others can be downright awful, just like in reality. However, unlike in reality, there's a higher chance of someone being uncontrollable because there really isn't a chance of having to deal with the consequences of what you do online.

The most obvious danger of talking about your sexual identity online is that someone will tear you apart mercilessly simply because they don't know you, they don't think of you as a real person, and they have pretty much no way of knowing how what they say affects you because they won't see you in "real life." And I highly doubt that they care about how you're going to take whatever they're saying. There's a reason we hear about so many suicides due to online networking: people are a lot more heartless when you're not dealing with face-to-face communication. It's a lot easier to write "you stupid w****, worthless piece of...." than it is to say it. You don't have to deal with the yelling, the tears, the overall sadness that your causing someone else. In fact, you don't even have to think of them as a real person, they're just an alias online. For all you know, it could be a computer program you're talking to... and those don't have feelings so hell, it's cool if you beat them down, right? (...No.)

So yes, I do think it's more dangerous than reality. But I also think that there are pros to having online support systems to turn to when real life and our conservative society lets you down. I just think that it's important to be smart about it, and always be cautious.


I think the day of leading the class went really well.
Breaking up into two groups was probably one of the best decisions, if mainly because it's easier to address a group that's smaller and more focused than a large one. It's also more comfortable, I think, for people to talk in a smaller, closer knit group, than a larger one.
The happiness group kind of focused on Ahmed's ideas of happiness, her argument for what is happiness and how it's possibly a duty, and then our conversation kind of turned into how symbols in our society kind of are determined to be the causes of happiness. For example, we talked about marriage and how there's a lot of heteronormativity in that institution and what it means that queers can't get married. We also talked about the image of the family a lot and how that can be made into a heteronormative situation and how it can also be queered. One person brought up the fact that, although he's gay, one of his goals in life is to raise kids with his partner, and how that, to him, would be happiness, even though there isn't necessarily a woman involved in the raising of the children.
We also discussed the clips a little bit and how children are almost always looked upon as an image of happiness. Their innocence is generally construed into a happiness ideal and people talk about how sometimes they wish they were little again so they could be happy.
When we came together to talk in a bigger group we discussed what the pros and cons were of Ahmed using a lot of pop culture references to get her ideas and theories across to her audience. I thought that her use of examples was really helpful in picturing some of the ideas and applying them to my everyday, but others thought that it was maybe a little bit too laid out. The concepts Ahmed discussed in her book weren't that incredibly complicated or too complex to easily understand so maybe the using as many examples as she did was unnecessary. I do think that it's a good idea though and I think that having more examples to apply the theories in other readings to would've been helpful in understanding them, especially some of Butler's theories.

Query Response #3

These questions from Mary have been with us all semester, so I think it's time to address them in a bit more scattered detail...

How have inter-web interactions queered the time and space of qd2010?

Favorite Queering Desire 2010 Queered inter-web interactions:

  • Getting to know classmates by their avatars, tracking topics, writing styles, blogging layouts etc. better than most of their names/faces/voices/backgrounds/in-class contributions. (Sorry folks, my memory is full.)

  • Catching 12 am - 6 am blog/Twitter traffic.

  • Accomplishing group work (for grades!) and cultivating deeper understanding via tweets, both mobile [work(s), bus, couch, class, car, Morris, bathroom, office, Augsburg] and not.

  • Falling in love with Twitter, with Mary.

  • Failing to finish assignments; still attending class. (This in particular feels like queering what class space and time mean and look like, as well as what learning might represent in opposition to /beside /against "getting things done.")

  • Arranging unintentional Twitter streams (from the class feed) which-- sleepless, drunk, or otherwise-- make a strange lot of sense.

  • Making videos in my boxers, just like a pro news anchor.

  • Creating back-back-channel class discussions through texts, Twitter direct messages, Facebook walls and chats, face-to-face passings.

  • Hanging out with chromeswan and Ava to blog in solidarity.

  • Having a choice audience, whenever, for the everyday oddities of gender and sexuality.

How has this queering disrupted (my? your? our?) personal integrity/ethics?

It's pretty simple, I suppose. While working to be transparent, honest, or truthful, we have both performed elaborate virtual selves and seen great intimacy in how we can be in relation to each others' lives and thought processes. We have distanced, but also drawn closer, in a way. In this sense the personal has been thoroughly disturbed, perhaps leaving us to examine a collective integrity/ethics of opening space.

Me Final Wrap-Up

I think I am the only person in this class who get to create his own tracking topic. And this is what is so great about this class, at the beginning of this semester I took this class without a clue of what sexuality and queering is, all I know is that I am in search of my identity and I want to understand more on GLBT study during my time here. I start off by tracking the topic feminism / queer, but apparently I was not on topic due to my lack of understanding of the topic, I end up focusing on just the word queer. I still personally think that there are a lot more that I do not understand and a lot of time the things that I have said might be out of topic. But due to the flexibility of this class I was suggested that to track on topic of "Queering Asia" or more precisely "Queering Malaysia"

I have realized that I have grown a lot while doing each annotated bibliography, that it have not only served me academically but also personally. I started off talking about how the society in Malaysia perceive homosexuality through a short story, and also the sharing of a few true stories that were written in a website which pretty much portrayed the real Malaysian society towards the queer community. By the way it is interesting that when I read back on the article that I have shared on my first annotated bibliography which have this quote that very much resonates which Sara Ahmed's book "The Promise of Happiness", that "If your happiness depends on my unhappiness, then I will no longer trust your judgment. I will not live my life according to what someone else thinks is a sin for him." The author was saying that if the society's happiness is dependant on his unhappiness which is to accept the norm and to pretend to live a heterosexual live , the he can and should no longer trust their judgment. To sum up my first Annotated Bibliography, it helps me understand how the media and the society acted and suppressed the queer community.

Thus, in my second annotated bibliography, I start to think about why is the situation being so. Besides this also coincide with the conference that was being held which inspired even more to understand more about the situation in Malaysia and to queer about it. During my digging I have come across a lot of videos and articles of ongoing queer discourse but still there are no articles written by a lot of academia on this topic and on the country. I have come to understand how the government, the education and etc affect the mindset of the citizens. How the silencing of sensitive topics have not open the mind of the people and how the silencing work without the citizen to even realized it cause it is so perfect. Perfect silencing. I have also learned about the space that were created by the GLBTQ community in Malaysia which helps the discourse, the internet and the creative art. As these two spaces somehow is not very much influence by the rigidity of government. Consider how fluid an art can be interpret and how the virtual is not very real but can affect the real world.

My experience of blogging and twittering have help me a lot in queering. I get to explore whatever that is out there and the freedom of being able to explore just open me up to so much more knowledge, instead of restricted to what the lecturer is trying to convey to us. I guess what I am trying to say is that I get to learned more through my own way but still under the guidance of lecturer. I have the same point of view with others on twitter and the diablog have helped me a lot in engaging in our reading every week. Besides, engaging through blog and twitter mean that I get to engage with our study anytime, anywhere (as long as there's a wifi connection) without the restriction of time.

Advice for future student would be don't be afraid to venture out into the virtual world, it is borderless and try not to restrict yourself in the understanding like how the geographical boundary have set for you.

Terima Kasih! (Thank you!)


For this assignment I wanted to revisit my first Direct Engagement with Julie Rak's article "The Digital Queer". My initial reaction was agreement with the author's question of whether or not there was such a thing as a queer space. Upon further reflection though I think I am perhaps a bit more cautious when making that statement. I believe there is in fact a space for the queer community to gather and discuss the varying aspects within the community, so that piece hasn't changed. The part that I am a bit more reluctant to agree to is the level of safety that we feel when we are in that space. Throughout the semester we have seen countless examples of technology being used carelessly. Because of what many people have described as "just pranks taken to far" countless lives have been torn apart. We have spent time discussing the idea of queer spaces and room to breathe. I don't believe we have achieved that yet. I don't believe there is a truly safe space yet. It is amazing that we now have so many ways of expressing ourselves and that we can do so with the knowledge that there will always be someone out there that is or has felt the way that we are feeling. The internet has provided us with a place that makes those people more easily accessible to us. That accessibility goes both ways however and I think at this point we still must take caution.
I liked this assignment. I think it is interesting to go back and read our previous thoughts on a topic. I think I have come a long way from my very first blog entry. My thoughts and feelings on queer theory have most certainly evolved and it was sort of fun to go back and see how much they have changed.

Query Responce

Question: Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

In some ways I believe that online bullying can be worse than offline/in-person bullying.

Offline bullying has been around for years and includes physical abuse and mental, emotional, phycological abuse to another. While offline bullying is horrible and should not be condoned, online bullying can potentially follow someone everywhere as we live in this technologically-driven world.

Online bullying may be worse because bulliers know that they can remain anonymous, thus possibly saying even worse things than they would in person. Online bullys may also feel like their identity won't be know, so they can't get in trouble for the things they say, so they may use harsher words.
The online world is so much a part of peoples lives these days that even when someone thinks they're safe in their home, they can still be abused by others that aren't near because of the online community.

It's bad enough when a child, teen, or adult doesn't feel safe/comfortable in their school, work environment, or public - it becomes more devistating when all parts of their world, public and home life are becoming effected by bullying.
Online bullying, I believe, adds more frustation to bullying that's most likely already occuring else-where.

In this generation, it may be harder to distance yourself from abusers than in the past.

Finally. Wrapping. It. Up.

Considering that this was (is?) my first semester at the U, I'm going to do my very best to separate my general reactions to this semester from those specifically pertaining to our class. I also have a lot going through my head given the two research papers I am working on simultaneously for other classes, but I think that's mostly unavoidable.

My experiences with tracking the topic of 'space' this semester has been good overall. The process of researching for and writing my tracking topic assignments allowed me to look at space from a couple different perspectives, namely media space, bathroom space, and school space. I managed to learn quite a bit and expose myself to sources I can't imagine I would have encountered had I not been working on this project. My first two bibliography focussed primarily on space that has been made for queers (specifically those who identify as sexually or gender transgressive). My main insight here is that queer space/space for queers is limited. My most recent bibliography takes a look at examples of the act queering space. My Mash-Up entry gives some definitions of 'queering' which I utilize in this last assignment. I have been asked to give a definition of space... I think my analysis here gets at a couple different definitions of space and ways to engage with it from a queer point of view: space for queers, queering space, queer space. I have dealt mostly with physical space (as compared to theoretical space), but there are some more abstract understandings of space inherent in my assignments (power, marginalization, etc.).

Now on to reflecting on/reacting to engagement on the blog and Twitter. Overall, I have had fun posting on the blog and interacting with Twitter. I have no doubt that I will keep up with my Twitter account. It has been a great way to share information and little pieces of my life with the class, friends, and family. There are a couple of us in the class that have engaged more actively with the blog and Twitter (I would include myself in this category, especially at the beginning of the semester). I have enjoyed reading and interacting with other student's blog posts and tweets. In traditional classroom dynamics, we don't get an opportunity to see others students' work enough. It feels very productive to be able to see where other people are at with the material and learn from each other. I have enjoyed most of our assignments and I have found them to be quite helpful in furthering my understanding of queer theory/desire. Some were more challenging and time-consuming than others, but all felt worthwhile.

I shared in class on a couple of occasions that I am becoming more comfortable with queering my academic life. I have felt frustrated on numerous occasions with feeling like I don't really understand what we're reading; that I couldn't give you an outline of what I've read or summarize it. I am starting to feel okay with this. I think the questions that we have brought up in class are some very important ones. I would agree with jaropenerkate here that "I'm okay ending with questions." Or, at the very least, I am more okay with it now than I was at the beginning of the semester.


Tracking Term/Bib. #3

Tracking Topic #3

Source #1Carle, Caitlin. (2006). Cherrie Moraga & "The Welder".

I understand that 'wiki' sources are not always accepted because they may be lacking in accuracy; but I looked over this page and everything seemed to be reasonable and informational. I was just clicking around online, trying to find Cherrie Moraga information I hadn't already looked at, and I came upon this site. I was drawn into this site because of the italicized quote at the top:

"Sometimes a breakdown can be the beginning of a kind of breakthrough, a way of living in advance through a trauma that prepares you for a future of radical transformation."

And the great black and white picture of Cherrie below this quote. So I read on...
As in most of the sources I found about Cherrie, most describe her as a "mixed-race Chicana lesbian" who have helped and moved other for decades through her leadership and movements in writing about identity. Identity is relatable as someone else in our course is tracking that topic.

Cherrie was born in 1952 to a white (Irish) father and a Mexican mother. Cherrie's writing has a lot to do with her mother - as she noticed growing up that her mother seemed lonely and unhappy with her marriage. This article also says that her mother refused to teach her and her siblings Spanish, in a way to Americanize them - I'm not sure if this is true? I hadn't read this in any other article I've read about Cherrie, and plan on digging further into finding the answer. This disidentification with her ethnicity/identity is said to have helped her develop such confessional writings.

The article then goes on to explain on family dynamics, father, mother, and identity are all themes that can be found in her writing. The very end of the article lists numerous awards Cherrie has received, and then lists multiple sights and related sources. Here are two books of Cherrie's that the article recommends reading:

Moraga, Cherríe & Anzaldua, Gloria. This Bridge Called My Back. New York: Kitchen Table, 1983.

Moraga, Cherríe. Loving in the War Years. New York: South End Press, 1983.

Source #2Gilley, Amy. (2002). Moraga, Cherrie (1952).

In some support from the last article, this article as well hints to language and identity. "Moraga claims that she lacked knowledge and language to express herself as a Chicana until she came out as a lesbian."Early on she found that mostly only white women were represented in lesbian writings. Within the women's movement she found racism and oppression. I was surprised to find that in 1984 the Minneapolis women's theater preformed Cherrie's drama "Giving Up the Ghost". Her aim was to "break the silences surrounding women's sexuality, Chinaca oppression, and lesbian invisibility."

At the bottom of the page, there are many links to other related topics and entries.

Source #3Doyle, Mar. (2004). Self-Validation and Social Acceptance.

This journal breaks down Cherrie Moraga's "Breakdown of the Bicultural Mind". The author says in this particular writing of Cherrie's reinforces that one must validate themselves before one can be supported and confirmed by others. The author claims that Moraga learned that she must "define herself by her own measures, rather than by the opinions and statistics of those around her."

The author leaves us with this additional link:

This concludes my final tracking topic of Cherrie Moraga

Query Response #3

sara query.tif

Okay, so this question wasn't necessarily posed as a query, but I'm going to take it on regardless. Sara wrote this during her live tweet/note taking on the diablogue presentation/discussion for the Kincaid chapter we read. I am interested in moving these questions outside of the specific issue of child molestation and look at it how it might be applied to numerous (if not all) experiences of shame/shameful experiences.

I recently read Linda Alcoff's article, "The Problem of Speaking for Others" for my Feminist Thought and Theory class. We had a long discussion in class about it as well and we argued for and against speaking on behalf of others. Alcoff's article and our discussion in class did not address the question of shame, but I would like to venture to make some inferences. Alcoff focusses on the distinctions between speaking for/speaking of/speaking to in the article and ends it by making some suggestions for how to effectively speak to others while openly acknowledging the myriad problems that might accompany that act (which I found to be very helpful and can be applied here).

I would say that telling someone's story (especially a shameful one) carries a lot of weight. Alcoff tells us that the speaker's social location can never be truly separated from the message in the audience's interpretation. For me, this implies that a shameful story could loose some of its significance/impact if shared by someone from a position of privilege. I imagine that some of the affect that comes along with shame might be lost as well, unless the speaker had had a similarexperience and could convey that shame in their telling of the story. Perhaps we are suggesting here that the story should be shared without shame? I think shame should absolutely be present in the sharing of the story if the experience itself was shame-producing.

So far, I have essentially ignored the first part of this query which addresses why the original experience-er cannot share the shameful experience themselves. This is a much harder question to answer because there are so many factors that could influence why it the person cannot share their story. Of course, I think there are many instances in which the person can share their story if they are given a safe place to do so. I think this is absolutely preferable over having someone share the story on one's behalf because it decreases the potential losses.

One last thought: These answers are really difficult to answer on a very broad scale, right? Each speech act is perceived differently depending on the message, location of the speaker, the space in which it is spoken, and the location of the audience. However, I would argue that if we had to choose between loosing some of the impact in someone speaking on behalf of another or loosing the story entirely, we should choose the former.

Annotated Bib #3

For my third Annotated Bibliography I would like to start of with my side reading about "Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan" by Mark J McLelland, especially on the topic of "Beautiful Boys in Women's Comic". I have to admit that I have a hard time reading this article, not that it is very shakespear-ish but I have hard time thinking about what is being brought up.


He start of by mentioning about women's sexuality, that women in Japan are taught that their gender destines them for motherhood and women who reject this association are not considered respectable. Besides he also mentioned that the Japanese media are on the offensive against young women's expression of sexuality. Even though there was movement of women's liberation which happens in early 1970-s but nothing much was gained from such movement until today. He argues that this is due to the manipulation of the media, that when male discourse attempts to contain feminist challenge, of reducing the argument of 'sexual' or dismissing the women activists as overly emotional and hysterical. Furthermore she also mentioned that a Japanese feminist have brought up that women in Japan still lacked a language or a discourse in which they could articulate their own sexual needs and desires publicly. He also mentioned about the heterosexual manga, the erotic manga, whereby women is usually victimized and the men are usually the aggressive sexual animal. And this is very much different from the shonen'ai fiction which is the homosexual manga whereby men are portrayed to be effeminate, long limbs, long hair and beautiful. Besides, the ending of shonen'ai is different from their heterosexual manga where by the ending is usually tragic because of the cruel and intrusive demands of an uncompromising outside world, the norm.

He started to dig into the shonen'ai fiction by bringing up the fact that the genre is usually characterizes by its anto-reaism whereby the stories are usually set in an ill-defined 'other' places like Europe or America. In addition the story also take place in a pre-political, existing in a world untouched by sexual or gender politics, whereby the men who are in the comic does not have to search for their identity of whom they love. But while I was reading this I felt weird about the phenomenon as it seems like the creation of the homoerotic fiction is for the pleasure of the heterosexual desire, like the shonen'ai fiction is targeting the women reader while the rezubian fiction which is describing women who had sex with women for the gratification of male gaze. It's like heteronormative lens being pun through a homonormative lense. The reverse of what we usually talked about. I am also interested and confused by how queer the society of Japan is when she brought up the practice of rezupurei (lesbian play) which refers not to two women but to a biological women and a cross-dressed man, or to two cross-dressed men engaged in a sexual interaction. It is interesting to see how gender and sexuality is queered in the Japanese society in terms of their sexual practice and manga whereby the society is so constrict with the definition of sex and gender.

It Gets Better in Malaysia
I have come across a recent launch of it gets better campaign or making of short films.
She is the first to make the video and inspired the "It Gets Better in Malaysia" project. And of course her making of the video is also inspired by Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project.

When Hainan meets Teochew
I have also stumble upon a movie which is going to be release

And this particular teaser I think is good subject for us to queer about...

Especially when she said that seeing people like us being in a relationship is kind of repulsive. Well the director also mentioned that this is supposed to be an unromantic comedy or quote "anti-romantic comedy"

Well the video below I just think it is funny and hopefully will help everyone of you who are stressed up in study to unwind or put a smile on you guy... I hope the humor works... :)

Revisiting Butler's Courageous Refusal

For this assignment, I am revisiting, revising, and rethinking my first direct engagement entry on Judith Butler's refusal of the Civil Courage award offered to her by Berlin's Christopher Street Day (CSD) organization. My entry focusses on summarizing the event and its implications. My own reaction is summed up in one sentence at the end of the entry: "I would argue that declining the award and very publicly utilizing her power as a celebrity to disagree with the CSD is an act of great courage."

For the purposes of this assignment, I am most interested in adding some insights to my initial evaluation of Butler's refusal that I left out of my first entry (most of which I have gained over the course of the semester). My summary of the event is pretty spot on and I think that my evaluation of its implications for an intersectional approach to addressing marginality and oppression is accurate. Our challenging of identity politics in class has reiterated for me the need to address numerous causes of oppression simultaneously. Butler's refusal of the award serves to subvert the CSD's anti-Muslim sentiments; implying that we cannot ask for the advancement of queers while bashing other marginalized groups.

One of the most critical insights that I would like to add here comes from out discussions of globalization, postcolonialism, and transnationalism (also from the big ol' conference). I am interested in the implications on a transnational political movement of giving a German-based award to an American-based theorist. One of the panelists at the conference brought up the incident as being a catalyst for German activism and as an example of transnational influence on national politics. How might Butler stand in as agent of neo-colonialism?

Revisiting this entry has been an insightful experience for me. Having this assignment got me to go back and look through some of my past entries and it was fun to see how they have visually evolved over the semester. I have also noticed which entries I clearly put some more work into than others. My first direct engagement was pretty short and didn't include many questions or personal reactions. I am glad to have had an opportunity to go a little bit more in depth into the response (however rushed it might be, given the pile of work for other classes that is staring me down).

Just for fun:
Yer Doing It.jpg

Re-Mix/Dux/Visit Virtual Disruption

I think it's this reading that serve as the introductory to start queering. I revisit the article again and realized that I have understand more from what I have learned from the class and most importantly from my fellow course mate.

When I read through my first entry about this reading engagement I realized that all I talked about is just Education and how it facilitate the changing of the heteronormative society. But instead this article very much touch on the issue of cyber space, on how it can used to facilitate in the change.

I agree with what she is saying on page 3 that we should not see the "virtual" and the "real" as two separate entities. This just reminds me of what I have wrote on my (S)mashed Bibliography and relate to it. I mean the virtual would not exist with the existence of the real as it is created by the real for the purpose of what the real wanted it to be, may it be of pleasure, entertainment, politics, personal, economics... It is an extended space that is created for ideas, for the mind to live. Besides, some country where discourse of certain issues are silenced, the virtual world provided a space for the discourse but since their "real" are not allow to exist in the "real" space they have to move to another real space in order for the virtual space to exist.

While reading at page 5, when she is talking about how gay people are portrayed in the media and creating the "acceptance" of the heterosexual society, the convey of the idea have to be translate heteronormatively so that it can be understand. For example at page 4, where she was mentioning about a scene in American Wedding, whereby Bear, a gay club goer were assured his masculinity through his "management of girls" and this image sort of brought the idea of letting the straight knows that he is still somehow similar to them. A connection to the assumed normative world must be made in order for the image to be acceptable. Back to page 5, where she mentioned about how television programmes have normalized and fictionalized high-class gay and lesbian culture, this seems to be pretty much talked about in our class. That a lot of gay or lesbian culture are being shown through people with certain privilege like whiteness, financially and etc... This makes me think that it excluded a lot of things from the circle, like the bears, people of colour or people of other sexual practices, and due to this phenomenon anything that is queer of the "norm-queer" circle are usually considered as fetishes.

While on page 7, at the ending of the page where she mentioned about identity negotiation when one is in the virtual world, and the work of negotiation might not work out well for people who does not confirm with the understanding of another of how an identity should be perceived. I would like to think that one usually "enter" the virtual world as a non-identity body and they get to define and redefine them as time goes by. That the virtual world provide the freedom of defining identity, one can even have different identity at the same time. The pro of this is that it helps in self identification but the cons is when it is abused by people it can do harm to another verbally and psychologically. Like those verbal assault that have been reported and the teen suicide.

In page 10, she also mentioned that the protection of "innocent" in children is dangerous. Or maybe I should say that the maintenance of innocence, that is it is censorship, that is the total forbid of discussion of sexuality is harmful. And that the adult, the protector of innocence should try to let the innocent understand about it, as they might one day grow out from their innocence.

Well these are the new thoughts or perceptions that I have got from reading the article again at the end of this semester with all of what I have learned this semester.

My Choice: RE#4

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"Well no matter what as long as you are happy then I am happy..." this is actually a part of a conversation that I have with my best friend a while ago when I asked her what she think about me living a life of being truthful to myself, of understanding and accepting my sexuality. Her response to that resonates very much with the book that we are reading "The Promise of Happiness"

From what she said, I sort of have the duty for being happy cause I am given the responsibility for her happiness. That my cause of happiness will make her happy. But that conversation makes me feels that she is not happy for who I am but because of my happiness. That she does not share my cause of happiness and she just want the result of my happiness. Somehow saying that "I just want you to be happy". But I want her to be happy for me because of who I am and this not happy with the fact that she is not happy with the reason that I want her to be happy. And this I am not happy. But she is happy as I wanted to protect her happiness, as I was given the responsibility for her happiness. So I have to agree with her cause of happiness and still pursue my cause of happiness by acknowledging that she does not shared my cause of happiness.

I guess this very much show what is written by Sara Ahmed that "Happiness is not just how subjects speaks of their own desire and duty but also what they want to give and receive from others."

Furthermore I also try to see this from her point of view. I am thinking that she wanted to be happy for me cause I am going to be happy if she is happy. But at the same time she might not understand my cause of happiness, that is to live a queer life. To not fit into her script of happiness, thus she choose to seek for the similarity or the shared object of happiness. The similarity of the hetero-happy-script and the homo-happy-script. Or maybe to take the easy way out of achieving happiness, that is to ignore the object of happiness for each party and just to focus on the result of happiness.

I like what movieofmyself mentioned in the class as well about gay people having a family and children. I personally think that the constitution of family is somehow the symbol of happiness, the ultimate object of happiness, the result of love which also leads to happiness. But a family which is just a couple does not lead to happiness, it needs to build upon the object of happiness, which is the kids, the money, the house, all the privileges that assist life, that one is supposed to bring in to a family to have a happy family. But being a homosexual couple means that it is a non-reproductive family, because of this it makes up unhappy queer because reproductive nature is a heterosexual privilege. So by adopting kids somehow serve as a loop hole of giving them the privilege of obtaining happiness.

I would also like to bring in something that is mentioned by Ahmed, "There is no doubt that it is hard to separate images of the good life from the historic privileging of heterosexual conduct, as expressed in romantic love and coupledom, as well as in the idealization of domestic privacy."

Query Response

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Question: Why has is become "hard" to tell if someone's gay or not?
I just thought it was interesting that I've heard it being talked about so much.
What do you guys think?

I think that having people saying that it is hard to tell that someone is gay or not is a good indication that the society is progressing, that people have start to realize (maybe) that stereotype does not necessarily tells about one's sexuality. But in some way it also bothered me that why does people have this urge to really know about one's sexuality, to really put them into a certain group.

Class Wrap-up...

I really don't know how to start things out. It's been a hectic semester but the willingness to experiment and challenge "how a class should be" is probably the aspect of the class that I appreciated the most. Due to my experience with this class I have come to a few realizations about myself and as well as a few questions I have about the integration of "technology" and the classroom.

In the beginning

I admit in the first few weeks I was extremely excited about the class. I saw peers that have been part of previous classes I've taken that I really respected. The class also included an issue that I am passionate about and that is the integration of social media into the classroom. I have another class this semester, youth and media, that talks about social media in the classroom as well as trying to discuss "critical media literacy", which is a whole different discussion. I felt that the first few weeks were a little "rough" there were a lot of trying to figure out logistical problems and I felt that because of those it got in the way of discussion and readings. There were a few class period that we just spent on logistical issues that popped up it was fine when we just started but it started to get really frustrating at points because we had some juicy articles and ideas that we could have discussed
I really do love the willingness to experiment in the class there was a lot opportunities where "we" as students could play around. There are very few classes with that flexibility and "freedom" although I wished we would have teased out the idea of "freedom" and "choice" a little further especially when we started discussing queer and youth because we started to really get into it but we had to move on. The size of the class also got in the way at times. Our first few weeks we had a relatively large class for some of the ideas or "experiments" we had. In order for some of our experiments like some of the blog entries and queer this entries suffered from the sheer number of people we had. In the beginning we had twenty or thirty students and if everyone posted something and to effectively engage with everything that got posted seemed a very large task. In this instance the willingness to be open to all ideas and to experiment almost had a counterintuitve effect in the class. I say thing because the class I mentioned earlier had a much more "rigid" outline but this last few weeks of that class people are playing with ideas they haven't done before or were much more willing to "do something different" compared to our class. I found it a little interesting. Our class was much more flexible and yet only a few really "played" but in a different class where there was not an explicit encouragement to experiment but not against it more students were willing to "play".

The Blog
Ok, for those that know me a bit the interenet, social media, and popular culture are somewhat of an obsession for me. Many of the aspects in this class, the blog, twitter, and etc. were right up my alley. I use them, except for twitter, quite a bit, but if anyone had notice my participation in the blog or twitter had been minimal at best. It's not that I don't read the blogs, I do, and if you are my facebook friend a lot of my statuses and posts can just be easily transferred over as blog entries and queer this entries. I put a lot of thought as to why this. I usually am a strong advocate for the integration of social media sites and networks into the classroom, but I didn't really participate. The moment that blog entries became assignments "worth something" I really started to not want to do it. At first I thought it was accountability because I really respect some of my peers and I just didn't want to put out "shit" but I started to think and process it some more and I realized that accountability is only a part of it. There is a certain "mreh-ness" to the mediums we use. I say "mreh-ness" because a huge reason I post on blogs and obsessively update my facebook status and etc. was because I just felt like it.
The moment value was assigned to each entry, each tweet, or post it didn't "feel" the same. Even though I may be doing similar things outside of our class blog I didn't want to do it in our blog. I wanted to do it "there". I felt a little "off" using something I do in my spare time and place it here even though it may be similar activities or content.
The funny thing is because of this class my stance on the integration of social media into the classroom had changed a bit. I was adamantly "for" it before now I don't really think so. Although I feel that the internet and social media can be powerful tools that can be used in the learning process it can't necessarily be fully integrated in it.
Honestly I felt a little disappointed, not because of "what" we were studying but "how" we were creating a space of learning. There were a lot of ideas thrown around and the class is full of individuals that are full of incredibly great ideas, but I felt that there was something that got in the way. I don't know what but something. Wrapping up I'm reminded of a day in class that stood out to me. It was the day we decided to "switch" up the space of the room. It took us ten minutes of the class to change the lay out. There were discussion on the possibilities of the different spacial arrangement some attempt to move things little but we stalled a bit, not from no one "knowing" what to do but the exact opposite too many and everyone willing to engage each other in the ideas. The very next class charts and entries were even made. I'm not saying that this is a "bad" thing but it indicates an issue that gets brought up in our classes and many classes before, at least for me, the issue of balance. On one had a very fluid and theoretical class is great but if it "gets" in the way of being able to create an "optimal" learning space is it all that great or the opposite can be applied if there is such a focus on optimal learning spaces that the processes of creating that space is never criticized. It's hard to say if it was good or bad because it's not neccessarily either. The class was an experiment and I appreciated it for that did I "love" the class... not really but I really loved the discussions that I had outside of the class with Sara and a few of the folks in the class but not the class itself.

Final thoughts and comments on Queering Desire


Though I've been tracking temporailty for a whole semester now, I don't know that I have a comprehensive knowledge of temporality theory, or theory that is concerned with time. Is that my own fault? Have I personally failed to understand or work through and alongside temporality? I don't think so. My experience in tracking this term, though far different from my experience with tracking terms in the past, has certainly been informing my experiences with queer theory and queering desire. The avenues through which I chose to approach the term could have been more direct, but I tend to think of and engage with various texts beside one another, which is why tracking terms through vastly differing, perhaps even contradictory, texts has been so beneficial.

I divided my three annotated bibliographies into three categories/themes: images, bodies, and failures -- which was pretty contrived, but my intention was to think through and alongside temporality not according to various theoretical approaches, but according to three indirectly connected problems of time -- problems that theory must, and has, inevitably, encountered and struggled with.

The question that presents itself to me now is, how can I (or we) understand temporality beside or through queering desire? I've been thinking of this question in terms of what they each do (and undo) when positioned beside one another: we've read and discussed a few pertinent texts in this class that point to a number of ways we can understand this relationship, namely, Lee Edelman's No Future, Muñoz's Cruising Utopia, and I would suggest even Kincaid and Stockton as staging problems in theorizing temporality alongside queerness and desire. Although I have certainly not exhausted my queering of temporality, I would suggest at this moment in my relationship to queer temporalities that queer temporality not only problematizes linear conceptions and applications of time, but undoes and rewrites inscriptions of life time -- such as "reproductive futurity" -- that serve to demarcate what it means for a life to have value, for a life to be livable.

on happiness.png

Confession: I love Twitter. I've blogged before, but until this semester I had never tweeted, and I definitely see its appeal. Both the blog cluster and diablog assignments really allowed me to see twitter's productive potential -- for the former, I tweeted as I read through the various blogs and it helped me catalog my readings of the cluster, which was helpful in keeping track of where I was reading and where I had followed a link and so forth. My diablog tweeting with Remy was a really great way for me to think through the reading and begin an initial conversation from which to organize my thoughts and our presentation. In general, though, Tweeting was also a really easy and casual way to share information and links with classmates or pose questions about the readings, etc., and to engage with what other people shared. I also follow a lot of newspaper/art forum/cinema publications as well as various celebrity figures, and I find Twitter to be a very convenient way to access information.

From what I've observed from many of our tweets, blog posts, and blogging dialogues, our class as a whole has been productively engaged in various queering practices, not least of which is the queering of academic engagement -- for instance, this (accidental?) conversation about Ahmed (did you guys plan this?):

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In academic settings, we, as classmates, do not utilize one another as resources nearly as often as we should, which is one reason why teaching and learning with blogs has proved itself rather subversive. I was definitely most engaged in the class and the theory at hand when I had also been actively engaged on twitter and on the blog -- and I felt most affected by the readings when I was paying attention to others' dialogue blogs and live tweets. If I were to give any advice to future blogging students, I would suggest to really experiment with how the blog allows us to engage theory with and beside one another.


Revisiting the Non/human.

This isn't necessarily a revisiting of a single reading/entry/summary so much as a revisit/reflection of the week of the non/human. Let's be honest, that week was pretty uncomfortable, wasn't it? I know I struggled a bit with discomfort -- discomfort with the readings and with our class discussions -- which is why I've decided to revisit it now.

I wrote about one reason why I was uncomfortable that week in my direct engagement with Robert Azzarello's "Unnatural Predators: Queer Theory Meets Environmental Studies in Bram Stoker's Dracula," namely, his mistreatment of the Dracula legend. I won't comment much more on that, but, I think it's been good to revisit that section of the class since I think I allowed myself to be too distracted and frustrated by that article and ignored much of the theory presented in Giffney and Hird's introduction. Although Sara's class summary was extremely helpful in working through what, for me, is very new material, I was still unsure at the end of the week, and am still questioning now, what the relationship is between queer theory and the non/human. I'm even still struggling with the significance of the slash -- though I no longer think, in this instance, that it is a result of lazy writing, but may actually be valid.

Screen shot 2010-12-10 at 5.27.48 PM.png(edited emphasis mine)

As I look back on that week's assignments, I realize that we did not pay much attention to vampire fascination in popular fiction, television, and movies as the schedule notes. This week, though, I received my much anticipated copy of Axwound, which contains a brief essay by Hannah Neurotica's dad, Michael H. Forman, about the Twilight series, and decided to revisit the blog we were assigned to peruse back in October -- my critique of which generally corresponds to my critique of Ahmed's chapter on "Unhappy Queers," in that it gives the movie(s) too much credit. While Natalie Wilson (of Seduced by Twilight) spends entry after entry unpacking the obvious political and theoretical problematics of the series, Forman, in his brief essay. "Twilight Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Undead," swiftly identifies and lays to rest, as it were, its most pressing transgressions:

The problem is not that I'm not a 12-year-old girl. Nor that even as pre-pubescent fantasy the film sucks. The problem is that it tramples on the honor of the vampire in film and literature. And while vampires might not have the right to make everyone their victims, they do have a right to their traditions. It's acceptable to make fun of them and see them satirically in film but to reinvent them like this is, well, like spitting on their grave. So what's really wrong with Twilight? What pisses off a long time vampire lover like myself? Where do I even begin?

He goes on to create a short list consisting of eight grievances against the franchise -- none of which address the concerns of sex/gender/desire, which, through primarily feminist critiques, have, until now, singly informed my knowledge of this series. Here's one example of where the series' vampire logic goes awry before we're even able to begin a critique of its more implicit themes and morals:

5) Vampires would not go to high school in an endless cycle. Edward Cullin was 108 years old. Every time he graduates they move so he can start at another school. On a four-year cycle he's done this 25 times. You want to talk about the torments of hell? Twenty-five 4-year cycles of High School Surely as immortal beings they can come up with something else to do. If I even dream I'm back in High School I wake up in a cold sweat. I know all creatures have an instinct towards survival but if I faced an eternity of High School I would take out an ad looking for Van Helsing and include Google Map directions to my house.

This essay is only a page and a half long, and it need not be any longer. How Wilson continues to generate enough interest to sustain her blog is beyond my comprehension. This is generally my problem with applying feminist and queer theories to popular culture: so much of it is beneath us and our theory, and the problems inherent in such things are practically superficial givens which are trumped by their even more apparent formal and logistical flaws. However, what I can respect a bit more from Wilson's critique is that her assessment of the franchise acknowledges that vampires are in fact fiction, that they symbolize some thing -- Forman writes as though vampires were real creatures with real victims, they are not. All of the characters in Twilight, as well as the classic vampire texts -- as Azzarello briefly gestures to -- represent something, they inform and influence popular culture through these representations, as Wilson understands.

Getting back to Giffney and Hird's introduction, though, I have a slightly different relationship to their calling attention to the cover image of the book than I did when I first read it now that affect theory is so fresh in my mind. I didn't think much about this when I was doing my initial reading of the introduction, since Sara had posted an image of the cover via Twitter, but I was not, and still have not, related to the physical text in the intended way. I had a print out of the chapter in my hand and a scanned image of the cover pulled up on my laptop, I was not flipping the book back and forth as I read through that paragraph about the salamander -- so my affective reaction was different from what was intended. How much more different, too, were I holding the actual book in front of the actual exhibit....

a QUED wrap up


I don't think I can define intimacy. Maybe I could say pretty definitively that intimacy doesn't just have to do with couples, with lovers. Intimacy isn't just about two people in love, being physically and emotionally close. Intimacy changes (can be queered) depending on the space you're in, with whom you're being intimate (in whatever way), and what that feels like. Intimacy is about kin, family (chosen and not), friends, and connections.

Tracking intimacy definitely gave me a wider range of understanding what its definition could be/is. It also made me less certain of one single meaning for the word. I don't think that I came up with a consensus throughout the semester on what intimacy is. But I think that that's okay. I'm okay ending with questions.

I would say, on the whole, the blog entries and the availability of twitter were helpful throughout the semester. I think I engaged with other peoples' thoughts in a way I wouldn't have if we only had in-class discussions. I explored the limits of the blog more than I did twitter. But I think the diablog was the best synthesis of blog, twitter, and in-person discussion that we had throughout the semester. When I had to facilitate the diablog discussion, I was on twitter like a crazy person, and really used the blog posts I wrote to work through the readings. And having people discuss what I'd written made the work that I'd done have a purpose/be worthwhile, and it helped me to work through my thoughts even further. If I were to change anything about my participation, I would be a more active tweeter. And I would make it so one could tag one's comments (because it's so annoying to not be able to see my comments listed under my tag).

I think you, @undisciplined, should definitely keep the same format for the first couple of weeks--lots of tutorials, not too many blog posts. It really helped to get me acquainted with the blog. Other than that, I think I would have liked different twitter assignments, maybe an experiment with live tweeting in class? But that's just me, and twitter.pngI'm still intrigued by twitter and its possibilities, especially as a way to have a conversation and critical discussion online, while also complementing/diverging/differing/supplementing an in-person discussion.

My thoughts in this entry can be summed up as: I was surprised and "floored" that the management of women (for prostitution) was the ultimate proof of masculinity. I also question how to trouble virtual spaces, such as social networking sites, and the various ways that we construct online identities and categories.

In revisiting this entry, I noticed a couple of things:
1) That I had a lot less fun playing around with the look of my entry--its pretty dry, one-note fonts and no images, no links! The horrors. But, really, one of the best things about becoming more familiar with this blogging format is that I've realized that I really like playing around with the format.

2) We had read less articles, so the entry seemed to lack depth. This also ties into the "look" of the entry--with more work put into the entry (both aesthetically and critically) the more depth it has.

3) My understanding and questioning of space has definitely changed, evolved, and deepened. It doesn't mean that I have less questions, or that I have a clearer understanding of it, but I feel like I have so much more to draw from to clarify or confuse the issue now.

I'd like to add my own "re" to this post: reflect.
Ultimately, I think the beauty of blogging is that our entries are all there, ready to be revisited, able to be tagged and revised, and it acts as a timeline for our thought processes. Personally, I think reflecting on readings and reacting to others' responses in a blog format has made me engage with the material differently.

A final thought, a revision of the semester, for me, would be to push myself to play with twitter as much as I did during my diablog facilitation, and to push my knowledge of it as much as I feel I did with my blog entries.

Chapter 3: Unhappy Queers Diablog

"To arrive into the world is to inherit the world that you arrive into. The family us a point of inheritance, shaping what is proximate to the child (see Ahmed 2006). The queer child fails to inherit the family by reproducing its line. This failure is affective; you become an unhappiness cause."

When a son or daughter comes out to a parent it is not unusual for the response to be "We love you anyway." The "anyway" here is a paradox.

"It is always paradoxical to say that something does not matter; if you have to say something does not matter, it usually implies that it does."

What is stated is "We love you anyway" but what is heard is "I'd rather this wasn't the case because this will stand in the way of not only my happiness because it is not really what I planned for you but will also but will also stand in the way of your happiness because it does not conform to societal ideals of happiness. However, if you insist on making things more difficult for yourself then I suppose that's all right. "

"The father is unhappy as he thinks the daughter will be unhappy if she is queer. The daughter is unhappy as the father is unhappy with her being queer. The father witnesses the daughter's unhappiness as a sign if the truth of his position: that she will be unhappy because she is queer."

Let's take the statement: I am happy if you are. Such a statement can be attributed, as a way of sharing an evaluation of an object. I could be saying I am happy about something if you are happy about something. The statement, though, does not require an object to mediate between the "I" and the "you"; the "you" can be the object, can be what my happiness is dependent upon. I will only be happy if you are. To say I will be happy only if you are happy means that I will be unhappy if you are unhappy. Your unhappiness would make me unhappy. Given this, you might be obliged to conceal your unhappiness to preserve my happiness: You must be happy for me.

If love is to desire the happiness of another, then the happiness of the subject who loves might depend upon the happiness of the other who is loved. As such, love can also be experienced as the possibility that the beloved can take your happiness away from you. This anxious happiness, you might say, forms the basis of an ambivalent sociality: in which we love those we love, but we might also hate those we love for making us love them, which is what makes us vulnerable to being affected by what happens to them: in other words, love extends our vulnerability beyond our own skin. Perhaps fellow-feeling is a form of social hope: we want to want happiness for those we love; we want our happy objects to amount to the same thing. Even if we feel guilty for wishing unhappiness upon our enemies, it is a less guilty wish than wishing unhappiness upon our friends. In other words, our presumed indifference toward the happiness of strangers might help us to sustain the fantasy that we always want the happiness of those we love, or that our love wants their happiness.

What about being unhappy? What does this mean? Does this mean queers need to be sad and wretched? The killjoy? Is unhappiness necessary? Can you be a happy queer? What does that mean? Does happiness come when you queer heteronormative standards? When you have a family? When you have children? Or does happiness come you deviate from any type of heteronormative expectations?

It is interesting to think of these questions and wonder what it means to be really happy or unhappy. Such ways of thinking help use to imagine living a life that is different from the "normal "ideals of happiness - whatever that may be. Freedom to be unhappy means freedom in itself. It would mean the freedom to cause unhappiness by acts of deviation.

My Choice Comment 2

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During our class on Tuesday we did a free write and for my last my choice comment I thought I would just share what my initial thoughts were.
In my mind becoming acceptable or the idea of acceptance implies that something is now being tolerated or allowed to happen whereas before the thing was not. I don't want to feel tolerated! I am a human being. My classmates, neighbors, fellow Americans, and everyone else that inhabits this planet are also human beings. As such, we should never be made to feel like acceptance is a privilege. It is our right! What is it that makes being a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered male so valuable and superior to the rest of us?
~The only way to be happy and accepted is to come as close to the norm as possible including spouse, children, home, money, dog, picket fence.
~And what if I want some of those things? What if I want a child and a home and a dog and aspire to one day not struggle from paycheck to paycheck? Does this mean I am trying to be normal or attempting to reinforce the norms?

Ahmed Chapter 3 and Hegemonic Happiness

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StRAigTnEss+Happiness= THE GOOD LIFE

Queer happiness=inevitable unhappiness

Just Happiness:
"There is no doubt that the affective repertoire of happiness gives us images of a certain kind of life, a life that has certain things and does certain things" (90).

"The bliss in domestic bliss takes us somewhere, for sure" (90).

Heterosexual love becomes about the possibility of a happy ending; about what life is aimed toward, as being what gives life direction or purpose, or what drives a story" (90).

The institution of marriage: the idea that you cannot have LOVE, COMMITMENT, or a FAMILY without marriage.

*There must be this internal conflict in maintaining a self image that is congruent with heterosexual stereotypes.
*A psychological distance from their thoughts, feelings, and interests that are ALL viewed as incompatible with social scripts.
*Marriage as a compulsory act, which is both normal and necessary.
*This "otherness" then of not conforming to these gender and/or social scripts is a constant reminder of ambivalence, failed goals, conflict, and misunderstandings.
These scripts are what perpetuate the unhappy queer or the inability for "others" to ever be happy. Like the It Gets Better Campaign they strive for coupledom, family, "normalcy", and the ability to blend.

"To deviate is always to risk a world even if you don't always lose the world you risk" (91).

I'm happy if you are......."If my happiness is dependent upon your happiness, then you have the power to determine my happiness" (91).

But I Juuuuuust....
" if wanting happiness is not to want other things that might demand more from the if to say: 'I don't want you to be this, or to do want the child to have happiness by not giving up on these things." (92-93). my ahmed notes.jpg

The "things" mentioned here are a reference to heterosexual things. If you don't choose/succeed in these "things" you will never be happy.


I typed in happiness in Google search to see what images came up. I found the following and it reminded me of the artist Kara Walker and her use of black and white silhouettes. Walker's violently and sexually charged images forces the viewer to draw on culturally adjusted standards including racism and sexism. Walker's picture of only silhouettes shows structures of class, race, age, deviancy, reproduction, etc. The "happiness" picture clearly depicts white children who are fortunate enough to enjoy a beach vacation. I think Walker's work is perfect way to correlate what is considered happy. By using a heteronormative lens what is happy, who looks happy, who acts happy, can all be decided at a quick glance.

success happiness.jpg

Thumbnail image for kara walker between the thighs.jpg


Chapter 3: Diablog Response Post

When discussing the first part of Chapter 3, it was very clear that Ahmed targeted the downfall of queer unhappiness to the sadistic views of general society and towards negative familial influences. In each of the brief narratives she shared with us, Sarah would give us an overview of what was going on and then explain the reason for the unhappiness caused. It just goes to show you how much happiness really does play on other people in the sense that society is unhappy with the queer lifestyle, so it really does bring down the happiness levels of queer individuals, and furthermore it proves how selfish society is. Just because something like being gay/queer is different, rare, not the "norm" does not justify for discrimination to be imposed. It's wrong and immoral. Just think about it for a moment and really try to imagine what these people go through everyday--it's a haze of judgmental remarks. Ahmed truly captures somber ambiance illustrated in her text with such a wide range of examples out there in queer literature and film; it provides the foundation for resentment aimed at all the prejudiced heterosexuals and the emotions experienced by these queer victims. Sarah opens the eyes of both readers: to queer people, explaining how significant and ubiquitous unhappiness is throughout this minority population and to heterosexuals, exploiting their cruel and narrow minded perspectives and negative intentions towards their homosexual peers and family members.

Chapter 3: Unhappy Queers Diablog Entry

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Sarah Ahmed begins chapter 3 by claiming that, "The unhappy ending (of a book about queers) satisfies the censors while also enabling the gay and lesbian audience to be satisfied...and what mattered was the existence of a new book about us," (88-89). She explains her claim in further detail and states that happiness scrips = straightening devices and that deviating from the "straight" line = unhappiness. Ahmed implements an allegory and transitive property of straight versus gay life: the happy endings symbolizing straight life, the desire of literature signifying the fiction of desire, which would in turn = fiction of heterosexual desire (91).

"Happiness is not just how subjects speak of their own desires but also what they want to give and receive from others. Happiness involves reciprocal forms of aspiration: I am happy for you, I want you to be happy, I am happy if you are happy" (91). Ahmed tries to redefine happiness as a concept that is merely dependent on the other person in the relationship. She gets away from individuals trying to achieve happiness for themselves and instead incorporates all of these thought out scenarios on how someone can only be happy if their partner is. "If you're happy, I'm happy. My happiness is dependent on you. If my happiness is dependent upon your happiness, then you have the power to determine my happiness" (91).

Ahmed jumps into how queer life can negatively affect familial situations and mentions the lacking components one is not able to have if they are gay, a husband/wife and kids. She touches on a coming out story of Annie on My Mind and quotes, "I just want you to be happy. I can see that you've found love. It doesn't matter what from it takes as long as it makes you happy" (94). Ahmed claims, however that if you have to say that something doesn't matter, then it usually does and leaves a sense of worry and insecurity in that person. "The very pressure to be happy in order to show that you are not unhappy can create unhappiness for sure" (94-95). Again Ahmed captures examples of where queer intimacy is shattered by the interrogating outside family in the case of Sigmund Freud's Anna, who is happy being a lesbian but is unhappy about the ideas and structures concept: those who are unhappy with her, because she is not what they (the selfish family members) want her to be.

Ahmed states that because the world is unhappy with queer love is why so many queers become unhappy. A simple concept really--it's called wanting to be accepted by your family and friends, in other words...wanting to be seen and treated as an equal. Again, another example of familial nonacceptance is in Mary's case in The Well of Loneliness, where Mary "is in the very act of hiding underneath happy heterosexuality;" Ahmed furthers states, "You share not simply unhappiness but the unhappy consequences of being the cause of social and familial unhappiness" (101-102). An additional of this kind of unhappiness and unpleasing satisfaction is found in the movie, Lost and Delirious, where Tori is in love with Paulie, because she "cannot bear the thought of not living the life her parents have imagined for her" (105). Each of these examples illustrate the conformity a family can have on one of its own--pretty selfish and insecure if you ask me.

Ahmed mentions another unhappy aspect of queer life--visitation rights to a hospital by a partner--they didn't allow it in one of the films of These Walls Could Talk 2 with Edith to visit her lesbian lover Abby after she fell out of a tree. Ahmed noted that you become non relatives, you become unrelated, you become not; you're left alone in your grief and left waiting (108-109). Edith waits alone and Abby does alone in despair. "Queer intimacy leaves an impression on the walls." The house thus is the intimate space and when it is cleared out, it's like the relationship never existed and the happiness was never grown (109).

Sarah, towards the end of the chapter talks about queers being happy and happily queer. She mentions the short film that involve Fran and Kal--all they want to do is get pregnant and have a kid of their own--no man involved. They believe they can achieve happiness by having a child that looks like them and blends in, so they would appear to look more like a typical family and look like typical mothers at the playground (114). In the third film of If These Walls Could Talk 2, Molly is a character who is "happily queer in a world that is unhappy with queer lives" (118). Here, Ahmed writes about a sense of hope for queer people in that a sense of positive admiration instills a wall of confidence inside of these individuals. Ahmed sums it up best when she says, "People feel happy if they are with people like themselves" (121).

Day 18: December 7

More on Sara Ahmed and The Promise of Happiness for today. Before getting into that discussion, here our a few reminders:

  • Last week @nosecage asked if you would all be turning in your blog folders for a third time. While I initially answered "no," I have since realized that you will need to turn them in/email them to me a third time on the last day of class (a week from today on 12/14!).
  • Your remaining assignments are due on the last day of class. Here's a reminder about a few final assignments. Also, here's a breakdown of your final wrap-up:
It should be roughly 500-700 words and should include the following: 
  1. A summary of your thoughts on tracking your term/author/organization: what you learned about the term, a tentative definition of the term, what you thought about the experience of tracking your term. 
  2.  Some of your thoughts about participating on the blog and twitter this semester. What did you think about the assignments? Were they helpful in your critical exploration of our readings? Did they enable you to engage more/less with other students and/or with the topics? Did these assignments enable you to engage in queering our class/queering the academy? 
  3. You can also include any advice for me as I develop future versions of these assignments or advice for future students who will engage on the blog. What do you wish you would have known when you started class/started blogging? What would you like to tell other students?

Okay, now onto more discussion about The Promise of Happiness, especially the "Unhappy Queers." I know that the diablog group will be discussing this chapter on Thursday too. For today's class, we will continue building off of our killjoy discussion by critically exploring what happiness does and how to think about the value of unhappiness. While there are many ways to get into this discussion, I thought we could frame it around a popular topic of the semester: the "it gets better" campaign. In particular, I want to read the better in Dan Savage's "it gets better" video beside/through/against happiness and some of Ahmed's passages about it. 

First, let's watch the video again. As you are watching it, think about how Dan and his partner explicitly define better and implicitly define happiness. 


Consider the following passages from Ahmed:

  1. The recognition of queers can be narrated as the hope or promise of becoming acceptable, where in being acceptable you much become acceptable to a world that has already decided what is acceptable (106).
  2. One could also ask whether queer happiness involves an increasing proximity to social forms that are already attributed as happiness-causes (the family, marriage, class mobility, whiteness), which of course suggests that promoting queer happiness might involve promoting social forms in which other queers will not be able to participate (112).
  3. Our question becomes: can we sustain the struggle for recognition, the struggle to make the world bearable for queers, without approximating the very forms of happy heterosexuality (114)?
Pick one of the three passages from above and spend about 10 minutes writing a response.  

Now, let's watch another response/contribution to "it gets better" (thanks to reina):


Consider this video in relation to these two Ahmed passages: 

  1. To narrate unhappiness can be affirmative; it can gesture toward another world, even if we are not given a vision of the world as it might exist after the walls of misery are brought down (107). 
  2. We need to think more about the relationship between the queer struggle for a bearable life and aspirational hopes for a good life....I think the struggle for a bearable life is the struggle for queers to have space to breathe. If queer politics is about freedom, it might simply mean the freedom to breathe (120).
Drawing upon one or both of the above passages, spend another 10 minutes writing a response. Does this second "it gets better" video offer up a space to breath? Does it gesture toward another world?

See my whole handout, with more Ahmed passages, after the jump. 

Diablog: If These Walls Could Talk 2

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In the book, Ahmed brings up the movie, If These Walls Could Talk 2, and I didn't really mention it in my last post, so I wanted to make another one.

I watched the first part of the movie, about the two older women and one dies in an accident. Edith, the one who lives, struggles with how to deal with her pain, especially because no one really understands how difficult it is for her to lose the woman she loves, Abby.
There is one part specifically that stand out as really portraying her sadness...

Edith is waiting for the verdict the doctor gives and she goes up to the desk to ask about what the doctor had to say and the nurse tells her that Abby died at 3 AM that morning. Edith asks why no one got her and the nurse just tells her that she's "sorry." The look in the actresses eyes combined with the silence seems, to me, to portray a deep sadness that maybe words just can't get across.
(towards the end of the clip)

[Sara's note: I embedded the youtube clip directly in your entry.]

Do you think silence may be the form of communication that displays the feeling of unhappiness most effectively?

Query Response

Campusgirl23: Query: Should facebook offer the option to describe one's sex/gender instead of just checking a male/female box?

I believe that they should offer that option to those that feel the need to truly identify themselves as a more specific gender or sexual identity. Facebook has so many options and tools to do various things online and there is a constant flash of advertisements on the side that are trying to promote certain products based upon one's interests. If Facebook wanted to try and make more money and promote products, by allowing the option to choose a specific gender identity, Facebook could very well receive a bigger profit.
However, besides Facebook's advertising I can understand that by allowing the option of choosing one's specified gender identity could also lead to a lot of other issues related to the work field and even in the person's personal life. If any of those issues were to arise due to Facebook's option to choose a specified gender, Facebook may have to legally deal with a very serious issue. I'm not sure if Facebook would want to do that. However, I still feel that the option should be available and the choice would be up to that individual whether or not they would want to disclose those personal details.

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