Queens in the Desert
In The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, as Robertson argues, particular stereotypes about woman, immigrant, and native definitely work to normalize certain stereotypes about queer culture. The stereotypes are so obvious that it makes the viewer think about how they are working within the film rather than just accepting them as truths about certain groups of people. In the situation with the butch woman, she is dressed in a dirty "beater" tank top, not wearing any makeup, and is "unwomanly" in terms of conventions. It is only when Bernadette slams her on these "unwomanly" grounds (insinuating her unattractiveness to men), that she and Felicia and Tick are accepted by the heterosexual white male crowd. In the scene where Cynthia, the Filipino wife of Bob, escapes the confines of home to go to the bar and perform her act, the stereotyped immigrant wife upstages the drag queens, making them look less ridiculous and deviant than the woman who shoots ping pong balls out of her g-string. In the scene with a group of Aboriginies, a specifically Australian relationship with Aboriginal peoples comes into play. The three main characters spend an evening performing with the group of natives and while the scene shows a certain bonding between two groups of people seen as outsiders in "normal" society, the queens are the characters that get developed and get to move on, while the purely re-active natives (they respond to the queens' performance without words, but use facial expressions and so on) are left without any further engagement in the plot. As straw men, these essentialized characters work to render an essentialized view of queer culture as false or "more normal" than their stereotypical counterparts.