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LGBT History, Heterosexism, Racism

By |2018-01-16T08:21:35-05:00October 13th, 2011|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/he Said

“The sudden development of feminist and lesbian feminist publications in the early 1970s increased the demand for visual images and offered opportunities for self-representation, visibility and community building. (Lesbian feminist photographers)… joined lesbian feminist artists in a number of other mediums, lending a face to this new politic. Men had long constructed the female body according to the dictates of heterosexual male desire, and never more so than in art. Indeed, even lesbians often saw their own bodies through a heterosexual male aesthetic filter. With its ability to reveal and document new social worlds, photography became a particularly useful artistic medium to thwart this sexist tradition. Explaining why women had been involved with the practice of photography since its creation, Annie Gottlieb explained that ‘an art so new was not surrounded by entrenched taboos or possessed by the mystique of brotherhood; was not, for that matter, taken seriously as an art, any more than women were taken seriously as artists. This gave women a paradoxical advantage in gaining a foothold.'”
-From the catalogue essay from an exhibition titled “Lesbians Seeing Lesbians Building Community in Early Feminist Photography,” at the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, http://www.leslielohman.org, ending Oct. 22.

“Slavery was an economic system. But it was also an honor system. However low you were as a white person, you had an honor above any black person. Heterosexism is not about economy; it’s about family. But the idea of honor is the same. To call someone gay, especially in bullying terms, is to dishonor them. But now we have this moment, all the ‘It Gets Better’ videos, where gay people are having their Frederick Douglass moment, where someone who is supposed to be dishonorable shows himself as an amazing gent and refutes the notion that a person is bad just because they are black or gay.”
-Kwame Anthony Appiah, philosophy professor, Princeton University and author of “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen,” in an interview titled “Honor, race, sexuality all linked, philosopher opines,” connecting honor, ethics, heterosexism, racism, sexism, http://www.commercialappeal.com, Sept. 22.

“I spend more time around cisgender heteronormative people than ever before. Thanks to the fiction of binary gender, they all believe they’re part of a monolithic gender designated ‘male’ or ‘female’. Even though they constantly bump into evidence to the contrary, socialization is there to help them gloss over the cracks in their faulty model. In reality, none of them belong to a binary gender. They belong to one of two social clubs. I feel alienated because of it. I speak a different language than these people. I constantly catch discrepancies they miss. I notice every time they rationalize the broken models they live by. It’s a hidden world they refuse to see. A microscope only queer people can see into, while the normatives sit back and deny the existence of microscopic organisms.”
-Amy Dentata, in her blog posting titled “Normative Gender is a Social Club,” http://amydentata.tumblr.com, Oct. 01. Amy Dentata is a self-described queer writer, spoken-word performer, geek, and professional Angry Trans Woman.

“The new ABC/Washington Post poll contains some very good news for supporters of marriage equality: Not only do a strong plurality of Americans more say they’d be less likely to support a candidate who favors a ban on gay marriage, there’s a significant intensity gap in favor of marriage equality. Overall, 42 percent of Americans said they’d be less likely to support a candidate who favors banning gay marriage – including 35 percent who would be much less likely to do so. Only 25 percent said they’d be more likely to support a candidate who favors a ban on gay marriage, including 20 percent who said they’d be much more likely to do so.”
-Jamison Foser, in an article titled “Poll: Voters Less Likely To Back Candidate Who Opposes Marriage Equality,” http://equalitymatters.org, Oct. 05. The poll was conducted between September 29-October 2, 2011 among a random national sample of 1,002 landline and cell phone-only adult respondents.

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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