This week, we’re addressing the idea of queer, not just those who identify as such, but how that word affects our interpretation of media. When I was younger, my mom used to say to me, “You’re so queer.” She did not mean it in a derogatory way, rather was using its denotative definition: strange or odd. Once I learned its definition I completely agreed with her because I was a weird kid at times that just did things for fun. The connotation of that word has certainly changed, as it encompasses a wide variety of individuals and is no longer simply an adjective, but has become a noun. I feel that this difference in definitions can lead to some explanation to the problems addressed by both Tongson’s and Muñoz’s works.
While steps have been taken to make the idea of something or someone being identified as queer, there is still an unfulfilled desire to normalize such a concept. The definition of strange still plays into much interpretation of the word, and it has made us associate queer with “straying from the straightness, or norms.” However, much of the media we see today has attempted to show how this strangeness is all around us, and there are many examples of such a concept being exhibited in typically normalized scenarios.
For my post this week I chose to take a clip from the show Mad Men, where Don and Roger share a few platters of oysters. This scene is filled with sexual tension, but it still beats around the bush. I chose to slow the scene down which, once I viewed it, sensualized the clip much more. Also, I took Ruby Rose’s song “Break Free” and replaced that as the audio for part of the clip. I chose this song because, as Tongson mentioned, she is a prominent, openly queer DJ. Moreover, this song is specifically about breaking free from the norms, no matter how hard it is, as long as it allows you to be yourself.
This is a sensitive topic at this time in the world, for if you describe something as queer now it is associated with “gay,” while years ago it was a more educated word for weird. I’ve seen things described as “queer” in many 19th Century novels, and admit that I have to reread the sentence to fully understand the way in which it has being used. All in all, I feel that I chose appropriate media for my piece this week, both which are addressing how hard it is to break free from the norms that have been established.