Gay not queer
From the moment I came out on radio in to oppose the Anita Bryant campaign, I've been fighting so that no one has to have the life I had.
Gay but not queer: Toward a post-queer study of sexuality
I don't want kids today to know the pain of being called "queer," pain that was often as physical as it was emotional. To have it inflicted us by our allies is no less traumatic and painful. If anything, it is worse. I don't expect human decency or understanding from the bigots.
But, here I feel as if I'm again being told I'm not welcome, I'm an outsider. I'm not one of the "in-kids" that everyone had to make happy. My pain, my experience--they don't matter. Once again, thanks to the "queer" term, I'm being locked out and excluded. I've never denied another person the right to embrace whatever term they want. But, I'm not embracing "queer," it is being imposed on me, just like it was when I was growing up. Now, if I choose to continue contributing to this page, the word "Queer" will be emblazoned across the top of the page.
It will be attached to my columns, regardless of my wishes. I know had this page been originally called Queer Voices, I wouldn't have bothered contributing to it, or reading it for that matter. I'm just one writer in the community of mostly unpaid contributors. But, I don't feel like the community is mine anymore. I've been kicked out. I'm here, I'm not queer, get used to it. Actually, the "I'm here" part is what I'm left reconsidering. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.
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By Koby Huberman. It also represents a call to question, challenge, and ultimately move beyond the neoliberal rhetorics of representation and inclusion that continue to surround games and LGBTQ issues. Each of the articles in this issue explores queerness in games in modes that move beyond representation.
These articles encompass a range of voices and perspectives. The authors featured here come from many different disciplines, backgrounds, and identity positions. A number of them are game makers as well as game scholars, which demonstrates the value of bridging theory and praxis. Together, these authors push our thinking about games, identity, and culture in important new directions by prompting us to consider how queerness can be brought to games or stripped from games through many means: These articles are inspired by the spirit of queerness as both an umbrella term for LGBT people and an ethos: In this sense, queerness is not so much a stable, clearly defined sexual orientation as it is a way of seeing and experiencing the world: The forms of identity, desire, intimacy, and disruption that we are drawn to in games are not surface level representations of difference.
Nor do they strive simply for increased representation and inclusion, drawing marginalized subjects into the existing hegemonies of video games. Instead, they challenge norms.
Gay but not queer: Toward a post-queer study of sexuality | SpringerLink
They undermine dominant structures of power. Yet, they also remain skeptical: The modes of queerness in games explored in this issue -- as well as the ways of approaching games through the lens of queerness represented here -- are not gay as in happy. They are queer as in resist. Resistance, a central tenet for those who value social justice in an era of resurgent white nationalism and far-right movements around the globe, is an undercurrent of the present moment for games and the cultures that surround them.
This resistance is being enacted by people who make games, people who study games, and people who build gaming communities, as well as by games themselves. Resistance in, through, around, and against video games takes many forms. We also see the work of resistance in the organizing efforts of Game Workers Unite, which challenges the exploitative labor practices of the games industry and calls for the unionization of game developers Sinclair, We see the work of resistance in the social action efforts of those bold academics -- many of them women and others in precarious positions -- who worked to successfully shut down the ACE Advances in Computer Entertainment conference, which had become a vehicle for discriminatory punditry Deterding, We likewise see the work of resistance in games created by women of color like A.
Darke, Lishan AZ, and Momo Pixel, which use play to perform activist interventions around race, gender, and discrimination. There can be no meaningful engagement with games as a widely influential media form that does not acknowledge this reality. Video games offer opportunities for resistance. At the same time, it is crucial to resist games themselves, at least as we know them today: Both historically and in the present day, video games as a medium and an industry have been aligned with the forces of hegemony and empire Fron et al.
The field of game studies, too, with its canon of straight, white, cisgender men and its longstanding emphasis on supposedly apolitical formalism, has also been implicated in these systems of oppression Murray, ; Malkowski and Russworm, These are broad claims, admittedly, and we acknowledge that there are many valuable exceptions -- games, game makers, and game scholars who have used play to question dominant structures of power.
Given the history surrounding games and game studies, however, it is particularly crucial to bring to the surface this undercurrent of resistance. Approaching games through queer studies is both an invitation to resist and itself an act of resistance. This is because resistance is at the heart of queer studies. Like its related disciplines of feminist studies and critical race studies, queer studies acknowledges and embraces the political nature of academic knowledge production.
Indeed, the emergence of queer studies in the early s, a moment when homosexuality was becoming increasingly acceptable in mainstream U.
Israeli cinema: gay but not queer
In our current dire political moment, we must insist on the radical implications of queerness or betray this legacy. Like game studies, queer studies is now more than two decades old. Over that time, queer studies scholars have continued to grapple with the changing nature of politicized identity and its relationship to scholarly practice. They write:. Its political utility stems, in part, from its demand that we engage with power and identity in all of their complexities.
Addressing these complexities in video games requires attending to many layers of gamic systems, including but not limited to representation, procedural logics, hardware, player communities, and economic concerns. It also requires bringing together multiple methodologies and approaches to making meaning Krzywinska, Holding these varied factors in tension with one another is an important step toward understanding how power flows through video games as assemblages and overlapping systems.
The intersection between queerness and games is itself a nexus of systems and possibilities that are complicated and at times contradictory. The inclusion of LGBTQ people in game narratives and the labor structures of the video game industry are only part of the equation.
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In many ways, the queerness of queer game studies and of games more broadly is not yet here. We must bring it into being. Queerness is political, yet so are games. It is no longer acceptable to overlook the political implications of the medium. GamerGate has forced the gaming community, including academic game studies, to take seriously the longstanding warnings, analysis, acts of resistance, and pleas for help from marginalized folks who play and work on video games.
The troubles that structure GamerGate are not new to many of us--especially for feminists, queer people, and people of color who speak publicly about the need to shift discussions around video games to concerns of social justice. Yet where was this communal fervor from privileged colleagues when coordinated online harassment campaigns were attacking junior scholars for publishing feminist writing on games Chess and Shaw, , or when women games commentators like those from Feminist Frequency became the objects of violent threats Jenson and de Castell, , or when Dickwolves were running amok in fandom Salter and Blodgett, ?
The knowledge necessary to understand and adequately address to toxic masculinity, white supremacy, transphobia, homophobia, and ableism as it exists in games and game communities is already available Shaw, Making such work central to game studies scholarship is an ethical, and intellectual, imperative. We are not the first to call for the field to confront the politics of games--nor the first to recognize the challenges of such a call. Historically, attempts to politicize game studies have been fraught with trouble.
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It brings to mind interpersonal and intergroup conflict, productive and circular intellectual dispute, political and consumerist agitation, and more. We might also think about how game studies has needed to defend video games against moral panics about school shootings and sexboxes, backing the field into defensive stance against controversy.
These are just a few examples of the troubles within games, game cultures, and game studies that the radical potential of queerness inspires us to identify and resist.