Please visit the Fall 2012 class website project at Queer Arts Los Angeles Website.

Friday, February 12, 2016

When We Were Outlaws Reflection

Julienne's blog post this week took me back to GAY L.A. the accounts of women "masquerading" as men in historical Los Angeles, and the case of one women who was able to convince a jury that they were just a man in a woman's body, and the case was let go. Also, the focus police had on gay drag queens during the time of entrapment and police brutality in the raids of gay bars. The history tells the tail of the hierarchy of hegemonic masculinity over emphasized femininity. Jean Cordova's When We Were Outlaws brings to light this challenge to normality and normalized life practice that historicized action taken against passing and assimilation. It also brought some alternate perspective to the GAY L.A. depiction of Hollywood, in which Cordova emphasizes the sense of hiding and self-shaming involved in the era. Her emphasis on the importance of lesbians creating their own infrastructure nd community makes me think of a recent conversation I had about Malcolm X, and how he preached for organization by and solely for African Americans.
In my own life, the discovery of the word queer and it's radical potential to establish a new location beyond normalized practice always intrigued me and I feel that Cordova embodies that notion of queer that I hold so personally. It is very clear that Cordova not only establishes herself as an activist but as a community builder, and by doing so played a role in the "gay" movement and/or lesbian movement by having the voice to be radical and inspiring by taken the steps many were too scared to approach.

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