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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Week #1 Post

Hello everyone,

            My name is Michelle Mayfield and I am a fourth year communications studies major. I am originally from Santa Cruz, CA and I relocated to LA for school. I am taking this class to expand my knowledge in areas outside of my major. As well as in particular learn more about the LGBTQ community and the history surrounding it via art in LA and the texts in the course. 
            I found the part one from Gay LA: A history of sexual outlaws, power politics, and lipstick lesbians by Lillian Faderman to be quite interesting especially since I had no previous knowledge about the queer history of Los Angeles. I was fascinated to read about the Native Americans who previously I had heard mentions of their gender fluidity and sexual freedom but had not read in more detail about it. I loved hearing how in their communities being queer was held in high spiritual regard and even celebrated which is a far cry from many places in the world despite the progress being made in some more progressive cities. I would be interested to know how practices varied across Native American tribes or if it was somewhat uniform throughout tribes across the nation?
            Furthermore I found it appalling that while gender masquerading was made a crime it was permitted for the theatre and entertainment purposes. As if it was only acceptable if made in to some sort of spectacle making ‘masquerading’ into a humorous and degrading practice which would bleed into culture still affecting the opinions of many people today. It seems to be a practice in our culture that when something deviates from the societal norm it is ostracized and made into a humorous display as to help those who are uncomfortable with that in which they are ignorant of cope. To this day there are current examples such as men wearing makeup, which in 2016 finally was celebrated to some extent and previously had been made fun of and looked down upon.

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