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Friday, February 3, 2017

Part 3 Gay LA

Part 3 of Gay LA dissected many ongoing developments within queer social media platforms -- many of which I had not known about. One thing the authors mention is how gay media platforms were created because of the lack of representation, or stereotypical representations, mainstream media upheld of queer communities. I'm really glad the authors integrated this section into the book due to the fact that media today seems to be greatly influenced by queer folks, queer expression, or both. Just last night I saw an ad for show called Throwing Shade which is hosted by two white people. I don't know how to feel about this because at first glance, the show appears to be co-opting a phrase created by Black transwomxn in order to appeal to the hetero-youth culture. However, I've also never watched the show but apparently it speaks on topics such as gay rights, feminism, and pop culture. I don't think the hosts can even appeal to queer POC simply because anything they say on the topic at hand will be a critique from a white person's perspective. But I can't be mad if they actually teach the folks who knew nothing about the gay rights, women's rights, etc. something (or can I?). 

The transition of this show from podcast in 2011 to a television comedy series on TV Land is interesting because it reflects on the social media platforms of the past. Whereas Throwing Shade can be argued to be marketed as a palatable version of queerness for a wide audience of young viewers, Madonna and Gwen Stefani were the glamorous representations of queerness for the Lesbian News. This sort of negotiation of identity for the sake of representation definitely makes me question how large the role of respectability politics still is within queer media spaces. Are we the ones creating our content or are are we simply filling in a role? This may be why the authors emphasize how Deborah Bergman and Ella Matthes never viewed themselves as activists; despite the impact and reach of their work in the Lesbian News, it seems as they both utilized the publication as a business transaction. 

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