Showing posts with label Sexuality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sexuality. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

First Look at Poor Things

As you've probably gathered from the trailer, this year's "Poor Things" is a reimagining of Frankenstein, with Emma Stone playing the role of the reanimated corpse.  In this version, her body is that of a young pregnant woman who took her own life, reanimated by a scientist who replaces her brain with that of her unborn child.

You'll hear a lot about how the film handles social roles, particularly sexual roles, and the frank way the creature discovers the world through her attempts to understand sexuality.  You'll also hear a lot about the arresting visual style of the film.

Most of my thoughts watching the film were about comparing how Boris Karloff handled this character in the 30s vs how Emma Stone handled it today.  

Thursday, August 3, 2023


Every once in a while, somebody will say, "yeah, Boyd, but which one did you love the most?  There were a lot of them, but which one do you think about the most?"  That's a challenging question.  Obviously, I think about it often, but do even I know the answer?

Some of them came to me because I was headed in the same direction they were headed, and it's nice to have somebody walk with you for a while.  These were a lot of fun, but they weren't my favorite because, as nice as they were, there just wasn't the passion I was looking for.  They were great companions for a while, though, and I'm very grateful for their time.

Some of them found their lives in a jam and needed somebody who had more than they needed, so they could have some of mine.  Those weren't my favorite, but they were right, I had more than I needed, and they were in a jam, so it worked out. 

Some looked down the road ahead and were really very worried about what they saw ahead.   They had a pretty good idea about how much they could take, and what was ahead looked like it was much more than that, so they needed a bigger, stronger friend to walk with them for a while and soak up some of the arrows so they could get to the peaceful part of the road, a little further down.  That's not my favorite either, but I didn't really mind, and they were right; I could absorb more arrows than they could, at least for that part of the road.  

Some thought I'd be very different from what I was.  They thought they wanted somebody like my dad, and while I can sound like him sometimes, I'm a very different person.  These were nice, but they weren't my favorite because they never really got to know me very well.  They moved on once they found out I wasn't what they thought.  

Some lived their lives drowning in a puddle of pain.  The world didn't always see it, but it was always there.  Sometimes, under the right conditions, I could act like a sponge and soak up some of that pain and wring it out away from them, and for a while, they could live free of the puddle.   Those could have been my favorite because it's really rewarding to see somebody in pain live without it for a while, but it was always just a while; no matter how hard I tried, the pain always came back and filled in where I had taken it away.  

I don't think I was ever supposed to love one the most.  I think I was supposed to be a bridge through uneven terrain for people who were afraid of what lay on the road ahead.  You're not supposed to stay on a bridge because that blocks the other people who need to use the same bridge.  Bridges can be really cool and really beautiful, but they're not a destination.  They're a way to a destination.

For the most part, I'm happy with the role I've played in all their lives.  There are some companions where I wish I could have done more, but that's kind of my nature; I always think I could have done more.  I never asked to be a knight-errant, but I've never been unhappy with the role.  Alonso Quijano lost his mind and became Don Quixote, but some would say he found it.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Pride Month

 June is pride month.  I don't like the idea that we have to assign months where people can be proud of who they are.  That should be every month.  We started assigning months and holidays to marginalized groups around thirty years ago in an effort to recognize what the larger society had put them through in the past in hopes that remembering it would keep it from happening again.  It's not actually keeping it from happening again.  It's not.  I'm not very good at fighting this.  I've tried, but obviously, it's not enough.

La Cage aux Folles was a 1973 French film about two gay men who pretend to be straight for the sake of their son.  In 1983, Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman got the rights to turn it into a Broadway musical comedy.  Harvey Fierstein was the first American playwright to come out and live as an openly gay man.  You'd think that stage people would have led the way, but it didn't happen that way.  Fierstein wrote, directed, and starred in the first gay-themed play, first off and then on Broadway, Torch Song Trilogy.

Maybe one day, we'll get to the point where we don't have to have a pride month for this or a pride month for that.  I bought a pride sanctuary pin. It's simply a rainbow with the words "SAFE WITH ME" on it. I wear it because I've known people who didn't feel safe being what they were.  A couple of them read my stuff.  I've gotten nasty looks for wearing it.  That's ok.  I'd rather somebody hate me for accepting someone else than take it out on them.  If you're going to hate somebody for what they are, then hate me too.  Might as well.  Meanwhile, I'll go to drag shows and protests and all of these things because maybe me saying "I accept you" can help make up for the people who don't.

Friday, June 2, 2023

What's In The Box?

A lot of people find things they don't understand are intimidating.  It's a natural reaction.  If you don't know what's in a box labeled "X," it could be anything.  It could be a puppy, it could be a chocolate cake, but it could also be a tiger or a diamond-back rattlesnake.  Until you open the box, you don't know.   Some people find the chance that it might be a rattlesnake much more important than the chance that it might be a chocolate cake, so they presume this box labeled "X" is a threat and act like it.

I think that may be part of what's happening with some of the hate we're seeing lately with transgenderism.  For most of us, me included, the experience of transgenderism is utterly alien and quite far from our daily experience.  We make our physical gender part of our identity, and even people who understand that identity is a construct find it very difficult to see beyond it.   

Over the last fifteen years, a lot of LGBTQ people and their allies have been operating under the presumption that if they raise the awareness of gay and trans people, it will make the larger public more accepting of them.  The idea being that if we open the box and show the contents, people will see it's not a threat.  In many cases, that's worked.  It worked on me.

Some people are so concerned about the possible threat in the box that they don't want to look, even if it's open.  Efforts to raise the awareness of LGBTQ people and normalize their presence make some people feel threatened, like this thing they're afraid of is growing and being "forced down their throat," which is exactly the opposite of the original intent to show that LGBTQ people aren't anything to be afraid of or concerned about.

It's really hard to cross the lines of culture, sexuality, and identity.  These ideas become the core of how people define themselves, and far too many people don't feel confident enough of their own place in society to be accepting of people who are different.  Anytime you see somebody with a chip on their shoulder, jealously guarding their spot in the world, it's a pretty good bet they're going to have trouble with bigotry.  

It's particularly painful to see people who themselves were once marginalized because of their culture or race, or religion participate in the hate and rejection of LGBTQ people.  You'd think they would be the first to recognize this syndrome in other people, and most are, but some become even more reactionary, almost as if their seat at the table will be taken away if they allow someone different to sit next to them.   

This is one of those situations where I don't really know the solution.  I think there's some merit to staying the course and continuing to raise the profile of differently-sexualized people and continue to try and educate people that they are not a threat in any way.  There's going to be pushback.  The slate at the last session of the Mississippi Legislature is a pretty good example of push-back.  Recent political pressure to shut down the LGBTQ clinic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is another example.  

All I can suggest is, don't respond to hate with hate.  Be firm but understanding.  Fear of the unknown is legitimate; continuing to try and make known the unknown is still the best course.  Maybe cut back on some of these basic cable shows exploiting the lives of teenage transgender people and focus more on the experience of adults.  A lot of people are responding with near violence to the idea of trans people participating in sexed sports.  It's actually a pretty rare event, but concern over it has exploded.  Maybe there's some merit to trying to understand and cooperate with these fears, even though it's really very rare.

Reaching out to people who don't fit the larger cultural patterns isn't a hill most people want to fight on.  It makes people wonder why you can't just go along to get along.  This is something Jesus specifically shows us to do, though.  There's a reason why he made a tax collector his disciple.  There's a reason why he told the parable of the Samaritan.  It's incredibly liberating for your own mind to take these lessons to heart and make them part of your life.  Living without fear of other people is one of the greatest gifts you can I've yourself.  

Official Ted Lasso