I'd be quite happy with Rainbow Voices. I doubt many of us had traumatic experiences with rainbows. But, many people, myself included, had very painful experiences with being labeled "queer. Yes, the word is painful.
It was a point driven home to me with fists and kicks. It was the word vomited at me by bullies at school. It was one of the words, along with "faggot" and "sissy" that the gym coaches threw at us. If you didn't want to put on boxing gloves and hit another kid in the face you were a fag. You were queer. If someone was queer it was okay to inflict pain and suffering on them because of it. That message came from staff at school, from coaches, house parents, and the older boys.
Fathom – Israeli cinema: gay but not queer
It was pervasive and universal. Let's all play smear the queer. Once you were queer you had no right to live, no right to happiness, and were fair target for anyone needing to boost their own fragile masculinity. I don't find the use of the term liberating. I find it traumatic. Maybe if my life experiences were those of the younger team members who run this page, I'd get some cheap thrill out of using the term. I don't. I just relive a lot of suffering because of it. It is part of who I am; I can't change what I experienced.
In the surprise announcement Noah Michelson makes it clear his experience with the word wasn't traumatic. He says, the page needs to be more inclusionary and "queer" is more inclusionary. As to why they didn't call it "Queer Voices" from the start he writes, "some people felt that the term was too controversial, too divisive and, because of its history as a slur, perhaps just too painful to use.
Well, it is controversial ; the almost universally negative comments I saw following his surprise announcement proves that. It is divisive and it is painful. Inclusionary only includes people without those painful experiences. You can't be inclusionary and divisive at the same time. What I think, or what other writers or readers think, is pretty much irrelevant. The change is presented as a fait accompli. Inclusion doesn't include very many people. I didn't live Mr. Michelson's life.
He sure didn't live mine. He thinks, "Queer" functions as an umbrella term that includes not only the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people of "LGBT," but also those whose identities fall in between, outside of or stretch beyond those categories, including genderqueer people, intersex people, asexual people, pansexual people, polyamorous people and those questioning their sexuality or gender, to name just a few. Fair enough, but it also excludes all the asexual, polyamorous, pansexuals, gays, bisexual, lesbians and transgender individuals who find "queer" insulting, degrading and painful.
It excludes huge segments of the community, who didn't have Mr. I'm glad he didn't have my life. 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. Walk On Water dealt with the memory of the Holocaust in present day Israel, depicting youngsters who prefer to block out the memory and who consider Germany a safe haven for Israeli students and artists.
The Bubble painted Tel Aviv as an eternal escapist party-town, until the bubble is shattered by a suicide bombing.
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Fox is also one of the only mainstream directors that has dealt directly with gay subject matter. As an openly gay filmmaker, and a vocal spokesperson for gay rights in Israel, five of the six films Fox has directed have dealt directly with gay characters and issues.
Israeli cinema: gay but not queer
The only exception, his debut The Song of the Siren , featuring a young Yair Lapid in a supporting role, is something rare in Israel, a by-the-book romantic comedy with a gay undercurrent that wittily subverts the genre. Incidentally, Fox is credited with directing the first gay kiss on Israeli television, on his hit TV series Florentine in But it seems that for all his gay-rights activism and gay-themed storylines, Fox has a cinematic agenda: Rather, Fox clings to the mainstream, featuring the same characters and storylines you might find in any Israeli film — typically including the soldier or warrior — with the added trait that the character is either gay himself, or obliged as in Walk on Water to make an acquaintance with someone gay.
Fox is saying through his movies that whether male or female, gay or straight, Arab or Jewish, we are all an equal part of the same narrative.
Yet, for a city so famous for its gay night life, Israeli narrative films are quite conventionally straight. Indeed, a range of taboos that are common in Western movies, such as sex or drug use among teens, are disregarded here and gay characters are not that rare. But apart from Fox, Israeli cinema does not have any major gay filmmakers, or an alternative Queer new wave, to complement its gay-friendly status.
That said, Fox is not the first Israeli filmmaker to deal with homosexuality. Between and , Gutman, who passed away in at the age of 39, broke the mould of Israeli filmmaking by directing Queer Movies before they were known as such. His films were highly stylised; bold, brash, and sometimes flamboyant, while at other times almost timid, and always tremendously moving. The gay community idolised Gutman; in the s and early s, when Tel Aviv was slowly coming out of the closet, his stories about outcasts were cult hits and hymns of liberation. Although no new distinctively gay filmmaker has emerged in Israeli cinema for nearly two decades, that may be changing.
Though Kedar is reluctant to label herself, either personally or artistically, her debut film tells the violently anarchic, comic, and utterly romantic story of two girls in love and on the run.
Kedar already has three new feature films lined up, in different phases of production, and different aesthetic styles, from the experimental to the more conventional. Twenty years after the death of Amos Gutman, Kedar could be the next big hero of the outcast, albeit this time with a dark and twisted sense of humour.
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