Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOK REVIEW Media Queered: Visibility and Its Discontents
by Yasmin Nair
2008-03-19

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Edited by Kevin G. Barnhurst, published by Peter Lang. 298 pages, $32.95

________

Queers are everywhere in the media and we no longer have to furtively seek and consume images of ourselves. Media Queered, edited by Kevin Barnhurst, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago, ponders the costs and advantages of this new-found visibility.

The liveliest pieces complicate our understanding of the conditions that produce queer visibility. Edward Alwood's 'A Gift of Gab' is about pre-Stonewall appearances of gay and lesbian activists on talk shows and their complex negotiations with broadcasters and audiences. Vincent Doyle's 'Insiders-Outsiders' describes the campaigns by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) and the group StopDrLaura.com ( SDL ) to force Laura Schlessinger's sponsors to drop her radio talk show. While Doyle doesn't address the inherent contradiction of queers fighting to influence someone's rhetoric—when the Right protests gay expression, we call it censorship—but he does show that SDL, despite its self-characterization as a grassroots group, was as professional as GLAAD. That goes at the heart of what it takes to gain queer visibility: 'Getting heard requires … .ways of framing arguments that do not question the structural inequality … of media activism … '

Barnhurst's 'Visibility as Paradox' notes 'the rise of the full-time homosexual, who works at the crossroads of queer and straight communities … .' That issue is a theme here, as is the changing nature of activism. Katherine Sender's 'Professional Homosexuals' points out that out queer professionals define respectable activism as promoting their visibility. Sender alludes to the fact that one lesbian's employer banned gay and lesbian employee groups 'out of fear they would function as trade unions.' This raises the issue of whether structural inequalities in the workplace are left untouched by the cause of queer visibility as an end unto itself.

The least productive essays here are those that emerge from queer theory. Han Lee's 'Queering Race in Cyberspace' considers online personal profiles on Gay.com and how users deploy racial categories. He describes how people use metaphors around race to construct narratives of desire and exclusion and concludes that, online, 'Race is queered.' That statement only seems daring and revelatory and ignores the embodied realities of race and class in the off-line world. Clearly, the process of 'queering,' has exhausted itself and offers few new insights.

Other than in a set of pieces by journalists like Windy City Times' Tracy Baim and NPR's Jason DeRose, Media Queered doesn't overtly address the economic restructuring of the media landscape where conglomerates and rising queer corporate power forge messages about what 'the community' wants. That's partly an effect of the disciplinary roots of this anthology, but it also speaks to a fact to which queers have not yet reconciled: We have queered capitalism, and are paying the price.

Essays frequently contradict each other. Todd Mundt's 'Talking Gay' celebrates the rise of queer representations but Gavin Jack writes, in 'Whorephobia,' about the media's refusal to engage the complexities of queer sex workers, 'The point is to question claims that visibility achieves practical equality and that a more talkative media is necessarily more progressive.' Such contentiousness makes Media/Queered a textured and interesting record that questions our fealty to visibility.

Contact Yasmin Nair at welshzen@yahoo.com . She also blogs on www.bilerico.com .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Church leaders, Amnesty International, students 2020-10-26
- Pope Francis included a U.S. archbishop who has made several strong, positive statements about LGBTQ people in the group of 13 church leaders named cardinals; there are also a bishop from the island nation of Malta ...


Gay News

BOOKS Former Warner Brothers head Alan Shayne reflects on a pivotal summer 2020-10-24
- Many things happened in 1941—Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Wonder Woman comic began publication and Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his third term as U.S. president. It was also a pivotal year for Alan ...


Gay News

Booksellers launch "Boxed Out" campaign, a look at consumer choices 2020-10-22
--From a press release - (New York, New York) 20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, theAmerican Booksellers Association launched the "Boxed Out" campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son 2020-10-22
- By Richie Jackson $24.99; Harper; 163 pages Like father, like son. When you were small, people said you looked just like your dad. As you grew up, they said you had his sense of humor or his temper, you laughed alike, ...


Gay News

BOOKS Max Fox takes on late friend's work, 'Sexual Hegemony' 2020-10-11
- The late Christopher Chitty started a dissertation titled "Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System" while he was a PhD candidate. Writer, editor and friend Max Fox took on Chitty's ...


Gay News

Author/academic John D'Emilio on new book, future endeavors 2020-10-01
- Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives is a new book by Gerber/Hart Library and Archives President and University of Illinois at Chicago History and Women's and Gender Studies Professor Emeritus John ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Litfest, #BiWeek, whistleblower, Equality Awards, Blade 2020-09-21
- The 4th annual Lambda Litfest (Oct. 5-9) has been transformed into a specially curated, virtual event celebrating Black LGBTQIA+ excellence and abundance, a press release noted. The opening night will set the stage by bringing panelists ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart reveals future plans 2020-09-16
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., hosted several relatively informal, socially distanced gatherings the weekend of Sept. 12-13 to let community supporters know about its plans for the next few years. The various sessions—which ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN True stories, trans tales and more in new picture books 2020-09-16
- New books can be a delightful relief in these days of quarantine. Here are some of the many new LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that just came out last month. (See Mombian.com for even more.) The Fighting Infantryman, ...


Gay News

Submissions sought for Lambda Literary Awards 2020-09-10
- Submissions are now being sought for the 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards, which honors the best of LGBTQ+ literature. Due to COVID-19, the organization has implemented an entirely digital submission process using Submittable. Submissions are judged ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marsha P. Johnson, Anchorage, electoral items, gay author dies 2020-09-02
- Marsha P. Johnson—the iconic transgender activist who was a central figure in New York City's LGBTQ+-liberation movement—will get a monument in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, CNN.com reported. Throughout ...


Gay News

E. Patrick Johnson's 'Sweet Tea' book released 2020-08-25
- Northwestern University Press announced the release of the book Sweet Tea, by E. Patrick Johnson, with a foreword by Jane M. Saks. This book is the stage version of Johnson's Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of ...


Gay News

New psychology handbook focuses on sexual, gender minority mental health 2020-08-23
- A comprehensive new psychology book, The Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health, was recently released—and it features essays from dozens of academics across multiple countries addressing a variety of issues specific to this ...


Gay News

Nigerian LGBTQ+ refugee-turned-activist on importance of compassion 2020-08-19
- Edafe Okporo came to the United States from Nigeria in 2016. Now, he's the founder of New York's first full-time LGBTQ+ refugee shelter. Along the way, he has gained insight to how one can make a ...


Gay News

Trans advocate Jamison Green talks about increasing visibility 2020-08-19
- Jamison Green would really like to go hiking again. He last went on a serious hike three years ago, before he and his wife left the Bay Area. He's been an outdoorsman his whole life and he lives in an area ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Privacy Policy     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.