Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 4934 times since Wed Mar 19, 2008
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 .


This article shared 4934 times since Wed Mar 19, 2008
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

BOOKS Lesbian author Amanda Kabak to release hate-crime novel July 20 2021-05-15
- Lesbian author Amanda Kabak—a Chicago native who now resides in Lakeland, Florida—is releasing the novel Upended on July 20. In Upended, Maddie, a driven entrepreneur, finds her world thrown into disarray when she survives a hate ...


Gay News

'An Evening with Fran Lebowitz' in April 2022 in NYC 2021-05-12
- Legendary author, journalist and social observer Fran Lebowitz is slated to return to The Town Hall stage in New York City for two live, in conversation events on April 6-7, 2022. Lebowitz is coming off her ...


Gay News

Stephanie Battaglino, New York Life's first transgender officer, releases memoir 2021-05-11
--From a press release - May 11, 2021… Educator and motivational speaker Stephanie Battaglino today officially released her memoir, Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, from L'Oste Vineyard Press. After many years ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart holding large book sale/exhibit viewing June 6 2021-05-10
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., is holding a one-day book sale is returning on Sunday, June 6, 12-4 p.m., in the library reading room. Extra tables will be set up to significantly increase ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book 2021-05-09
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...


Gay News

Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world 2021-05-05
- Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...


Gay News

BOOKS Lambda Literary Awards to take place June 1 2021-05-03
- The 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards—which celebrates LGBTQ+ books and authors—will take place Tuesday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. Typically held in person in New York City, this year's Lammys will be presented virtually for the first ...


Gay News

1971: The Chicago Daughters of Bilitis 2021-05-03
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - An excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life, a new book by St Sukie de la Croix. You can buy the book from Amazon.com, all good bookstores, and for a signed copy, rattlinggoodyarns.com ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Master of None,' children's book, Kristen Stewart, expectant couple 2021-05-02
- Master of None is coming back—but this time, the series will focus on Lena Waithe's character, Denise, out.com noted. Master of None, created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix, starred Ansari for the first ...


Gay News

1970: The Police Murder of James Clay 2021-04-26
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - " … One month after Finnie's Ball, a Chicago Defender headline read, 'Female Impersonator killed by cop in W. Side street brawl.' The Chicago Sun-Times headline read, 'Man slain fleeing police in bizarre W. Side clash.' ...


Gay News

'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16 2021-04-22
- On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...


Gay News

Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue 2021-04-21
- In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...


Gay News

Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests 2021-04-21
- The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...


Gay News

BOOKS Chicago After Stonewall available May 11 2021-04-19
- Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life—a detailed account of how LGBTQ's in Carl Sandburg's "City of the Big Shoulders" responded to the Stonewall Riots—will be available May 11. This book pulls together jigsaw pieces ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.