Links I Loved – July

I have returned with another bunch of links that I found interesting, useful, and awesome! This July, much of the reading I did was on intersections of race and sexuality. Several of the articles that I read talk about homophobia and racism and include slurs, particularly the pieces on Lafayette Reynolds and on the Mayweather/Mc Gregor fight. The “White Women in Robes” piece also contains descriptions of sexual and reproductive violence.

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On ‘Baby Driver’ and black retribution hidden behind white privilege

Baby Driver is a dynamic film supported by tour-de-force editing, wild car chases, inventive cinematography, an eclectic soundtrack (everything from Queen to the Commodores) that carries with it the stale odor of white privilege as its guiding thematic principal that allows it to show a white male criminal character, complicit in vicious murders of law enforcement,large-scale robberies, carjacking and property damage, receive a light sentence and get paroled into the waiting arms of his beloved girlfriend.

“The Keeping Room” Succeeds Where Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” Fails (This essay contains descriptions of sexual assault.)

Sofia Coppola’s newest film and remake of The Beguiled sets itself apart from both the 1966 novel and the 1971 original film adaptation in terms of style and tenor, but carries the same themes of solitude and fear. Most significantly, it brazenly disrespects its original source material and the history that it drew from by removing an enslaved Black woman, Hallie, from a narrative about women in the Confederate South during the Civil War.

Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race

With the expectation that geekiness is an embrace of whiteness, what happens when you are in fact not white? I am a geek, and I am Chicano. Over the course of my life I have learned to be both things proudly, but this presents a paradox. How can I justify my geek-cred while also maintaining my street-cred? Often, I cannot. I am a geek, and I am a brown man, and this has earned me a lot of shit from both sides.

Story Hospital #50: Writing Polyamorous Relationships

This is a post about writing polyamorous relationships that I found super useful!

Lafayette Reynolds Made Me Proud to Be a Queer Black Man (This essay contains descriptions of homophobia, slurs, and some sex worker shaming.)

From the first episode, Lafayette’s sexuality and confidence were apparent. He wore his do-rags as if they were long flowing hair. It was a nod to cool black masculinity, but he appropriated it in his own feminized way. I did similar things growing up, sometimes strutting around my room, whipping around the towels I had wrapped around my head. And though I didn’t have the hutzpah to wear false lashes and eyeshadow like the Bon Temps resident, his occasionally dainty, sometimes delicate mannerisms always made me smile with familiarity.

When Floyd Mayweather Shouts ‘Faggot,’ This Is What LGBT People Hear (This essay contains descriptions of homophobia that include slurs.)

All week Mayweather and McGregor have been involved in a spectacularly debasing scramble to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pre-bout baiting, with homophobia and racism being flung as carelessly as mud on a rainy day.

For minorities who fear that both those ugly phenomena are now returning to the public and political arena in ever more alarming ways, here were two grown men willing to prove it in the name of publicity, and to line their wallets.

One hopes the hatred they spout, and encourage among the public, is worth it.

Is Tony Stark the Real Villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming?

By the time we check in with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he’s already been bitten by a radioactive spider, fought with the Avengers, and seen his unfortunate uncle Ben die a tragic death, which means that he needs a new role model. Enter Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. the guy who decided to drag a teenager into a battle between teams of superheroes in Captain America: Civil War and then, as we see at the beginning of Homecoming, dump him back in Queens in the care of Jon Favreau. As far as mentors go, he’s so close to the bottom of the barrel you can hear his suit scraping against the wood. In fact, within the story that Homecoming lays out, Iron Man seems to do more harm than good.

Ruby Rhod and Bubble: Blackness in “The Fifth Element” and “Valerian”

The idea seems to be that in Besson’s future, blackness is frequently tethered to—or defined by—the objectification and maybe even exploitation that comes with celebrity.

Both Ruby and Bubble are definitely cornerstones in their own universe’s cultures, and for that they are both exalted and exploited for things folks always expect black people to be good at—making music, dancing, and being sexual. They’re both enigmatic people and cariactures of our society’s incessant obsession with the black body, black sexuality, and black talent.

On queer aesthetics and not feeling ‘queer enough’

Femininity is complicated. Despite not shaving and rarely wearing make-up, I perform it well. Still, conforming to gendered stereotypes or normative standards of beauty doesn’t make me more or less queer. I do see the irony in talking about the downsides of fitting mainstream ideas of gender and beauty. Though in queer spaces it does feel like a point of contention.

Don’t misread me, radical self-expression—along with the deconstruction of what gender can and should be—is great. It’s brave, it’s empowering and it’s liberating to so many queer people. It’s important work and it needs to be done. But while we’re doing that work, we shouldn’t leave people feeling as though they aren’t “queer enough” to enter safe spaces and explore their identities, too.


If we’re going to talk about slavery and the people that upheld it, we should talk about everyone, as 12 Years A Slave does. If we are going to continue to heal this nation that remains torn and disfigured by its brutal past, then we must take accountability and not hide behind the gentle stereotypes that present day feminists struggle against: women are fully capable of committing acts of savagery, fully able to dehumanize other human beings, truths exhibited by the many Mrs. Epps and Mrs. Fords we know existed in the history of this country.

White Women In Robes

White feminists identify so strongly with The Handmaid’s Tale because it is a show about white women in slavery. They see clear connections between its horrors and the current state of U.S. politics. They see it as an omen. As a call to action. And now they cosplay it in order to protest government involvement in reproductive rights and “women’s bodies.” Within the dominant pro-choice rhetoric of The Handmaid’s Protest and beyond, the language of keeping the government out of “women’s bodies” is not only cisnormative, but it also fails to acknowledge the fact that this same government has already been routinely intruding upon and committing reproductive violences against people of color, the poor, and the disabled for centuries, and has even done so in the very same vein of The Handmaid’s Tale.


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