I decided to write about the status of LGBT rights and legitimacy in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is perceived to be one of the few Islamic states which exercises considerable tolerance towards the issue of homosexuality. Practicing homosexuality is strictly prohibited by the law under Section 377 A of the CrPC (Criminal Penal Code).The law says- “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall be liable to fine.” In the Guardian Article we read, What’s it like being LGBT around the world?, they described a reality in which people of LGBT status live in a “comfortable closest”. They call it “comfortable” because the actual actions of same-sex relations are not policed well and are normally looked over. However, those citizens are still crammed into a closet, nonetheless! I think this really draws into the E. Patrick Johnson’s theories and the idea of Quare theory. There’s explicit restriction of personal expression and processes. How do you feel about this? It it worth fighting the traditions and outing oneself even if there’s loose enforcement? Things are slowly changing however, I have difficulty imagining real changes being made. How much of an impact do you think this restriction has on civilians of LGBT status? Do you think it would be best to live comfortably and not combat the tradition? Even with the support of many human rights groups and individuals, I’m not sure it will be enough to overturn traditional convictions. But, you never know until you try. Right?
Since her start as a performance artist and singer, Lady Gaga has been extremely outspoken through her music and concerts about her support for LGBTQ equality. She tends to stray away from society’s “norm” by the way she looks, acts, and dresses. She has so much influential power because of her fame, so she decides to use that power to express herself and to help others feel comfortable expressing themselves as well. She even said that “I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.” For example, she was the first singer to reference the LGBTQ at the Super Bowl half time show. She has also participated in multiple equality marches. It has been her goal to get people talking and to feel more comfortable with the entire community, especially since Lady Gaga herself has come out as bisexual. She wants men and women to be able to dress and act however they desire without feeling judged by people. This is why she wears outrageous outfits, because she wants to show people it is okay to be different and it can be accepted. She is one of many celebrities who use their fame as a way to try to make a difference particularly in the LGBTQ community. Jack Halberstam’s focuses on Gaga Feminism because Lady Gaga does a good job at embodying ideas of sex and gender and breaking away from society’s fixed roles that men and women are supposed to have. Lady Gaga resists being put in a bubble or a category. She does whatever she feels like and she has zero shame. This is why she has such a strong fan base and support system behind her and why Halberstam chooses her to help better represent and explain feminism, sex, and gender.
This week in class we discussed a discourse analysis of the movie Beauty and the Beast. I was intrigued by this topic because I did not think much of the childhood Disney princess film till we discussed in the class the normativity of the story with our society and also the nonnormativity of the movie that is often overlooked. Like any other Disney princess film, the viewer goes in watching the movie knowing that they are about to watch the love story unfold and that there is some curse that must be broken for the characters to live happily ever after…yet no one questions it. As we discussed in the class, the normativity of the movie is that she falls in love and lives happily ever after with her man. But let me not leave out the nonnormativity of the whole fairytale, first the girl full of brains who don’t need no man ends up falling for a beast that walks on his hind legs and has CLAWS. Not mention she falls in love with him after he’s locked her and casted her to the tower and has been coerced several times from a talking candle stick and a clock who are mostly worried about THEMSELVES not being able to turn back into humans before the last rose petal falls. Yes its a fairytale but the issue is its acceptable by the viewer that she falls in love with a beast but if she happened to ménage á trois with some girls everyone would lose their shit. Kidding, kidding… but it makes you think.
I really latched onto Munoz’s reading this week. Maybe because it was a hopeful reading whereas previous readings have been kind of not hopeful, to say the least. I really enjoyed see pictures of stages and how Munoz described them. All the stages were completely empty- just as they naturally are without interference. My personal rendering of these stages is the utopian that Munoz is describing. It’s there, but it’s not there. Like, the physical stage is there but the ideas that bring the stage to life aren’t shown. I love theater, and I love seeing live performances. A make believe story is brought to life and then ends, until the next play. For example, Munoz visited La Plaza, one of the oldest Latino gay clubs in LA. Munoz describes it as having a country-western feel to it, and being humble. However, as soon as the stage is brought to life the club transforms, and glamorous drag queens take the stage. They created their own utopian and when they finish their show, it’s gone. However, I also think it’s important to think as a utopian as a safe place- one can go there without any fears. In terms of drag shows, you know when you go you enter the world of drag- the outside world does not exist so long as you’re in there (or until the performance is over). In class we defined utopian as “no place and a good place.” I honestly still don’t know why I find this whole idea so amazing. The stage is the greatest Utopian we currently have. Also how could I not add one of my favorite songs as the title when we’re talking about punk culture??