Articles on Queer culture

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Queer Eye has made some strides. In this new version, the producers have addressed broader issues of gender, race, religion and politics than before. However, the show as before, showcases consumerism as the way to a better life. (Netflix)

‘Queer Eye’ and the myth of the self-made man

The new Queer Eye has viewers hooked on its emotional ride through men's lives, aiming to embrace diversity and counter toxic masculinity. Yet its focus on consumerism threatens its lofty ideals.
The Fall of the Titans, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, circa 1590. Wikimedia

Friday essay: the myth of the ancient Greek ‘gay utopia’

The dream of a "gay utopia" is a constant in gay and lesbian historical imaginings over the last 200 years. But the Greek attitude to same-sex attraction was not nearly as permissive as many have assumed.
People in Melbourne protest funding cuts to the Safe Schools program in 2016. AAP Image/Mal Fairclough

A nursery of unconventional ideas – sex radicalism in Australia

From William Chidley to Germaine Greer Australia has spawned more than its fair share of radical thinkers about sex, and Australians have often embraced their ideas, despite persecution by officialdom.
Exhibition installation view of Robert Mapplethorpe: the perfect medium at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 Oct 2017 – 18 Feb 2018. All artworks © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Photo: AGNSW, Christopher Snee

Friday essay: Mapplethorpe and me

The distinctive visual style of Robert Mapplethorpe’s beautiful, oversized images seems now more classical than shocking. But he can still reveal the subconscious of an era we think we have outgrown.
A rainbow wreath laid by defence forces at a contemporary Anzac Day service. Daniel Spellman/Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service

Witch-hunts and surveillance: the hidden lives of queer people in the military

Until 1992, being a gay or lesbian soldier was illegal in Australia. New research is unearthing the heartbreaking stories of people who devoted their lives to the military but were discharged when their sexuality was exposed.
André Holland and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight: it has seemed in recent years that queer films are just not Best Picture material. A24, Plan B Entertainment

With Moonlight’s Oscar win, Hollywood begins to right old wrongs

When Warren Beatty began his acting career in the 1950s, the idea of homosexual men at the centre of a cinematic story could not be countenanced. Moonlight still shows us lives generally absent from film screens.
Queer in more ways than one…The Lobster marries the romantic and political. The Lobster

Is a story about heterosexual coupling the queerest film of the past year?

The narrative of monogamous coupledom exerts much force in our imaginative and social worlds - even queer films are dominated by love plots. But The Lobster, a savagely funny film about heterosexual love, is a welcome exception.
Fanfiction: all it takes is to imagine a story beyond the canonical work. Kristina Alexanderson/flickr

Explainer: what is fanfiction?

Fanfiction is nebulous, confusing and often mocked. It's also explosively popular. So what is it?
Set in what seems like an eternal dusk, Tangerine is breathtaking in its beauty and garishness. Images courtesy of MIFF

From iPhone to iFilm: the queer experience of Tangerine

US director Sean Baker's Tangerine is a film that's queer in both storyline and filmmaking approach. Featuring trans actors and shot on an iPhone 5S, it teases with ideas of authenticity and truth.
Empire, currently screening on Channel Ten, is throwing stereotypes to the wind and presenting strong drama that is black, queer, and diverse. Channel Ten

In your face: Empire is proving diversity isn’t a dirty word

Empire, a TV drama about a black hip-hop star turned music mogul, is breaking new ground by foregrounding 'risky' issues around race, sexuality and class.
Dykes on Bikes have been opening the Sydney Mardi Gras since 1988. Will Choi

Dykes on Bikes and the long road to Mardi Gras

Dykes on Bikes have been starting Sydney's Mardi Gras parade since 1988 – and many for many participants, the yearly ride to Sydney is as important as the parade itself.

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