The campaign for the yes vote in Australia's postal survey on same-sex marriage is in full swing, coming after years of speculation from within queer communities about what a free-for-all public debate on the issue might look like. Digging into the campaign so far, Simon and Benjamin ask whether it's all as bleak as many queers fear, or if this is an unprecedented opportunity to fight homophobia.
'Same-sex marriage No campaign launches; 'Vote No' scrawled in Sydney skies': http://ab.co/2xgPCu4
'The Project gets mixed reception for gay marriage 'no' ad parody': http://bit.ly/2fisuqH
'Marriage equality would be a victory for 'respectable' gays, but what about the rest of us?': http://bit.ly/2xgbMMS
Benjamin and Simon are joined by writer and commentator Helen Razer to discuss whether there's any 'left' left in queer communities, the successes and failures of identity politics, and to ask if there's even any point to queer political movements in the face of capitalism.
An extract from Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young, by Helen Razer: https://dailyreview.com.au/otal-propaganda-basic-marxist-brainwashing-angry-young/63964/
When actor Andrew Garfield says he's currently a "gay man right now, just without the physical act", Simon and Benjamin decide to take him at face value and address the question: who gets to identify as queer? In this second part of a two-part episode, things get weird in a discussion of postmodern pornography, the abstract-ness of "identifying", and whether Andrew Garfield is the vanguard of a queer utopia.
'Andrew Garfield Faces Backlash After Saying 'I Am a Gay Man Right Now Just Without the Physical Act'', by Dave Quinn: http://people.com/theater/andrew-garfield-angels-in-america-gay/
A major fashion magazine says it's "gender fluidity" when a (heterosexual) celebrity couple swaps clothes occasionally, leading to a backlash then an apology. Delving into the thorny topic of 'essentialism' within queer communities in the first part of a two-part episode, Benjamin and Simon wonder what is gained (and maybe lost) when we locate even an idea like gender performance within particular and essential identities.
'Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are part of a new generation who don’t see fashion as gendered', by Maya Singer: http://www.vogue.com/article/gigi-hadid-zayn-malik-august-2017-vogue-cover-breaking-gender-codes
'Vogue apologizes for Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik 'gender-fluidity' cover story': http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/07/15/vogue-apologizes-for-gigi-hadid-and-zayn-malik-gender-fluidity-cover-story.html
Even though we all would have preferred otherwise, "allies" were in the spotlight during this year's Pride Month, raising the question: what role should allies play within queer activism, and even within queer communities themselves? Simon and Benjamin pit pragmatism against idealism in a discussion about how far we should go to be inclusive.
'To Abercrombie & Fitch: No, The Pride Community Isn’t ‘Everybody’', by Alex Hollander: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/to-abercrombie-fitch-no-pride-isnt-for-everybody_us_59420ad9e4b0d99b4c921155
'Gym brand explains LGBTI alphabet in stunning video - but leaves out asexuals', by Stefanie Gerdes: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/watch-gym-brand-explains-lgbti-alphabet-stunning-video-leaves-asexuals/
Tired of heavy podcast topics, week after week? Benjamin and Simon have the podcast for you, delving into pop culture to find meaning in queer cultural representation and asking the big questions, like: did your parents ever catch you watching Queer as Folk? And have you ever urinated next to a minor celebrity?
Homonationalism: it's a big word and kind of a complex idea, but with LGBTI rights increasingly a flashpoint for cultural conflict around the globe Simon and Benjamin decide to wade in. At this international intersection of colonialism, racism and queerphobia, is it even possible to make a positive difference?
From marriage equality to Safe Schools, it seems like everything our communities are fighting for at the moment involves the state granting either recognition or protection to queer people. Benjamin and Simon go head-to-head with the state in a discussion that asks: why should we critique the status quo? And more importantly, where might that leave us?
The furore over a star-studded letter calling for a version of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program Australia could "tolerate" was a flash in the pan, but it raised some questions about queers' capacity for disagreement. Simon and Benjamin wonder what's served by robust debate within our communities, and question the value of all of us just getting along.
The original letter and petition has since been removed, but here's a news story: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/02/troye-sivan-guy-pearce-and-missy-higgins-push-for-safe-schools-replacement
Ben Grubb's apology: https://medium.com/@bengrubb/an-apology-4c5c530d4a8d
The recent arrest of a journalist charged with offences relating to child pornography gets Benjamin and Simon thinking about the long-standing association made in public debate between queers and pedophilia. Are we as past this sort of fear mongering as we'd like to imagine, or has the moral panic never really gone away?
News story about Ben McCormack's arrest: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/a-current-affair-reporter-ben-mccormack-charged-over-child-porn-allegations-20170406-gvf2rx.html
Sarah Schulman Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.schulman.56/posts/10158279914035188