2017 is almost at an end, which means it's about a year since we did out last 'Queer in Review' episode! At the end of a year dominated by—what else—marriage, Benjamin and Simon wonder what a post-postal survey Australia looks like for queer politics, and poke our heads up out of Australia to look at how queers have been doing worldwide.
Ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December, Benjamin interviews writer, producer and HIV activist Nic Holas about his work advocating for people living with HIV, about the impact of a big few years in HIV treatment and prevention in Australia, and about how the legacy of HIV and AIDS shapes our queer present.
Australia’s postal vote campaign on same-sex marriage is over and the results are in: it’s a yes. Still wading through the complex aftermath of the announcement, Benjamin and Simon share their feelings about the victory and the campaign as a whole, and reflect on what this all means for queer politics in Australia now and into the future.
What the hell is queer theory? We talk about it all the time, we throw the word "queer" around like it's confetti at a gay wedding, but what on earth do we mean? Simon and Benjamin take a crack at explaining the notoriously difficult idea, fail, then succeed a little bit, then finally land somewhere in the middle of a murky queer mess.
Simon is joined by the writer and author Benjamin Law to discuss his Quarterly Essay 'Moral Panic 101: Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal'. They discuss the causes of the scandal, the dangers of framing queer people as 'vulnerable', and what queers should do after the marriage equality postal survey.
Moral Panic 101: Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal: https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2017/09/moral-panic-101
That could have been me: Benjamin Law on the suicide of gay schoolboy Tyrone Unsworth: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/12/that-could-have-been-me-benjamin-law-on-the-suicide-of-gay-schoolboy-tyrone-unsworth
Benjamin and Simon take a look at Benjamin Law's Quarterly Essay on the Safe Schools scandal, and wonder what it says about the ways queer communities engage with problems as 'systemic'. Are some people just bad? And if issues like queerphobia are bigger than anything one person, how can we even begin to break them down?
'Moral Panic 101: Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal': http://bit.ly/2yo9HSB
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