Sexualized Saturdays: Derek Hale

Teen Wolf Season 3B is almost here and I said I would address the possibility of Sterek happening before the premiere. I have already discussed Stiles’s sexuality, so now let’s take a look at Derek.

TeenWolfSeason3I mentioned with Stiles that one of the reasons I love his character is that the question about Stiles’s sexuality is out in the open, where with most other characters and pairings there is nothing but subtext. Stiles’s questions about whether gay guys are attracted to him and his flirtations with Danny, while not explicit, set up the potential for a natural build to Stiles being revealed to be bisexual. Most other characters, in contrast, have some queer subtext, but it’s mostly used to queerbait fans of the show. With Sterek, there seems to be nothing but subtext, but I don’t see this as a huge loss. I fully support Derek and Stiles not being a couple as long as I still get a bisexual Stiles. But if Sterek doesn’t happen, does that mean there really is no hope for a queer Derek? Well… not necessarily. Continue reading

Theatre Thursdays: Pirira


Gentle readers,

It’s clear by this point that I love theatre. That is, I truly adore it in a “if it’s so great, why don’t you marry it” kind of way. I think it is one of the finest artistic mediums, and one that allows for the intersection of most other arts, e.g., painting, music, etc. It’s something of an emotional heatsink for me, and I rarely leave a theatre without having uncovered some kind of personal meaning in the work. That being said, I think that theatre is at its best when it can combine entertainment with moral work, that is, the exploration of meaningful subject matter.

Malawi_huffpo_pirararSo I’d been hearing about a play called Pirira, by actor cum playwright J. Stephen Brantley. This show opened with a successful run in Queens. At the behest of a friend and some ill-gotten free time, I decided to take in this show before its off-Broadway run ended on Nov. 24. What is great to me about this play is that it engages with homosexuality in Africa, cultural misunderstanding, activism, and racial and national boundaries. It’s laden with meaning. By god, the play is brimming with message, but it never loses its charm.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Representation and Historical Sexuality

Originally I wanted to write this post about asexual characters, as this upcoming week is Asexuality Awareness Week. However, besides Tremor, a character from The Movement, I couldn’t think of a single explicitly, canonically asexual character in, well, anything. I did a little digging—that is to say, a Google search—and turned up this list on AVEN’s Asexuality wiki.

Human_Yuki_NagatoThe list includes characters from works as diverse as The Hobbit, Inception, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but in the end, reading it just made me sad. It’s a very brief list, you see, and a large percentage of the characters included fall more under ‘supposed asexual’ than ‘confirmed asexual’. Furthermore, characters like the Doctor and Haruhi Suzumiya‘s Yuki Nagato are aliens, which presents a twofold problem: one, it implies that asexual behavior is non-human, and two, without representatives from the rest of their species, it’s unclear whether their asexuality is personal or societal. One particular thing that stuck with me, though, is this: is it fair to apply modern labels to characters set in the past because they display behaviors consistent with those modern labels?

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Sexualized Saturdays: Sexualities in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2

A horror movie from the early 80’s may not seem like a likely choice for a discussion of sexuality, but when that movie is A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, it’s quite a different story.

Nightmare on Elm Street 2Sex is a common element in horror movies; in fact it’s usually the main indicator of who’s going to die (sexually active people) and who’s going to live (virgins, or at least monogamous partners) but very rarely have horror movies explicitly depicted anything other than heterosexual relationships until recently. There have been exceptions, such as the cult classic Sleepaway Camp, but the second Nightmare film is probably one of the most mainstream horror films to have included not only homosexual subtext but also blatant, in-your-face homosexual text. Today I will discuss three of the main characters from the film: Coach Schneider, the Phys. Ed. teacher; Jesse, the lead; and Grady, the friend.

(WARNING: Under the cut is a lengthy and mildly NSFW article)

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Star Trek and the Distinct Lack of Gay Characters

Star Trek is yet another show that faces a difficult challenge. You might even say that the Powers That Be of Star Trek are up against a potential no-win scenario. This challenge the PTB (particularly the writers) have is that Star Trek has been often up held as this utopian society. In the midst of many dystopian futuristic sci-fi shows, Star Trek, though filled with many alien conflicts, presents us with a universe where the problems of earth have been resolved. In the Star Trek universe there is no more racism, classism, ableism, or sexism.

The reason this can be viewed as a no-win scenario is that it’s hard to create a utopian society when the writer exists in an imperfect world and is influenced by all those -isms that Star Trek claims to have gotten rid of. However, Star Trek has done surprisingly well—yes, there have been some problems, but, for the most part, Star Trek does a pretty good job.

Oh, wait—there is still one problem. There have never been any queer characters in any Star Trek TV show or movie—not one. And no, Kirk and Spock don’t count.

gooseWhen it comes to marriage and gender, Star Trek has addressed tons of different views on marriage and many different interpretations of gender. Hell, there was even a canon male pregnancy in one episode. There have been polygamous relationships, interracial relationships, and interspecies relationships. There have been tri-gendered species and androgynous races, but gay characters? None at all.

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What the Puff: Pipes in Pop Culture

I smoke tobacco pipes. I’ve enjoyed them since I turned 18 and even make them. So, I am pleased when I see television or movies including characters smoking their pipes. You’ll never know where pipe smokers are going to turn up in these things, from Colonel Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds to Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean. Even the First and Fourth Doctors in Doctor Who were seen smoking pipes. However, I’m almost always infuriated when I see how they smoke them. This is because many times the characters smoke their pipes wrong. Typically, these characters seem to be most interested in making as much smoke as possible. This isn’t wrong because of arbitrary etiquette, but rather is wrong because it ruins the taste of the tobacco, burns the mouth, and can ruin a pipe over time.

Gandalf Smokes his Pipe Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Using sex as a “fix” in fanfiction

I don’t frequent fanfiction websites much. I create original universes in my stories, and I’m bothered when people create scenarios with characters I write that make no sense. However, it’s amazing when fanfiction writers are able to break down scenarios that existed in the current universe but weren’t tackled by the original authors.

An example of this is one fanfiction I read today that floored me. The story discussed George Weasley’s pain coming from losing Fred in such a way. It went into the depth of his pain, and included Angela Johnson helping George deal, complete with a romantic relationship. I loved the story. It tackled emotion that readers knew was already there, but went into bigger detail before going back to the original JK Rowling-created universe.

However, more often than not, fanfiction writers decide to “fix” characters, often creating original characters that use sex and romantic relationships to “fix” what if plaguing the character. And I can’t stand this.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Tops and Bottoms

"I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.


One of the things that really bothers me in fanfiction is something as simple as arguing over who is the “top” and “bottom” in a pairing. If magically there are somehow no arguments about who’s on top, then I notice that one person in a pairing is constantly seen as the bottom because they are “weaker and more stereotypically feminine.”

I should stress that I feel this is mostly a slash fanfiction problem, but het pairings and femslash pairings are not exempt in any way. Het pairings simply delegate the women to the role of a “bottom,” but femslash tends to avoid top and bottom debates, though there are some exceptions, such as if a female character tends to be more “stereotypically masculine,” then she will more than likely be on “top.”

Have you seen the key factor here? Hint: it’s a penis.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Willow Rosenberg

Ah, Buffy, how I have such fun memories of thee. I remember always getting excited to sit down to watch some good old fashion vampire murderage, until my parents entered the room to watch it too. Coming from a conservative Christian home and growing up with parents who forced me into joining the middle-school basketball team every Tuesday night right during airtime—under the threat that I couldn’t watch the show unless I joined up, no less! Sense?—Buffy the Vampire Slayer wholeheartedly and irrevocably reverted the hour it aired every week into what Lady Geek Girl and I once nominated as the Parental Bitching Hour. It was the cause of debate, for more reasons than my being blackmailed into unwanted sports that I won’t bore you with the details of.

I don’t know how Buffy managed to piss my parents off so much, as it wasn’t the kind of show they normally invest themselves in, but it raised many an argument in my home. Normally, it went something like this:

“I can’t believe you watch this garbage, Ace! Why don’t you play some sports?”

“…Because I like vampires?”

“You don’t need this fantasy crap when you have the news. Besides, not everyone’s a lesbian!”

“I just want to watch my show. Please?”

Yeah, in order to actually know what was going the hell on in the plot over the tantrum brought on by Willow—the evil slut!—I had to wait for the DVD releases and watch the series all again in the quiet of a dorm room, right underneath the drunken party the floor above me.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Dear Fandom, It’s Not Always the Catholics

So, I have a little bit of a complaint here.

You see, I am a Catholic. In fact, not only am I a Catholic, but I actually decided to dedicate my life to the Catholic Church by studying theology. I am currently going for my Masters in Theology and further plan to go on to get my PhD. That means I have already dedicated about six years of my life to studying theology and I intend to keep doing so for the rest of my natural existence. Clearly, I care about my faith.

That being said, I am the first to admit when the Catholic Church does something wrong. Actually, because I am Catholic, I tend to come down harder on the Catholic Church and other Catholics for doing something wrong.

And I will come right out and say it—the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality is wrong. It’s not just kind of wrong, it’s completely and utterly wrong.

However, fandom, can you please stop making the Catholic Church seem like the freaking Westboro Baptist Church when it comes to homosexuality!

I have read a lot of fanfic and a lot of slash fanfic. Some are what you would call Alternate Universe, where instead of say Dean and Cas being a hunter and an angel fighting demons, they are both starting college and have been paired up as roommates—hilarious hijinks happen!

Inevitably, however, in slash fanfic set in our world a lot of authors tend to incorporate religion into the plot. After all, if one character has been taught their whole life that homosexuality is wrong and then realizes they are gay, well, that is a pretty dramatic and intense story. However, almost all of these fanfic have the uber-religious character be a practicing and devoted Catholic, which would be fine if they didn’t portray my faith like it was Nazism. Continue reading