asexuality and the homosexual experience
I don't know why it took me so long, but I've finally started making the effort to expose myself to queer cinema. I have a copy of The Celluloid Closet
on my shelf, but I still haven't gotten around to reading it. I'm surprised Mom didn't pass comment on that when I bought it.
My exposure has, I must admit, been limited to a very small number of lesbian films and a plethora of against-the-grain readings of more mainstream films. And by a very small number, I mean two: Go Fish
and But I'm a Cheerleader
. The former almost turned me off queer cinema forever (though as a more mature filmgoer, I might now be able to look at it as stylized rather than clumsy), so it wasn't until a year later that I finally looked at another film about lesbians. But I'm a Cheerleader
is, in one word, awesome. It's a bit problematic due to its heavy use of stereotypes--at least, at first glance. Yes, it has butch lesbians and girly gay guys ("I just wasn't meant to be butch!" *cries*), but the straight characters are formed in much the same way. I don't think there's a single non-homophobe straight person in the movie. The point is not that the characters are deep or realistic--it's that, even using our current perceptions of sexuality, it's entirely possible to tell a story that gets at the truth of the matter.
Anyway, the point I was going to make is that But I'm a Cheerleader
is what has finally convinced me that yes, as an asexual I do have things in common with other queer people. I've said in the past that I feel as distant from lesbians as I do from straight women, since they both experience feelings I've never felt, but when it comes down to it, being an asexual teen and passing isn't all that different from being a homosexual teen and passing. In the early parts of But I'm a Cheerleader
, before Kimberly realizes who she really is, her boyfriend keeps kissing her--or, rather, slobbering all over her face while she looks bored. Assuming that it's a subjective portrayal rather than the guy just being bad at kissing, I can totally relate. I hate to say it, but kissing a guy is one of the most disgusting things I've ever done. I know some asexuals like kissing, but that's just one example. It's taken me a surprisingly long time to realize it, but going against your sexuality in order to fit in is something that happens to almost all queer kids regardless of whether or not they're actually sexual at all. So, while I'm not going to go out and have the same adult experiences as my sexual queer counterparts, at least we have the same early life experiences to work from.
x-posted to asexuality
and asex_adjusted Current Mood: geeky