I am a white man, but I identify as queer precisely because the political movements that have been most influential in defining how I see the world have been propelled not by white gay men or celebrities, but instead by activists and artists of color.
Really? People are wound this tightly that we have to trot out the word “heteronormative”? That scares me, because to me, this entire video project is just being overblown to incredible distortions. On an aside, when I see pontification like this I get a knot in the back of my neck that won’t go away. Pseudo-intellectualism does that to me.
But wait! There’s more!
Daniel Villareal, the gay internet’s response to a reincarnation of Rona Barrett (Wikipedia her if you don’t know who she was) has pulled up his tent from Queerty (where they probably got tired of his crappy writing) and moved to Metro Weekly where he’s actually taken the time to graph out the LGBT public representations in Yezak’s video: (graph from Villareal’s piece)
Even in counting the people in Yezak’s trailer video, however, it is difficult to know how to categorize the sexual identity of straight actors playing gay characters and how to identify unknown trans, gay or bisexual people simply by looking.
Also unknown, particularly in light of Yezak’s nonresponsiveness to Metro Weekly and others’ inquiries, is what his final film will look like given that he has called the video is just the first of five videos he plans on releasing to support Second Class Citizens and not actually the film’s trailer. Also, the video is only seven minutes long and comprised entirely of others’ footage, which would require permission or paid licensing, rather than his own original footage.
Yezak’s fundraising page only mention his desire to portray only the struggles of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Nevertheless, his trailer does include separate images of Chaz Bono, a trans man, and Vandy Beth Glenn, a trans woman, suggesting that trans people may figure at least somewhat into his final vision despite not being mentioned on the fundraising page.
The concern — expressed by Spaulding, Ocamb and others — is that his final documentary will convey LGBT issues as mainly concerning gay white men as opposed to the many races, genders and gender identities fighting inequality throughout the LGBT community. And, though hardly the first to do so, bloggers and others appear to be more directly raising the question of whether that is the correct path now.
Here’s my final words on the subject, which unlike those who have decided to nitpick Yezak to death, will get me to shut up until Yezak comes forward with more videos or a response to these attacks.
1. This video is the first of five videos in support of his film. If anyone, anyone at all, has documented evidence that shows Yezak has no intention at all of completely representing the LGBT spectrum in future releases please come forward now. Anyone? Anyone at all. I’ll wait right here…..
2. Yezak is a white male, and speaking as one myself I would feel grossly incapable of appropriately representing black lesbians or anyone in the transgender population. I would err on the side of caution and defer that to guidance of others who actually were in that segment of the population rather than attempt to do it myself and do it badly.
3. Yezak has not responded publicly about this contrived backlash on his piece, so everyone’s breast beating, garment rending and attempts to fill his mouth with the bitter ash of failure is not only premature, but grossly inappropriate.
4. Put up or shut up. If you can do a better job, get to cut/splicing and stop whining. Snapflow is a great piece of software and will handle your video task quite nicely. Please show us all how it’s done