Anyone who knows me knows me to be a huge Marvel fan, and knows that in the past few weeks I have not stopped talking about Avengers: Infinity War. And while I’ve been marveling at how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come in terms of character development and universe-building in the past ten years, I also can’t stop thinking about the one thing they’ve made very little progress on: LGBTQ+ representation. To give it some context, in May of 2008, Iron Man brought about the beginning of what we know today as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In November of the same year, California passed Proposition 8, which reinstated the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Here we are, ten years later in 2018.
President Martha Pollack approved the creation of an LGBTQ program house on Monday, 25 years after then-Cornell president Frank H. T. Rhodes vetoed the Student Assembly’s resolution, which demanded the establishment of a Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Living-Learning Unit.
Alternative to Tapestry and Speak About It, “What would be more effective is if LGBTRC, Women’s Resource Center, A3C and other resource centers and identity groups could partner together and have a mandatory workshop during orientation week,” Scott Ho ’18 said.
Prof. Emeritus Ritch Savin-Williams used interviews conducted with 206 young men of varied sexual orientations to dispute claims that young gay men frequently suffer from anxiety, depression, and various forms of social pressure.
Alison Bechdel’s memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic has been on my radar a lot lately. I first learned of it after watching the Tonys over the summer, and it was subsequently on my list of Broadway plays to see (and books to read). So when I arrived at school this fall, I was excited to see that Fun Home is actually on the booklist of one of the English classes I am taking this semester. The 2006 book is a graphic novel about Bechdel’s childhood with her controlling father, and her gradual realization that she is gay — and so is he. But Fun Home has been in the headlines this past week not because the publicity around the Broadway rendition is making people like me discover the brilliant memoir, but because some Duke freshmen are boycotting reading Fun Home for the school’s freshman summer reading project (and, I’m assuming, passing up the opportunity to see the author speak about the book at their school) on the grounds that it violates their morality.
On Friday afternoon, there was standing room only in the Goldwin Smith English Lounge as Prof. Masha Raskolnikov, English and feminist, gender, & sexuality studies introduced TransRhetorics, a conference exploring interdisciplinary approaches within the field of Transgender Studies and the rhetorics that represent transgender lives.