David Roberts @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Jun. 30, 2019 3 min read

1. Before I go & enjoy the beautiful Seattle sun, a short & entirely inessential thread on #Pride2019 -- about one aspect of all this that I haven't seen commented upon much. Not the most important aspect, but an aspect.

2. So, I'm a normie cis hetero white dude -- the hegemon, the Standard Model, the American for whom all of pop culture was made for decades upon decades. With very few exceptions, culture has been made to flatter my tastes, preferences, & self-conception.

3. Insofar as Others appeared in pop culture - women, minorities, queers, what have you - their stories were inevitably told *in relation* to me. How the free-spirited woman taught me spontaneity, the wise old black man taught me life lessons, my Gay Friend made me tolerant, etc.

4. The world of US pop culture -- even in instances where it has been tolerant, or compassionate, or well-meaning -- has been the world as seen through the eyes of hetero white men. This is something that, like water to a fish, it's difficult for hetero white men to notice.

5. Anyway, my point is that, as LGBTQ rights have advanced, especially in recent years, that monotonic perspective is starting to get shaken up. People who were Others are now making their own content, from their own perspective, reflecting their own histories & values.

6. Note, this is something more than "representation," which is just putting Others on screen. This is the Others conceiving, writing, acting their *own stories*. It is pop culture from their perspective. That, not merely representation/head-count, is what's been missing.

7. There are a kajillion examples, from Ru Paul's Drag Race on down to Pose. And, as an aside, I'm noticing the same thing with race. Like, Donald Glover's Atlanta doesn't just have black actors, it is BLACK, all the way down. New perspectives are (fitfully) emerging.

8. And -- at long last, the point of this thread -- it's fucking delightful! There seem to be lots of white dudes in rural & suburban America who are freaked out about it, who just want to see more Tim Allen sitcoms, but from where I'm sitting, it's a huge gift.

9. I mean, one thing it's really revealed is that protestant cis patriarchal white culture is booooring. Oh, it's another show about a middle-aged white guy in crisis, I wonder if the perky young woman at the coffee shop will give him new life... 😴💤

10. In that boring ass landscape comes, I dunno, Ru Paul, and WHAM, there's vibrancy & style & humor & compassion. Here's comes f'ing Beyonce at Coachella and WHAM. Just big splashes of color & life. And best of all ...

11. ... these are things I haven't seen before, lives I've never seen into, habits & forms of humor & styles & tropes that are not familiar to me. Sometimes, I, a straight white dude even feel (gasp) a little lost, or left out, like I'm watching from the wings, and that's FINE.

12. It is a good thing for me to feel -- a distant, faint echo of the alienation that everyone BUT me has felt for years. It widens my perspective, makes me more compassionate, makes me more *humble* -- there's so much I know nothing about!

13. We often talk about Pride as though it's something straight white culture is giving the LGBTQ community (here are some basic rights & representation, you're welcome), but my in personal experience, the gifts are mostly flowing in the other direction.

14. Since queer culture (and various other subcultures) have gained a greater voice & presence, US pop culture has become 10X more vibrant & interesting. That's awesome!

15. So, that's my Pride thought for the day (which I suppose I could have expressed more succinctly): THANK you to all the LGBTQ pioneers & warriors who fought to get here. In addition to the great moral & political triumphs, you've made culture so much more interesting!</fin>

You can follow @drvox.


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