Scholar Amalia Ziv on Being Queer and it’s Importance as an Identity
Author: David Mattar
February 27, 2013
In a recent interview with Haazretz, Tel Aviv based scholar and author Amalia Ziv talks about her life as a parent and her new book, subtitled Queer Theory, Pornography and the Politics of Sexuality, which explores why ‘queer’ is a more up to date term than ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’—among other topics.
Attending to this issue, Ziv explains that a queer identity does not “denote sexual orientation: If someone says, ‘I am queer,’ this does not automatically tell us what that person does in bed.” In this same way, she records alignments between sexuality and gender in her explanation of the term ‘Genderqueer.’ She reflects on the anti-simplicity of the spectrum whilst also revealing how this view relates to her life as a parent:
So my son lives with two parents who are identified from the outside as mothers, while there is some gender difference, which to him is very apparent. In other words, it is also clear that there is a similarity of sorts between him and me, which there is not between him and Sharon, as his mother. So in that sense he is learning about queer gender. He is learning that there is not a complete overlap between sex and gender; that in certain respects Sharon and I are the same gender, and in other respects we are not. He is learning this experientially. And he gets that this is not something that is easy to explain to those around him.
Submission Guidelines and New Judges for the Green Carnation Prize 2013
Last year saw Patrick Gale and André Carl Van Der Merwe as the joint winners of the 2012 Green Carnation Prize. This year the competition reappears with new judges and a fresh logo. The inception of the prize came as a result of author Paul Magrs tweet about the “scandalous lack of prizes for gay men”. The UK based Prize now exists to celebrate and acknowledge the literature and writings of the LGBT community, and with new judges, Christopher Bryant, Sarah Henshaw and Kerry Hudson, the competition will explore the works of authors whose books are published, for the first time in the UK, between September the 31st 2012 and October the 1st 2013.
La JohnJoseph – ‘Boy in a Dress’, Explores Literary Tradition, Gender, Class, and Identity Formation in New Play
Third gendered gunshot, La JohnJoseph, returns from New York to the UK and draws blood in their new play ‘Boy in a Dress‘—a gritty, unapologetically honest reflection of their life so far. An important step forward for the LGBT community, in it’s portrayal of queer life, ‘Boy in a Dress’ demands attention to the injustices that gender roles, class, and religion inflict on ‘the other’. Time Out Critics’ Choice says: “Incisive, witty, moving (a) high-heeled, low-living clusterfuck of sex, class, religion, gender, identity and ideology.” Calling on the work of Leonard Cohen, Guns N’ Roses and Cole Porter, La JohnJoseph combines musicality, performative lectures, and drag in an ultimately informing and entertaining play about ‘the beauty in the dirt, not separate from it… in it.’
Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ receives homoerotic revision in Operatic remake
In the original version of the short horror story, a ghostly presence, William, narrates the lives of Roderick and Madeline Usher in their mansion, currently at the verge of physical collapse. Composer, Philip Glass, and librettists Arthur Yorinks, along with director Ken Cazan felt that the original needed an update. Upon this influence, they took liberty and created romantic ties between William and Roderick. The homoerotic interpretation of the story, according to Cazan, does not come entirely from thin air:
I tend to go with my first instincts on pieces and I did with this,” Cazan said, noting that Roderick is described as being sensitive to everything, and that he’s facing enormous pressure to continue the House of Usher by producing a male heir—a great difficulty if you’re a homosexual.
David Cecil, British Theatre Producer, is Deported from Uganda After Including Gay Character in Play
In Kampala, the Ugandan capital, Cecil managed The Tilapia Centre, and commissioned for a theatre group to put on a play dealing with any subject they wanted. This quickly turned sour, he tells The Guardian:
Very quickly this group of five black Ugandans, all heterosexual, said: let’s do a play about homosexuality. There has been this common misconception that I kind of parachuted in and deliberately set out to put on a gay play, which is nonsense.
After being detained for five nights in a crowded police cell, Cecil was deported back to London and forced to leave his wife and children on the orders of the interior minister. Determined to return home, Cecil implores the UK Foreign Office ‘to raise their game and make it clear that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right’.
[Photo: Amalia Ziv via Haazretz]