Riverdale’s Cruis-ade on Gay Cruising Culture

Cruise

So, I’m a big television watcher. Naturally I’ve sunk my teeth into one of my favorite guilty pleasures the CW’s Riverdale which is the real-life version of the Archie comics, but with a very dark twist (I even have another podcast that I co-host). This season started up a few weeks back and lo and behold there is a killer on the loose. But last nights episode exposed something even darker than a masked murderer.

Kevin Keller is the Archie worlds singular gay character, introduced in 2010. In this episode Kevin does something I didn’t even think still happened – cruising.

For those of you who don’t know, cruising is a slang/code word for gay men looking for anonymous gay sex. In many cases, cruising spots were in the thick of woody areas, where gay men knew to congregate via word of mouth so they can do mouth to mouth 😅. It was popularized in the 1970’s and to this day remains an underground aspect of gay culture.

There are two sides to this. On one side, it can be perceived to be for the perverted and kink-loving voyeurs.

The other side is because just like many bi-products of the hetero-normative society, homosexual activity was frowned upon and outlawed. In many cases, cruising was simply the only way gay men could explore their naturally sexual desires.

In its worst moments gay activity became synonymous with the darkness – hiding, lurking, alleyways and closets. But the true reality is, heteronormativity is what pushed homosexuality into that same darkness. The positive of this is it has allowed the gay community to be the leaders in the sexual exploration of male pleasure.

On a wider lens, exploring these aspects in secret allowed us to better understand the connection between intimacy, sex, and fetish without the feeling of societal shame that comes along with some of these activities.

The one thing I will say about watching this on Riverdale, one of the biggest shows on television is, I worry the messaging. Kevin Keller’s extremely shitty defense when confronted by BFF Betty is “this is what I’ve got, these woods. So please don’t come here and tell me it’s disgusting”. In a day and age where gay culture has progressed so far, (the character of Betty even pleads with him to stop and “just use Grindem like every other guy in the world”) there is not a real need for cruising in the woods. Other than the kink aspect of it, putting yourself in a very vulnerable position for all types of harm is just unnecessary. It frustrates me to see it have been used more for a trivial plot device than a real social commentary piece.

Are you a Riverdale fan? What are your thoughts on this? Sound off in the comments below! 


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Dear White People // TV That’s Snatching My Weave

I’m going to keep this short, but please watch this show. This show is so important, especially now. It centers around an Ivy League university in the States and focuses on the racial issues young black people face and what they want to do about it. It is funny, entertaining and too real. I just got to the halfway mark of the first season and it has some extremely powerful moments in it. The way the story is told is showing each character in their small community on campus and how they are interwoven and what their individual perspectives are. The way they tell the story helps to be inclusive and show that there is diversity even within communities.

You may have clicked on or followed this blog for one reason. But remember all people who are marginalized and have had histories of oppression feel a similar pain. Not the same, but similar. This common thread should allow us to not only empathize but be willing to stand up for all injustices. Watch. Stay woke.

 


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Queer Britain // TV That’s Snatching My Weave

So another one to watch guys. BBC Three just started a series called “Queer Britain” where they tackle different topics based on the LGBTQ perspective. I just got watching the first one and it’s always been a very enticing subject for me: Being Gay and Religious. Check out the first of the series below:

(Also how adorable is the host?)

Watching anything amazing? Sound off in the comments!


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REVIEW: Moonlight – Outside the Shadows // Film That’s Snatching My Weave

Moonlight tells the story of a young boy named Chiron who is living in a ghetto with his mom. The film is split into three sections, each capturing a moment in time of Chiron’s growth as an individual. More than anything, the story is about identity (my favorite thing to talk about!) and finding a way to be at peace with who you are despite the way life has unfolded.

I enjoyed the layering in the film Moonlight. It covers being a person of color and poverty – Chiron being born into a not so ideal situation with his single mother addicted to drugs. The fact that these two concepts of being black and poor are a true reality for many,  I was glad to see this film tackle both in such an honest way. The struggles Chiron faces as a young boy in the ghetto are beautifully drawn with his desire for love from any one who has the patience to listen. It teaches of compassion and understanding – the foundation of who he becomes is set in the first act.

Moonlight covers off the forever unmoving ideology of masculinity. It challenges what it means to be a man in the world and what it takes to survive. The concept of sacrificing your own identity and putting your own life aside just to get by is something that struck a chord in me. Chiron is unable to understand who he can be and instead falls victim to his environment.

This film is a must watch. The display of these concepts- poverty, masculinity, and personal identity; they are all relatable to any person willing to look into themselves and then look out to the world. 


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Steven Universe // TV That’s Snatching My Weave //

Before you go in on me about the “cartoons are for kids” notion, please pay attention. I first learned about Steven Universe about a year ago now. I heard about it through Tumblr (okay I know I’m not helping my case) and the post that was attached to it was truly heartwarming so I started to watch it. Now, on any given evening, you’ll find me curled in bed watching a re-run.

It’s a show that’s on the Cartoon Network about a young boy who is being raised by aliens with the mission to help protect the Earth. Besides the ease of watch (every episode is a bearable 10 minutes) and its humor, it is a story with heart.

Now you may be wondering, “why are you posting this show on the Sassy Gay?” It is because the main characters of this show go through the struggles of being the underdog and find ways to still love, learn, grow and accept. Sound familiar? This most recent episode touched me very much – teaching someone to see the other side. It also spoke to a situation that a lot of people seem to need to see I wish Trump would see this scene.You should check it out (@7:38-):

Please watch this show. For inspiration. For happiness.


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Reasons Why Beyonce Losing Best Album of the Year is the Actual WORST

Grief. Doubt. Frustration. Heartbreak.

These are all emotions that were pulled out of my heart when I first watched/listened to Lemonade – Beyonce’s 2016 audiovisual masterpiece which chronicles a black woman’s struggles through love and life. What Beyonce shared with the world was not only the raw emotion captured in song and creative art. Lemonade was a statement to the music industry of it’s ever changing landscape on how the world wants and sees music. Lemonade was set to win the Best Album of the Year. Yet the GRAMMYs decided on another winner. Here are 3 reasons why that is total bullshit.

1. Beyonce wins Urban Contemporary Album of the Year

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? The GRAMMYs literally have an urban contemporary category. Sure, let’s throw all the amazing colored artists into one category so they have a chance at a Grammy. Do you understand how patronizing that feels? And yes as an aside, Beyonce being recognized by the colored community via BET awards is great and well deserved. But people of color recognizing people of color for excellence will never match the validation of an internationally known industry standard like what the GRAMMYs have become. People of color are held down by their own oppression – stuck in a circle of handshakes and back pats from the wrong people.

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“It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror — first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves.” – Beyonce Knowles

This woman speaks to her children for this win. She looks to the generations of people of color that would look up and see a person of color win an award for a album. We aren’t talking about equality anymore. This is about EQUITY.

2. “What the Fuck Does She Have to do to Win Album of the Year?”

Words spoken by Album of the Year winner Adele during the Q&A session post-win. Imagine, even the WINNER OF THE BEST ALBUM OF THE AWARD KNOWS THAT IT SHOULDN’T HAVE GONE TO HER! You know what the Grammys taught us on Sunday? It’s no longer about the best music. It’s no longer about art. You can completely change the music game – push boundaries, create a media frenzy from your album drop, positively affect the outlook of millions, perform at the Grammys as a lit-er-al goddess (and kill it). And if you are a person of color, you will never be enough. What an awful, backward message to be sending the millions of supporters of this award show.

3. If We Are Going to Heal, Let it Be Glorious

Spoken by the queen herself at the end of her performance, Beyonce declares “1000 girls raise their arms.” This statement was meant to be a declaration to stand up and fight against the injustices of today’s world. Instead here we are again, on the public stage, using it to tell people of color that you have to fight twice as hard to get what you want. As Malcom X said, “The most disrespected person in America  is the black woman.” Whether you are a single mom working two jobs, an entrepreneur running a business, or Beyonce herself, your excellence will always be looked at with greater judgment. I truly applaud Beyonce’s patience for this bullshit – for her ability to rise above the blatant display of inequity. It is something all people of color must keep in their arsenal from now until things change. Rise above defeat and come back stronger. Clap and cheer in the face of discrimination. Pronounce your greatness even without recognition. This is the world we live in. This is what people of color all need to do to both survive but also thrive in this world.

To anyone who minimizes this issue, they aren’t seeing the whole picture. People always say being nominated is a win in itself. But when winning means changing the outlook of millions of people of color to feel that they are included in popular culture, seen and heard, and that they are recognized for their artistic excellence by a world renown industry institution, WINNING MEANS EVERYTHING.


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Why I Wish Ellen Had Kim Burrell on Her Show // TV That’s Snatching My Weave //

Prayer. Love. Forgiveness. Sinners.

All these words are familiar to gospel singer and  Kim Burrell who is now being branded a notorious “homophobe”. This all stems from what she said in a sermon where she basically tells all homosexuals to “beg god to free you”. [Girl, if it were that easy you and I both would be doing better things with our time] She unfortunately comes from a place and time where people still believe that this is a thing. It’s sad and its regressive and unfortunate she had an audience to preach to. But she isn’t the only one. She is certainly not the last.

I think she is misguided.

She lent her voice to a song with Pharrell and was invited to perform on Ellen. In light of this situation, however, Ellen decided to publicly inform the world that she was “uninvited” and went on to ask Pharrell about it. Thank goodness for that guy. While he had to nod and explain her away, he said something great:

“Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech, and you feel like it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you, because you may not have anything to do with that, all you got to do is put the word ‘black’ in that sentence, or put ‘gay’ in that sentence, or put ‘transgender’ in that sentence, or put ‘white’ in that sentence, and all of a sudden it starts to make sense to you”

 

Can anyone explain to me why this exact notion of shaming someone for being intolerable is so terribly ironic?

I thought we learned our lesson. 

Donald Trump is sitting in one of the highest offices in the United States because “the right side” and the “wrong side” didn’t talk to one another. They screamed about it from afar. They didn’t reason which each other – they just judged and brought more like minded people to their side. Unfortunately when you divide a country and majority rules it only shows the harsh reality of that world. But what did that solve?

It seems we have come to a world where EVERYTHING is grounds for offense. Being free to speak your mind is met with a camera in the face and a world wide public shaming. We fight for our own communities when we talk about bullying and violence and yet no one seems to think much about it when they deem it “inappropriate”. How have we not realized that we are stronger as a collective?

Understanding. Conversation. Education. Growth. 

Easier said than done I guess. How do you teach past ignorance? I’m not sure. But stop posting videos and judging from afar. Perhaps Ellen’s show wasn’t the right venue for this conversation. But someone should talk to Kim and try to teach her to see the world in a different way. Stop cutting the other side out. We need to actually be more inclusive instead of just saying we are. Let’s talk about it.


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