Taking advantage of the Hellfire Gala and the kind of relationships we create between looks and sexualities, Mutant Watch invited three guests last Saturday to talk about those queer aesthetics in the X-Men lore from the 80s till today. With us this time was Erik Ojo, black transmasc artist & video content/analysis creator; Dorian L. Alexander, speculative fiction and queer humanisms’ student and comics writer (including ‘The Mystique of Mystique’ at The Nib), and Rhayne from Carefree Black Nerd, a podcast about representation in comics & related media.
As our conversation moves around the relationship between LGBTQ+ culture and mainstream culture, disco music, BDSM and kink clothes, gender non-conformity through the Claremont era of the franchise, and moving through the hypermasculinity of the 90s till today. As we go around the ways in which this complicates and enriches the question of queerness in these comics, it ends up prompting the question (brought by Dani Kinney in the live comments) of how the Hellfire Gala (and other mainstream culture events like the MET Gala or RuPaul’s Drag Race) rebrands the aesthetics of trans BIPOC culture, ballroom communities, street queens, sex workers…, but can it interrogate the power dynamics behind this appropriation? Does it live up to it?
Watch the whole discussion here:
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Talking LGBTQ+ Culture and Aesthetics in the X-Men – Mutant Watch Ep027
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