Imps of the Perverse: Gay Monsters in Film

Imps of the Perverse: Gay Monsters in Film

Imps of the Perverse: Gay Monsters in Film

Imps of the Perverse: Gay Monsters in Film

Synopsis

Hollywood movies often portray gay people as being in some sense monstrous. This volume focuses on several filmmakers who have used the trope of the homosexual as monster in a way that subverts traditional cinema. Their movies reveal that the monster can be powerful and attractive, thereby showing gay people a way to claim power from being thought of as outcasts and obviating the notion of "fitting in."

Excerpt

As I read and hear about political issues that affect lesbians and gay men currently, it strikes me how much the political climate of the late-nineties resembles that of the early seventies. As in the early seventies, when gay people were becoming visible in unprecedented ways, in the late nineties gay people are, by virtue of their insistence on becoming more visible in the culture at large, the focus of controversy that often affirms that gay people are a threat to the social order. The main issues connected with the visibility of gay people these days are the sanctioning of gay people serving openly in the military and the recognition of same-sex marriages. In the wake of the actions that have been taking place in Hawaii to award full legal recognition to such marriages, conservative politicians, who now control the United States government (as in the early seventies under the Nixon Administration), have latched onto the issue of recognizing same-sex marriages as constituting a threat to family values, while the courts are being left to figure out what the United States government meant when it developed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy concerning gays who serve in the armed forces.

In contrast to the debate of the seventies, one doesn't hear too many conservatives suggesting anymore that gay people should be thrown in jail or committed to mental hospitals. Their argument seems instead to say basically this: We can accept that being gay might be a private matter that is nobody's business as long as it remains a private matter, and as long as it does, we won't worry about whether any harm is being done. However, if "we" conservatives . . .

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