Homoeroticism and Queer Interpretations of Masculinity

http://pinterest.com/taborsinterests/

For my DIY Project, I chose to make a Pinterest account about homoeroticism and Queer Interpretations of masculinity. I came up with this idea based primarily on my essay about queer culture in sports and how many people still view queerness and sports as two separate entities when in reality they are very much intersected. Secondly, I wanted to further pursue and elaborate on a topic that we mentioned briefly earlier in the semester; “queer reading” (Doty).  In the article that we read about it, the author Alexander Doty discusses how queer readings of texts “aren’t ‘alternative’ readings, wishful or willful misreading, or ‘reading too much into things’ readings. They result from the recognition and articulation of the complex range of queerness that has been in popular culture texts and their audiences all along” (Doty, 345).  I wanted to do two things with Doty’s theory: 1) to combine it with my idea of a legitimate queer presence in sports, and 2) to prove that “queer readings do not only apply to contemporary texts but also historical texts as well. I also wanted to illustrate Alison Piepmeier’s point that “Origin stories are important because they tell us where to look and what patterns to watch for. The ‘wrong’ stories can give us a distorted or diminished of the past, and by extension, the present moment” (Piepmeier, 26) I thought that Pinterest would be the best and most obvious way for me to prove Doty’s theory and apply it to sports as well because photos allow for individual interpretation.

The first part of my project was to look on Pinterest, which I considered to be a fairly progressive site, and see if I could find any boards or ‘pins’ of homoeroticism/ queerness in sports,  and if I could find any historical photos of “queer readings”. After a few extensive searches, I only came up with two or three photos of which I used one for the boards. Since there was a virtually non-existent presence of historical homoerotic photos or queer readings of sports photos on Pinterest, I began the next phase of my project, which involved exploring the web for appropriate and relevant photos to ‘pin’ on my boards. This was a more time consuming process than I had anticipated because I wanted to try and find a variety of photos so as to have the most inclusive boards. For instance, I wanted to find queer interpretations of photos in as many sports as I could, and at least one or two women’s sports (I found one that I thought fit particularly well). In addition, I wanted to find historically homoerotic photos not just of white men, but also other minorities (I found a few photos of black men). Lastly, I wanted to make sure that I included a few contemporary photos of homoeroticism and queer readings of traditionally masculine activities.

I am pleased with the amount and quality of photos that I found, and realized that it is fairly easy to put a “queer reading” onto a text, especially photographs. I think Pinterest was a perfect medium of choice, especially for sports photos, because I think it is evident from looking at the photos that “queer readings” are just as legitimate a way to interpret a text or activity as a heterosexual reading. Furthermore, I was pleased that I could find so many historical photos of homoeroticism or queer interpretations. I think my Pinterest boards help to demonstrate and legitimize “queer readings” of texts and although my boards will not get the same attention as a mainstream media product, I did pin 63 new items to Pinterest for others in the future to use and see, and I plan on continuing to pin more relevant photos to my post. Even though, the Pinterest account that I made, isn’t one that I would use for recreational use, it is one that I plan on periodically updating and adding to because “queer readings” are something that  I want more people to become familiar and comfortable with.

Works Cited:

Doty, Alexander. “There’s Something Queer Here” pgs. 338-345. n.d. Print.

Piepmeir, Alison. “If I Didn’t Write These Things No On Else Would Either: The Feminist Legacy of Grrrl Zines and the Origin of the Third Wave.” Girl Zines: Making Media Doing Feminism. New York: New York UP, 2009. 26. Print.

 

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