Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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Curve Magazine: My Review of Their Review of My Website

Curve magazine is not as generous as Utne; they only sent me the single page with the review of my website, instead of the whole magazine. They also do not seem quite as sympathetic to or as knowledgeable about my cause at Utne did. I think I am becoming a big Utne fan.

Still, Curve did print my URL, and a review that says the following:
Acquired Characteristics
www.queerbychoice.com
This Pride, expect the usual chants to include "It's not a choice" or "I was born this way," as if sexuality were an affliction endured by hapless victims. But as more out and proud LGBT people are asserting, the origins of homo-sex and gender-fuck are irrelevant if you feel strongly that you chose to be queer. Which is why queerbychoice.com is an important read: Unapologetic and sexy, the site offers numerous links on sexuality theory, sociological studies and radical activism. Subscribe to the mailing list, or check out Queer Liberation Front, a direct-action movement devoted to the idea that "gender, sex and sexuality are fluid and limitless." Queerbychoice.com devotes a bit too much energy trying to disprove a gay gene; after all, the "born gay" mantra should not have to be true or false to secure basic human rights. But the site coherently articulates that no political or social identity can emerge from a biological vacuum.
My reactions:
  • "Sexy"? My site is "sexy"?? Really??? What exactly about it is specifically "sexy"???? Don't get me wrong, I mean, I'm totally not at all unhappy about it if people really feel sexually attracted to my website. It's just, y'know . . . that wasn't really exactly a word that I expected to hear used in reference to my website. I've heard it complimented in all sorts of different ways before, but I've never heard anyone call it sexy before. To be perfectly honest, I always thought the most flattering description possible for its visual layout would be "charmingly dorky." I never aspired to anything as confident as sexy.


  • Although I enthusiastically endorse the goals of the Queer Liberation Front, I'm really not affiliated with it in any way whatsoever aside from simply including a prominently placed hyperlink to their site on the index page of mine. The review gives the impression that they're some sort of subsidiary of mine, which they aren't. Okay, to be fair, this probably means my own website gave the reviewer the impression that they're some sort of subsidiary of mine, and maybe that's my fault. Still, for the record: I'm not their leader, I'm not even a member of their mailing lists. I just happen to admire them and feel pleased that they're promoting the same ideas I am, that's all.


  • "Too much energy trying to disprove a gay gene": Hello, reviewer, I see you disagree with my opinions. How nice of you to react to the disagreement by wishing I would shut up and stop presenting evidence for anything you disagree with. The fact that queer people would still deserve not to be discriminated against even if a "gay gene" could be discovered does not make it in the least bit irrelevant to examine the ways that the media hype in support of such a gene has been ridiculously biased to overlook humongous flaws in the studies. When the heterosexual mainstream media are drastically overhyping massively flawed studies to promote a particular theory about why queers are queer, then we queers need to sit up and take notice and start asking questions about what exactly is in it for heterosexuals to support this theory. The mere fact that any theoretical "gay gene" theoretically ought not to cause queerness to be thought less of does not prevent it from often being more realistically likely that most heterosexuals would interpret such a gene in exactly the way Dr. Laura so famously did, as a "biological mistake" which it's okay to consider inferior. In my opinion, the heterosexual mainstream media promotes the notion of a "gay gene" precisely to foster sentiments like Dr. Laura's, and I believe we need to undermine Dr. Laura-style homophobes' smug certainty about their genetics in order to ever dissolve their homophobia.


  • The last sentence of the review is not very, um, coherently articulated. To say "the site coherently articulates that no political or social identity can emerge from a biological vacuum" initially came across to me as saying that my site coherently articulates that queerness could never have been invented unless there were a "gay gene" underlying it all! Obviously, that can't be what the reviewer meant. I suppose the reviewer intended the phrase "biological vacuum" to refer to a political and social vacuum in which nothing other than a "gay gene" is queer in the world; but the unclear phrasing certainly caused me to blink and do a double-take.


  • The review concludes by giving my site three mice out of a possible five mice. Of the other two websites reviewed, www.dykemarch.org received four mice and www.gaywebmonkey.com received two mice, so mine was in the middle. And "three mice" is helpfully translated at the bottom of the page as signifying "Definitely Bookmark." So clearly, it could be much worse. Still, personally, ahem, I'd rate my website much higher than that. :p (And hey, three out of four people rating my website over on queerworld.com gave it 10 out of 10 (the fourth person gave it a five), so why can't one of those three get a prominent website reviewing job?)
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