Wednesday morning and the dark is pushing up against my windows again this morning. This weekend is when the time changes, isn’t it, or is it next? No, it’s this one, and that extra hour of sleep is going to fuck with me for awhile, I know. That’s just kind of how things work, isn’t it? I get used to doing something one way and it takes me forever to adjust to that change, so I figure I’ll get used to the time change sometime around the time it changes again. Yay for being old and cranky and crotchety! Heavy heaving sigh. But part of the fun stuff about getting older is becoming more set in your ways, I suppose.
Ever so much fun.
It is funny how things change, isn’t it? The other day I went on Twitter to just waste some time (really, that’s all it is, no matter how much you enjoy interacting with your friends, it’s still a time-wasting hellscape for the most part) and saw that young Kit Conner, who plays Nick on Heartstopper, has come back onto social media–from taking a break–to tweet the following: Back for a minute,I’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye.
This was followed up with a wave of support and outrage–as it should have been–because what was happening was this young man, who’d previously said in interviews that he was comfortable with his sexuality and fine with it, but preferred not to talk about, was accused of queerbaiting because a picture of him holding hands with someone of the opposite sex had made the rounds. I am not entirely sure what this means, to be honest; but from what I gather it’s a celebrity who “teases” that they may be queer but never comes out and says so in order to gain fans? Other examples given on Twitter were Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. I know there’s a thing about queer roles being played by non-queer actors, and queer actors not getting opportunities because straight actors are getting those roles (and being praised and getting award recognition for their “bravery”–although no one is ever considered brave for playing a serial killer or a mass murderer or a Nazi). But the thing is we don’t know how everyone identifies–that’s just the truth–and is it really any of our business? I have long deplored the culture where fans are hungry and desperate (thirsty, is the term now, I believe) to know everything about their favorite celebrities, but I don’t really care who Taylor Swift is sleeping with, or which Kardashian is now involved with what professional athlete/actor/model. I get curiosity–and of course we queers have been guilty of speculating about the sexual preferences of celebrities, primarily out of a hunger for visibility.. But we older queers need to remember that the world has changed–partly because of all the work we did being visible and so forth–and while speculating isn’t particularly harmful, this whole queerbaiting thing just strikes me as particularly nasty–especially when it’s applied to a person. A person can’t queerbait–unless they are actually pretending to be queer, for whatever reason, for financial or career gain, when they actually are not–queerbait is a term used primarily for movies and television shows that promise queer content to get us to buy tickets or tune in to watch, but don’t deliver. Like oh look there’s a queer character in Star Wars at last! Only to have it be a same-sex kiss between two characters that aren’t even in the main cast, flashed on screen for maybe two seconds. Disney is notorious for doing this. So, going after an eighteen-year-old for queerbaiting is absurd on its face, and the entire point of the show Heartstopper was, in fact, that it’s okay to be confused and not understand everything immediately, but to figure it out for yourself in your own time.
Queerbaiting also consists of pretending to be queer to give your writing about queer people a false authenticity, but that’s a subject for another time. I think it’s great we have reached a place in our culture and society that more and more celebrities are feeling comfortable enough to come out publicly, but we really need to stop speculating about people’s private lives and give them the room to figure it out for themselves. Some may never be comfortable coming out publicly, and that’s okay too. In the early days of the queer equality movement, we urged everyone to come out–power and safety in numbers, and the more visibility we had the more people would stop seeing us a “threat” of some sort. But times change, and they have. And while I certainly hope that everyone has the courage and the ability to eventually live their authentic lives they want they want to, I also understand that some may never do so. It’s a process, and it’s different for everyone.
And shouldn’t everyone be free to come out on their own timeline of comfort?
I had insomnia again last night. I was exhausted after I wrote my chapter last night–I was exhausted when I got home from work. honestly–and eventually went to bed early, around nine. Scooter woke me by caterwauling for no apparent reason right around eleven thirty–woke me from a deep sleep, I might add–and I was never able to fall back asleep. I did get my chapter written, despite being so tired, and after I did that I collapsed into my easy chair for a while. I tried to read to no avail, tried to find something, anything, to watch, and finally as I was dozing off in the chair decided it wouldn’t hurt to go to bed early. The chapter isn’t very good, either–none of this draft is good, to be honest–and last night the stress and anxiety about everything I have to do finally built to a point where it peaked, I had a bit of a meltdown, and I snapped back into normalcy, which I hope will last through the day. It has been building for quite some time now–I found myself getting angry really quickly yesterday and over nothing, really, and that’s a sign–but unfortunately there’s no way around it other than letting it build till it boils over and I get the pressure release and I am fine again. I think last night writing the chapter and knowing it was terrible and knowing I am behind and I have so much left to do and then it’s going to take such a massive overhaul to rework it all into something decent that I just started freaking about everything I have to get done and so I had my little meltdown and hopefully, that pressure won’t start building again for a while at any rate.
And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely Wednesday, Constant Reader.