Not Straight With Me: Criticisms of Heterosexuals by Queer Users (Research Update #2)

Baby showers aren’t known for their obscenity, but there’s one that made the rounds on Twitter that’s probably cause for criticism. A tweet by @HelloKennedi (and shared by Tiq Milan) contained a gender reveal party video – one in which the gender is revealed by the father in an inappropriate manner (NSFW). The responses to this content were of widespread condemnation, especially from QTPOC individuals.

On social media, particularly when examining meme culture, Queer people are outspoken in calling out their Straight counterparts for exhibitions of toxic or otherwise undesirable aspects of culture. But such comedic critique of heterosexuality isn’t always simple for “the lolz”; these types of content on social media often reflect deeper trends in perception, both within and without the Queer community. For example, a post or meme calling out toxic masculinity, while explicitly meant to portray heterosexual men, might also implicate Queer men exhibit the same characteristics within an LGBTQ context (this article from The Establishment might help to shed some further light on toxic masculinity among Gay men). Alternatively, the same content might go out of its way to avoid critique of Queer culture, instead emphasizing ridicule of heterosexuals to portray some superiority of LGBTQ folks. Tiq Milan’s retweet of @HelloKennedi’s video, for example, doesn’t have anything that connects directly to his Queer brethren, instead merely showing disgust for the actions of the Straight father.

Queer popular culture is not unconnected to heterosexuality – in fact, it can be argued that it’s bolstered by such. From memes to activism, criticism of heterosexual peers is a defining feature of LGBTQ life (among many, many other aspects of modern society). While there exists some division in Tiq’s fanbase regarding this and other tweets and retweets, it shouldn’t be denied that this one part of the Queer community has sway and is multifaceted. It’s part of what makes being Queer a unique experience; combine that with modern technology, and there’s never been such a time for our community to be this outspoken.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a really interesting study! I read that in a lot of ways the queer community was traditionally defined not by what it is, but by what it is not (i.e. “queer” being “not the norm”). Do you find this to be true? Does it parallel with what you were saying about criticism of straight peers bolstering the queer community? Do you feel like this definition is as accurate today as it would have been decades ago or not at all?

  2. chelschive says:

    This is really well written @janewby. I have actually seen the tweet you’re referring to which really caught my attention. I hope to see more research updates from you as this sounds really intriguing!

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