Week 10 Reading Response – Joe Viola

The largest takeaway I had when reading this week’s articles was some of the basis of the Aaron reading, namely the discussion of classifying and therefore upholding certain judgements/standards for films that focus on transgender, gay, or otherwise queer characters. It’s certainly noticeable with seemingly every film of that nature that the basis of critique lies within and surrounds the “queerness” of the film, or in Boys Don’t Cry’s case, the “spectacle of [its] transvestism,” as Aaron points out (93). It’s understandable, especially in this case for a film released in the 90’s, that a lot of attention is placed on the queerness of a film, given just the “abnormal” nature of its content and the inexperience most audiences have with such subject matters. However, I wonder if it’s possible, or when it will be possible, for a queer film to be discussed and critiqued with its queerness more in the background than foreground. Queerness in film should certainly not be ignored, especially when it surrounds the main conflict presented (as in Boys Don’t Cry), but I’m waiting for the moment when queer characters and environments and narratives just simply exist, similar to (but not necessarily the same as) their heteronormative counterparts.


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