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Carnegie Mellon Student Shreds Self-Loathing in 'Queer' Performance Art Piece: VIDEO

Queer

Will Taylor, a Carnegie Mellon freshman and budding performance artist, staged "I'll spell it out for you", a visual reaction to the self-loathing experienced by LGBT teens.

Writes Taylor:

"Three days ago, Ellen Page bravely came out to the world through an incredibly powerful speech. Her inspiring and impactful words reminded me of several important issues that I hadn't mustered the courage to express. One of these issues involves the self-hatred that's commonly found amongst LGBT youth. Having grown up in a conservative region, I am incredibly fortunate to have learned to accept myself, as well as understand that my differences with pre-defined social norms do not have to define me as a person. That being said, LGBT youth from my area, and throughout the United States, are in constant struggle with the harassment and misjudgment that's commonly found in our country."

Watch Taylor take on and take off, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. This must make Rick so uncomfortable.

    Posted by: Tyler | Feb 18, 2014 2:20:55 PM


  2. Well, performance art is not my thing. But I appreciate the message that this CMU student is conveying. LGB people are not "queer." It is not hip or progressive to use that word in relation to LGB people. It is not sophisticated irony. It is not clever. It is rank self-hatred.

    And to the extent that the term is meant to describe people who are permanent outsiders, forever in conflict with their families and communities, it does not describe LGB people as a group and using it to describe us is a form of defamation.

    Posted by: Tam | Feb 18, 2014 2:26:38 PM


  3. One persons art is another persons trash!

    Posted by: *****overTX | Feb 18, 2014 2:26:42 PM


  4. Interesting how TAM, leaves out the the actual most maligned segment of our LGB(T)community.

    I myself am an inclusive G of others that are also deemed to be "queer". We all have the same struggles with families and society.

    To discount the T segment of our community, I find quite, well, queer.

    Posted by: Kenn | Feb 18, 2014 2:43:00 PM


  5. LOVING THIS.

    There are a growing number of people who self-Identify as Queer. I'm one of them. I'm gay, and I'm Queer - and I'm empowered by that. Queer - from a different perspective and point of view. Queer - a deviation from the expected norm. Queer - unusual, unique, not common.

    Feel free to click on my name "TAM" and see my blog. I'm a proud and happy self-identified Queer and Gay man, in no way "in conflict" with my family or communities. I'm embraced for who I am - the gay and queer man that I am - as opposed to tolerated on the condition of "Seeming Normal" - The Norm is not something many of us aspire to. Anything but ordinary, thanks :)

    Queer does not mean gay, not all queer people are gay, not all gay people are Queer. But many of us self-identify as Queer - you'll know us by our refusal to blend in and our constant standing up to be counted. :)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 18, 2014 3:02:55 PM


  6. I found this long, awkward, and boring. We have to have standards for art and not just promote it because it's a young gay guy.

    I appreciate that he might be a young student, but it's not enough to just turn the camera on – we live in a society where everyone turns the camera on themselves daily, even though they have nothing to say.

    "I'm not comfortable with the label queer" is not exactly a groundbreaking statement. So if that's all you have to say, you better say it in a way that is compelling.

    Posted by: Romeodawg | Feb 18, 2014 7:06:07 PM


  7. Little Kiwi -

    You should probably look into this a little more before you go around calling urself queer. Although the dictionary may show the traditional definition of queer as odd, unusual or unique, that is not what the word means in the context of so-called "queer identity." If you are not in conflict with, and subversive of, your community's norms, then you are not queer, no matter how unique or unusual you are otherwise.

    If you still call urself queer after understanding what it really means in this context, then that is your right. But I would feel bad for you. Respect urself as a gay man and do not call urself queer, brother!

    Posted by: Tam | Feb 18, 2014 8:49:43 PM


  8. Why are people so down on the use of the word queer. Queer typically identifies someones political leanings, as well as acknowledges an umbrella culture that includes lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans people. Identifying as queer also gives people the option of partnering outside the box (i.e. otherwise gay men or lesbian women who may partner with trans people, or may also sleep with people of the opposite sex may find that simply identifying as gay or lesbian doesn't fully capture their lived experience).

    I feel pretty solidly gay identified because my political priorities or relationship interests don't align as neatly with the queer community as they do with the gay community. However, I support and hope to be an ally to those who identify as queer and respect the many reasons they choose to do so. And I'm not sure why so many gay men feel threatened by those individuals who feel they need to challenge the binaries in order to live their lives most authentically.

    Freedom of expression and of self-identification to all or to none of us!

    Posted by: mike128 | Feb 18, 2014 10:54:25 PM


  9. @ROMEODAWG For Reference: http://imgur.com/HOLEDS0

    Personally, I feel like ripping skin off your chest in the middle of Panera is a little more than just turning on a camera.. (open to suggestions for making it less awkward)

    I agree that saying, "I am uncomfortable with the label queer" isn't an earth-shattering statement for everyone. However, think about LGBTQ kids who have very little sense of support in their lives: the ones without the opportunity to say it. Where I'm from, there are kids who aren't accepted by their friends, aren't accepted by their PARENTS, and ultimately do not accept themselves. This is a miserable lifestyle that leads to self-harm and suicide. Quite frankly, it has become a problem that needs to be addressed.

    I'm well aware that, as a freshman in college, I have much to learn as I continue to develop as an artist. In spite of this, I feel that a flashy, hyper-symbolic show isn't necessarily the best choice (stylistically) for this situation.

    Lastly, I understand where you're coming from. I've watched many performance pieces that have left me frustrated and, consequently, in a state of questioning (What is art, anyway??). At the same time, it would greatly sadden me if the message of this performance is overlooked because of a pompous sense of entitlement.

    Posted by: Will | Feb 19, 2014 12:43:51 AM


  10. If self-identifying as Queer is such an awful thing how come my life has been all the more enjoyable ever since?

    And why has it given me a greater sense of empowerment?

    :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 19, 2014 1:11:51 AM


  11. Um, Kiwi, sorry to butt into this conversation, but didn't you tell us at one point that you were diagnosed with depression? If so, that doesn't sound very happy and empowered to me.

    Also, I think Tam's point was that if you are identifying as queer where queer means unique or unusual, then it isn't harmful. It is only harmful when you identify as queer where queer means permanent outlaw.

    Posted by: Bob | Feb 19, 2014 1:33:29 AM


  12. Bob...what? Kiwi depressed? He should stick his head in an oven and turn on the gas. Sure cure, and what a relief.

    Posted by: NOT | Feb 19, 2014 2:39:02 AM


  13. I love it when queers hate other queers. It shows you who the stupid queers are. Makes life so much easier!

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Feb 19, 2014 1:52:17 PM


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