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14 December 2007 @ 06:25 pm
All you queer fucking faggots better shut your whore mouths  
So, I just recently started getting really into James Dean. And I'm coming at him from an odd direction, seeing as I got all interested in Martin Landau first and then found out he was BFF with Dean and was basically hoping to find more about their friendship (thus far, I haven't had a ton of luck). But the thing with James Dean is that there's all this goddamn drama about whether or not he was gay or bi or what.

My feelings on this are that, uh, he did sleep with men--Jack Simmons, Rogers Brackett, William Bast, James Gilmore. And when asked about his sexuality by a reporter answered with, "I'm not going through life with one hand tied behind my back."

Also he was twenty-four when he died. I'm twenty-two and not all that sure on my sexuality, so I can certainly understand if Jimmy was confused and pressured about all that noise. The fifties wasn't much of a time to be queer, certainly not in the acting business. There was a lot of pressure to be straight for the cameras, no matter how bohemian you were during your time off or how many queer friends you had. And god knows we can't just let James Dean be questioning or be experimental or, god forbid, just be generally queer. No, we have to pin it down: he was gay, he was straight, he was bi.

It doesn't help that Dean was awfully good at picking and choosing who he divulged his feelings to. Martin Landau insists that his friend wasn't gay because they looked at girls together, but come on... we're not idiots. Dean was a smart guy who could easily have made wise decisions about who he wanted to share his feelings with. And Martin Landau, bless him and damn him, is a man who chose in 1958 to play gay in the second movie he was in: North by Northwest, as Leonard, and it's completely unambiguous. And he not only made the decision, he made the observation in the first place that his character came off as gay... then played him without resorting to camp. So you'd think he'd know better. But no, he says some things here that are just really disappointing. Although really it's the guy with the strong Southern accent that is the most ridiculous; dude, maybe you just weren't that hot. Interestingly, Landau's position on this seemed to soften somewhat a couple of years later on Larry King, when he sort of admitted that Dean might have been "experimental." I don't know. All I know is that they would have made a fucking adorable couple. Just look at Jimmy all sneaking up on him. Aww.

And if you think that implication is immature or silly, well, you're wrong. It's a defense, in a way, a method of using imagination to keep from feeling hurt or isolated. It's also the kind of selfish fantasy that would, apparently, be acceptable if one of them were a girl. But fuck that, there's nothing wrong with liking queer romance. And there's nothing wrong with it being more prevalent in some circles, which is what this argument fails to grasp. The assumption that works focusing on heterosexual themes should be the norm in fanworks is honestly creepy to me, and really does suggest a whole bag of fundamental misunderstandings. No, not just misunderstandings, but completely different ways of looking at the world, one based upon mainstream expectations versus counterculture and marginalization. But then I'm not quite sure how to feel about that.
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squonk: gay boy lovesquonk on December 15th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
And if you think that implication is immature or silly, well, you're wrong. It's a defense, in a way, a method of using imagination to keep from feeling hurt or isolated.

Nice observation.
DrWorm: protectdrworm on December 18th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
I try. Sometimes it just sucks getting talked down to all the time, I guess. I don't know. :/
bullwinkybullwinky on December 15th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
I was taught by my parents as I was growing up, that the gender of who I chose to love meant nothing. It was all about their mind and personality. I didn't have to choose someone of the opposite gender for my love to be "correct" or valid. It influenced how my sexuality developed, and to this day I still don't know what I am. It DOESN'T matter. 'cept that if I am gay, I should probably take self-defence classes.

It's hard for me to understand why people make such a big fuss over who someone else chooses to love, when it isn't even SLIGHTLY their fucking business. Sexuality is such a personal, strange and unique thing. I just don't understand.
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DrWorm: fuck me up!drworm on December 29th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
I know I'm late saying this, but thank you for this comment because it was totally cute. Although I only just now figured out the first part... sort of.

Still very cute, though, ahaha. It totally made my evening when I saw it. :)
A. Askewanivad on December 15th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
I think the whole issue about how het stuff 'should' be the norm in fandom has more to do with how most fandoms are heterosexual in nature, and thus having slash stuff would make the bulk of fanworks uncanonical. If the fandom was queer-centered, then the opposite would be true. At least, for me that would be my main reason if I ever got unhappy over an excess of slash in hetero-centric fandom, which has yet to happen.

But then of course there's the whole issue of how fandom is often the main outlet for slash fantasies and it would be unfair to deny people that. Freedom of expression and everything.

does the w in woolworths stand for 'wool science'?saltedpin on December 15th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Very well put :)
DrWorm: big headdrworm on December 18th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
Elisa - Queen of Dorks: Jeff is love2lily_lemony on December 15th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
Aw mannn...you make me wanna see Rebel again. Y'know, the Griffith Park Observatory has this massive James Dean statue because a lot of Rebel was filmed there. I'll take ya a pic next time I'm up there. :)

I always see a little Dean in Jeff in Frightmare. Especially in the scenes on the stairs with the cigarette. :)
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DrWorm: fuck me up!drworm on December 18th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, wow, that's sort of awesome and sort of sad. I can't believe you couldn't find a biography, though, since there have to be like... a dozen of them out now. Weird. (For my money, I expect I'll end up buying only the gayest of his biographies.)

I've only actually seen bits and pieces of Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Oh, the shame. :(