Queer-wise: Anjel

Anjel Moore is a young adult living in Georgia. They are a self-proclaimed pansexual dumbass who is an absolute delight to talk to. When not playing Overwatch and watching anime, they are working on original characters and working on voice acting. The following interview has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

I didn’t have any particular series or movies, but I did enjoy certain characters and reoccurring tropes such as the queer-coded villains like Scar (The Lion King) and Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective).

Looking back what do you think about it would still impact you?

I guess what would be being unapologetic in who you are and what you do.

What’s the best queer representation you’ve seen recently?

I earnestly and wholeheartedly adored Yuri Katsuki from Yuri!!! on Ice. His story was focused on love in all it’s forms, including his partner and coach Victor Nikiforov. Where I expected queerbaiting and will-they-won’t-they between episodes, Yuri!!! on Ice not only gave us representation, but a narrative to celebrate and enjoy for years to come.

How long have you been openly queer?

I’m still closeted for the most part. Only my sister and friend group know I’m queer.

How has being queer changed how you see movies and TV?

It leaves me questioning what is the norm, why it stays that way, and how stereotypes effect the way queer people are seen in general.

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Queerwise: Momo

Alex “Momo” Morlan is an applied math major at Texas A&M University. He is a bisexual disaster man who enjoys creating Dungeons and Dragon campaigns that everyone will drop out of when he comes up with the next idea and Civ 5. His favorite color is emerald green, though this has absolutely no bearing on his fashion sense. He is a very dear friend. The following interview has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

Avatar the Last Airbender. Because it was amazing and I watched it with my sister and I loved it.

Looking back what do you think about it would still impact you?

All of it. [laughing] Considering the fact that I rewatched it all in the last six months. Just every inch of it.

What’s the best queer representation you’ve seen recently?

Uh, obviously, Ouran High School Host Club which I just happened to watch oh sixteen hours ago! Because someone has decided to call me out all week. [You are so valid, Momo. What about it made it good representation, do you think?] Uhhh… because it was kind of actually fairly realistic in terms of… uh… nonbinary. Just like, “Eh. Whatever.”

How long have you been openly queer?

[long pause] Depends on like… to who we’re talking about. [Just in general.] Like… four or five years?

How has being queer changed how you see movies and TV?

Um… I sit very differently while watching them? Um… generally more of like a slouched posture. Aaand… um… movies have changed much less because like the very specific seating arrangements they have. [Both laughing] But for TV, I generally now lounge on the couch. Uh in my perfect world I have like a very cute guy feeding me grapes, but like that never happens really. [Okay, you dense motherfucker. Or fatherfucker, depending on the mood. How has your identity changed how you perceive the television that is queer or not queer or pointedly not queer?] Uhh… it allows me to see a lot more of the like “Oooh.” This person’s like, “Oh yeah! They’re gay!” And I’m like, “No. You have not written them that way.” Or, “This person’s straight!” “Hahaha! Haha! That’s cute! No. Most definitely not.”

Queerwise: Ais

Ais Burniston is a nonbinary ace student at Texas A&M University who fights their special interest hell with their powers of autistic hyperfocus. Which means that when they fall into a new special interest the last can… go ahead and go on the back-burner this month. They are double majoring in statistics and sociology and somehow still powering through with a little help from their friends. The following interview has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

It’s the Secret of Kells. It’s a Cartoon Saloon movie – that’s the name of the studio. It’s the first Cartoon Saloon movie. And um… I have it memorized pretty much word for word. I’ve watched it too many times.

Looking back what do you think about it would still impact you?

It’s just a really good story. It’s like um… it’s a really interesting take on like – Song of Sea more than Secret of Kells but like how uh culture changes and how it kind of strikes inevitably for the people who are there before and they don’t really know a way to combat what people will think of you… if you know the end of Hamilton, sort of like you don’t control your own legacy, the people alive afterwards do. It’s sorta like that. And also it’s got cool monsters… so… yeah.

What’s the best queer representation you’ve seen recently?

Oof that’s tough! That’s good that it’s tough! Overall, probably Steven Universe. Cause you got so many different types. You know? You’ve got Garnet. It’s like this looong – they’re in love. Then you’ve got Pearl with her sort of… unrequited love. And um… Amethyst is sorta hinted to be not – well none of them are cis because they don’t have a gender but – that’s pretty chill!

How long have you been openly queer?

Four years. But it was harder at first because like I was ace so it’s hard to be openly ace. Well I still am ace but like – I mean people knew once they talked to me because I would forget inuendos. Like I’d be like – like they would not – I would – it would take me – I would either not know what they were or I would take like three extra seconds. I’d be like, “Ooooooh! Dick joke.” It was like… yeah. Cause I didn’t know I was trans until later.

How has being queer changed how you see movies and TV?

It makes it tougher to watch stuff that I used to watch from like the early 2000s. Because especially in regard to like making jokes about trans women. And it’s like… I’m not about that, man. Y’know?

Queer-wise: Gwen and Grace

Gwendolyn is a student at Texas A&M University. She is a trans woman who powers through her long distance relationship with the upmost passion and willpower to not pick-up and run out of state to her girlfriends. Grace is also a student at Texas A&M University, focusing on her art work. Her favorite thing to do is hang out with her friends and doodle. Due to certain circumstances involving their varying level of “out of the closet,” their names have been changed. The following interview has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

Gwen: What’s the max age you’ll accept for growing up? [Yes.] Fucking.  Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It was a huge part of the development of my sense of humor. I barely remember growing up, so please be nice to me.

Grace: Absolutely Teen Titans. It was the only show I recorded on DVR.

Looking back what do you think about it would still impact you?

Gwen: Like, now? It makes me think of like rejecting masculinity and what was expected of me going my own way. Do I cry watching it sometimes? Yes, I have.

Grace: Ah geez. Teen Titans was like the example of good friendship and I think that’s why I watched it so much. Since I didn’t have that good of friendships and I was home alone all the time. And it was like a supplement and now it feels really nostalgic like old friends which is why I hate revamps and all that nonsense. I’ve never thought about why I liked Teen Titans so much and I kinda want to cry now? So thanks.

What’s the best queer representation you’ve seen recently?

Gwen: Do indie virtual novels count? [I technically didn’t elaborate and that’s on me.] In mainstream stuff, the answer is going to be Prey, I think. In it there’s a lesbian couple on the station and they’re some of the last survivors of the Incident. They die, but like. They’re alive for a bit and I love them. Additionally, if you play a female main character, you had a relationship with a woman called Mikaela a couple months before the game starts. She’s there regardless of your gender. Both of them are treated like super casually and it makes me happy to see.

Grace: I think the best representation I’ve seen is in this super cute webcomic that has a whole variety of relationships, and it’s really nice. This webcomic just had good representation all around! Different body types and skin colors and handicaps. It’s just really, really good. It’s called Always Human.

How long have you been openly queer?

Gwen: I’m not openly queer so like, negative eight years.

Grace: I’m not really open to anyone at home. I think actually it’s like four people total who know because I’m still figuring literally everything out.

How has being queer changed how you see movies and TV?

Gwen: Uh, fucking. I feel like I appreciate like characters and stuff more. Like maybe it’s not just being afraid of emotions and stuff. Also shipping is a thing now, so I feel less creepy about being gay. What with the not wanting to look like the creepy dude reblogging wlw (women loving women) fanart.

Grace: I notice a lot more when different relationships are included, and I notice it a lot more when they’re not. And because I’m pan I still don’t see myself specifically a lot because it presumes that they’re with one or the other, then they’re with only that. And they’re mostly side characters so you don’t really find out, you know? I ship a lot more characters than I used to because there’s like double the options now.

Queer-wise: Claire

Jackiemarie “Claire” Whitehouse has been one of my best friends since childhood and one of the first people who helped me realize my queer identity. She’s a biromantic ace living in South Texas and teaches aikido to some rambunctious children when she’s not crying over the unfairness of Rose Tyler not existing in real life. The following interview has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Also The Barbie Nutcracker movie was very formative. Avatar was Avatar and so powerful for me. But in The Barbie Nutcracker, the girl saves the day and herself by being kind and brave and smart, but honestly the romance in it was also important to me. They have a balanced relationship based on helping and supporting each other, and one of my favorite parts of the movie is where they sit and talk about what’s going on and their feelings. It’s something that I’d rarely seen written as well as that, even today.

Looking back, what do you think about it would still impact you?

I probably have a better answer for the Nutcracker which is that basically the big plot thing is that the magical person the main character is looking for to fix everything turns out to be the main character themselves. So like the whole “you were the person with the power to change things all along just by who you are” and it’s a trope I still refer to as “I am the Sugar Plum fairy” and is present with other character arcs I love, like Rose Tyler from Doctor Who.

What’s the best representation you’ve seen recently?

Steven Universe, definitely. So many of the characters in it are queer-coded, and they all have varied personalities. A bunch of relationships in the show are either nontraditional or approached in a nontraditional, healthy way that reflects the mindsets I often see in the queer community.

How long have you been openly queer?

Um, since I was fifteen or sixteen so about five or six years.

How has this changed how you see movies and TV?

It’s made me realize how much media isn’t made for me and how much it distorted my idea of what my life should look like as opposed to what I actually want. And now I have the words to talk about what representation I feel is missing for me.

What’s your favorite thing about being queer?

The community and the strong sense of who I am that I’ve developed from being queer.

Queer-Wise: Taylor, Alex, and Victor

Today I get the pleasure of interviewing three incredibly queer folks in a poly relationship: Taylor, Alex, and Victor. Taylor is a trans woman, Alex an agender lesbian, and Victor a nonbinary ace. Taylor is a full time student at Texas A&M University; Victor is on sabbatical for a year; Alex is finishing up their last year of high school. The following has been transcribed word for word, for better or worse.

What movie or show growing up was really important to you?

Taylor: Scooby-Doo and Zombie Island where they- [Victor: Hex Girls!] OOoooo yes! They were my gay awakening! That’s when young me decided to become the big tiddy goth GF of my dreams.

Alex: 50 First Dates – but NOT for Adam Sandler. I liked watching Drew Barrymore because she was really hot. My mom told me when I was little I would sit with my hand in my diaper watching it.

Victor: I genuinely can’t think of any one thing. Ha, you guys think I have good memories growing up!

Looking back, what do you think about it would still impact you?

Taylor: The Hex Girls. They’re still really hot.

Alex: I had my gay awakening at a very young age, and I think that really impacted me. I mean Drew Barrymore is still really hot.

Victor: I can’t think of anything! I’ll think of something later!

What’s the best queer representation you’ve seen recently?

Taylor: Tipping the Velvet. It’s got the Gayest Feels of twenty-gay-teen.

Alex: Probably Queer Eye. I haven’t seen a lot of queer things.

Victor: [Alex: Me, bitch.] Sure! Um… okay. Recent would probably have to be Rock and Riot. It’s on Tumblr.

How long have you been openly queer?

Taylor: Mmm. My senior year of high school. I came out that year as trans and queer. And getting gayer every year.

Alex: I came out in seventh grade after falling in love with my best friend. [Taylor and Victor: Gay!]

Victor: I’ve been out since sixth grade. I came out as lesbian. And in eighth grade I came out as not cis. I’ve been open ever since.

How has this changed how you see movies and TV?

Taylor: There has to be queer in a show to watch it! Come on! There has to be queer!

Alex: Since coming out, I’ve been more critical of heteronormativity in TV shows, and I look forward to queer-centric stuff.

Victor: Excellent Gaydar. It’s perfected my Queerdar.