Thursday, November 26, 2009

What If You're Not Sure What To Come Out As?

A prime example would appear to be 2001/2's "Kissing Jessica Stein."

This film features two women, roughly thirty years old, grappling with their sexualities and love lives. Neither truly identified as gay to that point, but their frustration with men led them to start searching for women, and ultimately finding one another. Of course, one is more into it than the other, and the storyline's drama deals with Jessica's initial decision not to essentially come out of the closet and bring Helen along as a date to a very public family occasion (a wedding).

This is a new "queer," a type seen elsewhere (i.e. Sex And The City, among other areas in pop culture), where the homosexuality stems from boredom or frustration rather than a conscious choice or desire for women in the first place. Surely, this could be seen as offensive to "true" gays and lesbians, for it perpetuates the myth that homosexuality is a choice, or "novelty," as mentioned in Ciasullo's article.

Both women are attractive, and the film was embraced by fans and critics alike--however, "Making her (in)Visible" raises a good point. If these were less conventionally acceptable women, I don't know that the film would have received such a positive reception. Those represented would probably have enjoyed seeing themselves on screen, but it probably wouldn't have been able to transcend that demographic into a widely acceptable and successful film.

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