My name is Tiffany Gomez and I am a Junior in the College studying communications and minoring in gender studies. I guess there are many reasons I’m taking this class. First off, I grew up in a family that was accepting but not necessarily open about sexuality and role of women in a home and society. I obviously know generational gaps have a lot to do with the fact that I wish more open dialogue existed while the rest of my family members feels that we should just accept the fact that they don’t. I think learning in a more formal and academic setting about queer and feminist studies might help me create better arguments for why I believe what I do and maybe help me create that dialogue with my family.
I grew up in New York City where you are exposed to all different kinds of people and I think that unconsciously causes people to generate hate for people who are different and for others it teaches you tolerance– I’m happy to say I turned out to be one of the latter. Living in such a melting pot has formed my beliefs significantly and I am a complete believer (and should probably be a better advocate) in marriage equality, and social, education and professional equality for women. On campus, I have been involved with the Vagina Monologues [I will include a shameless plug here and tell everyone to come see the show on Feb. 15 & 16 🙂 ] and I think this has made me even more into a feminist and I would like to explore my feminist ideas in a more formal setting as well.
As I mentioned in class, in my communications classes I have taken the time to study the way that women, minorities and queers are protrayed mostly only on television. This past semester, I was abroad and wrote a paper about the “coming out” experience as portrayed by Ellen Degeneres back on her show Ellen in 1997. At that time, she was considered a vanguard for demonstrating this on her show and while I can give her credit for taking such a big step during a time where being homosexual was still very taboo, a closer analysis of the episode still showed me that the audience was only seeing a heteronormative portrayal of “coming out.” I’m hoping in taking this class, I will be exposed to less heteronormative/mainstream portrayals of queers and feminists also become exposed to queers and feminists on film in general since I’ve only really explored these topics on television.
Lastly, when I take a look at pop culture, I can say that as an American society we have come a long way from days when queers and even strong female characters weren’t reflected in our society. While at face value this is true, we still have a long way to go. I’m only 20 right now, so I would also like to learn more about the history of queer and feminist studies through film that maybe I wasn’t around for or couldn’t really understand at the time.
Well I hope this covers a little about me, and I can’t wait to learn more about all of you this semester!