The Oberlin Review

Ariana Grande’s Music Video Perpetuates Queer Stereotypes, Tropes

Aly Fogel, Contributing Writer

March 8, 2019

I am tired of watching gross misrepresentations of queer women in entertainment. I find myself mentally reminding the artists involved in these works, “My queerness is not a publicity stunt. My queerness is not for your straight self-promotion. And my queerness is definitely not your personal fetish.” So when I first watched Ariana Grande’s music video, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” which has been criticized for its staged girl-on-girl kiss, I was not surprised to encounter the queer tropes I have become all too familiar with. However, I was surprised to find a strange new form of appropriation of the queer experience by a straight artist: using female queerness as straight girl empowerment...

Howard Scandal Exposes Homophobia

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

November 30, 2018

Two weeks after the 2012–13 NBA regular season wrapped up, Jason Collins — at the time, a free agent — sat in front of his TV and took a deep breath, waiting to see himself all over the news. He couldn’t hold it in any longer, and had already told 20 of his family members and closest friends. Now it was time for everyone else to know. Journalist Franz Lidz helped Collins articulate his thoughts and emotions in a first-person story that was minutes away from being published on Sports Illustrated’s website. On that day, April 29, 2013, Collins told the world that he is gay. A year later, after being overlooked by some teams because of all the attention surrounding his announcement, Collins was ...

Peter Staley, Activist

Peter Staley, Activist

November 2, 2018

Peter Staley, OC ’83, is an HIV/AIDS–LGBTQ rights activist who was a prominent member of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and the founder of Treatment Action Group (TAG), which formed and eventually split from the Treatment and Date Committee of ACT UP. Staley is a main figure in the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, which details the history of ACT UP and the AIDS crisis. Staley returned to Oberlin for his talk, “Radical Homosexuals: How ACT UP Changed the World....

MRC Speaker Series Features “dapperQ” Founder

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

February 23, 2018

Anita Dolce Vita, who has produced some of the largest queer fashion shows in the United States and is the owner and Editor-in-Chief of leading online queer style magazine dapperQ, came to Oberlin to give a talk on queer style as visual activism Saturday afternoon. Dolce Vita has produced shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and SxSW, and her work has been featured by The New York Times, HBO, OUT Magazine, and many other prominent outlets. Her talk was organized as part of the Multicultural Resource Center’s My Name Is My Own speaker series, which centers the experiences of queer and trans people of color. dapperQ, which Dolce Vita describes as “one of the world’s most widely...

Council Votes for LGBTQ Protections

Council Votes for LGBTQ Protections

September 22, 2017

Oberlin is en route to becoming the first city in Lorain County and 20th in the state of Ohio to make discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community illegal. Ohio is one of 28 states that has yet to do the same. In Oberlin, there are no laws in place to prevent employers from hiring or firing employees based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, Oberlin has no tangible law preventing business owners from denying customers of the LGBTQ community service or access...

Domestic Partnership Policy Invasive, Exclusive

Cyrus Eosphoros, Columnist

September 4, 2015

Two things happened in my life last May, within weeks of each other: I proposed, and my fiancée graduated. She decided to live in Oberlin. I decided to live with her. Technically, we could have gotten married already. We might have even been able to manage it the day I proposed if we had borrowed a car. But we’d decided to wait until after I got out of college in spring 2018. We were engaged, anyway, ring and all; we’d made our intention to marry as clear as possible. How hard could convincing the school of that fact be? I want to note that every person I interacted with from ResEd was absolutely lovely. Over the course of the summer I got polite responses to my panicked and probably incoherent emails at...

Asexuality Denial Furthers Heteronormative, Anti-Queer Arguments

Natalie Pierson, Contributing Writer

April 18, 2015

Disclaimer: This piece does not reflect the opinions, experiences and feelings of all or even most asexuals. This is solely my own experience and how I feel. I learn something new about sex almost every day. Whether it’s rim jobs, golden showers or just how much the bottom/top dynamic says about your personality, sex and its thousands of facets and manifestations will always baffle me. I find it really interesting, disturbing, exciting and utterly foreign all at once. My feelings about it are complicated, variable and extremely hard to explain. Being asexual is at times unbearably exhausting. I didn’t realize I was asexual until I got to college. In high school, I was blissfully unaware of just how far behind...

MRC Searches for New LGBTQ Coordinator

Elizabeth Dobbins, News Editor

April 17, 2015

The Multicultural Resource Center is in the midst of a nearly semester-long search for a new LGBTQ Community Coordinator after the previous coordinator, Danielle Stevens, left the position at the end of last semester. Alison Williams, director of the MRC, said the candidate search committee plans to announce the new LGBTQ Coordinator by the last day of classes, although the unpredictable nature of candidate searches may push this date back. “You can’t always predict how [candidate searches] go, so we have a timeline that’s our goal, but people can drop out of the search, people can turn down your offer, there’s some negotiations that sometimes happen,” Williams said. The job posting describes community...

Lawmakers Stain Hoosier Name

Anne Buckwalter, Contributing Writer

April 3, 2015

Elected officials in Indiana are disgracing the reputation of the Hoosier state. The fight against LGBT equality in Indiana flared up over a year ago, when legislators proposed an amendment to the Indiana constitution, HJR-3, that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. An Indiana statute already prohibited same-sex marriage, but legislators attempted to introduce a constitutional amendment to reinforce inequality. Facing this threat, activists formed the grassroots organization Freedom Indiana. According to the organization’s website, “Freedom Indiana believes our state should promote religious liberty in a way that respects all Hoosiers.” Freedom Indiana successfully mobilized Hoosiers to...

Papal Support for LGBTQ Issues, Evolution Misleading

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 20, 2015

As a former Catholic, I can tell you that the pope is a big deal. He’s the head honcho, second only to Jesus, in modern Catholics’ “What Would _____ Do.” So what the pope chooses to endorse or to condemn is a sign of what direction the mainstream church is heading. I grew up in a liberal African-American parish in St. Paul, MN. So while more conservative white Catholic churches were solemnly singing along to an organ and sending white savior mission trips off to less- privileged nations, we clapped our way through gospel songs, danced in the aisles and had much more enjoyable Sundays than any other Christians I knew growing up. In an environment that so heavily immersed me in African- American and African...

Tabloids Promote Harmful View of Transgender Identity

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 6, 2015

Recent headlines in gossip magazines like InTouch, People and Us Weekly proclaim the news that former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner is transitioning to live openly as a woman. While I tend to regard tabloid news with as much respect and credibility as Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine movement, the story has created enough controversy for major news outlets like The New York Times to cover the story. Jenner’s changes in appearance have been widely publicized. There are countless slideshows and photos depicting the more feminine aspects of their look: Jenner’s increasingly longer hair and painted nails along with signs of a shaved-down Adam’s apple have been used as evidence that they are in the process of trans...

Equality Movement Must Push Beyond Marriage

Sophie Kemp, Contributing Writer

November 14, 2014

On Nov. 6, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on marriage equality in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. Now, before we all stand around singing along to “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and flaunting FCKH8 apparel, it’s important to have a discussion about the direction in which the mainstream movement for marriage equality is going. I think if you were to walk around Oberlin’s campus and ask people about their thoughts on marriage equality, the issue would have overwhelming — if not complete — support. Before the Sixth Circuit ruling, I was convinced that there was near-universal support for marriage equality. We live in a society that is progressively warming up to accepting...

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