The Oberlin Review

Ariana Grande Should Not Be Your White Queer Icon

Aly Fogel, Contributing Writer

May 3, 2019

 A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for the Review about queer tropes in the music video for Ariana Grande’s song, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” (“Ariana Grande’s Music Video Perpetuates Queer Stereotypes, Tropes,” March 8, 2018). Writing under the assumption that Grande was straight, I criticized the video for utilizing Grande’s kiss with a girl as a “plot twist.” This portrayal, I argued, fed into a common trope that delegitimizes and fetishizes queer women. The article was written a month after the video was released, prior to any sign of Grande coming out. Then, at the beginning of April, Ariana released a song titled “Monopoly” with her friend Victoria Monét, who is bisexual....

Drag Ball Attendees Must Prioritize Trans, Queer Identities

Editorial Board

April 27, 2018

Hundreds of students will flood Wilder Hall Saturday night dressed in gender non-conforming clothing and ready to have the time of their lives. Drag Ball is one of the highlights of the school year for many students. It is a time when both LGBTQ and non-queer students can come together, celebrate queer culture, and enjoy an abundance of glitter. When Drag Ball goes well, it gives LGBTQ students — especially transgender and gender-nonconforming students — a chance to celebrate their identities without fear of judgement. The evening should also serve as a way for non-queer students to respectfully explore gender nonconformity and express appreciation for their queer friends. The workshops individuals are required ...

sam sax, Writer, Performer

sam sax, Writer, Performer

March 30, 2018

sam sax, OC ’09, is the author of four chapbooks and the 2017 poetry book Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series. He is also the poetry editor at BOAAT Press. sax has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Lambda Literary. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed, PANK, Tin House, and more. His latest collection, Bury It, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, is forthcoming...

Emma Lee Toyoda Stages “Madgrrlrock” Show at Fairchild Chapel

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

March 2, 2018

Seattle-based rock artist and founder of Make Fart Records, Emma Lee Toyoda — also known as Emma Tsuruko — is bringing their eccentric and charming musical performance to Oberlin at 8 p.m. tonight in Fairchild Chapel. Toyoda released their debut album “sewn me anew” in 2016, and performs both solo and with a band, featuring drummer Zeke Bender and bassist Khyre Matthews. They describe their music as nocturnal “madgrrlrock” or “sadgirlrock.” Pieces include a wide variety of instruments from saxophones to banjos, bringing a unique take to a classic sound. “I feel like there’s a little bit of classic rock and roll, drums, shredding on the electric guitar, but there’s also ... a dreamy carnival aspect [...

“Keep It Gay” Evokes LGBTQ+ Pride with Queer Music

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

March 2, 2018

Oberlin was dazzled by its newest Oberlin Musical Theater Association musical showcase, Keep It Gay, which ran last Thursday through Saturday under the direction of College junior Julia Peterson. The showcase featured a collection of musical songs that had been “queered” or were queer and both tore at heartstrings and invoked laughter. Peterson, along with assistant director and College first-year Mia Fox and co-music directors College sophomore Paul Lawrence and College junior Alex Ngo, organized the showcase as a celebration of queer identity, delivering an important reminder of the values that hold the Oberlin community together. As the cast pointedly sang in I Am What I Am, “It’s my song, and if you don...

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...

Queer Romance, Intimate Staging Elevate “Circle Mirror Transformation”

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

October 6, 2017

Circle Mirror Transformation, the first play in the 2017 — 2018 series of the Oberlin College Theater Lab Series, opened yesterday evening in Warner Main Space. The play tells a meta-theatrical narrative about five people in small-town Vermont who have come together for a community theater class. Over the six weeks that they are together, friendships are made, relationships form and fail, and the newfound classmates engage in some very silly acting games — telling stories where everybody can only add one word at a time, or “passing” words and motions around in a circle, changing them slightly every time. This exercise is where the name of Circle Mirror Transformation originates. “[The play] is so unique,” sai...

Mainstream LGBTQ Movement Must Accept All Sexual Identities

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

April 18, 2015

Growing up in private Catholic schools from elementary until high school was full of both challenges and rewards. I was lucky enough to receive an excellent education that prepared me for college. I was unlucky enough, however, to receive inaccurate sex ed in both my health and religion classes. As the archdiocese controls the curriculum taught by religious schools, even if the teachers had wanted to teach proper sex ed instead of abstinence-only classes, they couldn’t. So I grew up not only afraid of sexual contact with anyone but also confused and unsure of my sexual identity. I was supposed to like boys, find a nice one, marry him, then have sex, make cute babies and raise them Catholic. The circle of life. ...

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