Tired of reading “queer” Christmas lists of media that is either 1. produced by straight “gay icons,” 2. Says queer, means “gay cis men” instead of LGBTQ, 3. Has nothing to do with being queer?
Supporting queer artists is more important now than ever, as is self care. Here are few queer, winter/holiday-themed media to enjoy this holiday season. I’m most familiar with trying to get through Christmas (and criticizing the conspicuous consumption and white middle-class Christian hypocrisy thereof) because I grew up in a culturally Christian community, so I welcome suggestions for queer winter media from other faiths, as well as New-Year’s-themed queer media.
Be kind to yourselves.
Erin McKeown’s F*ck That! (featuring “Itsa Very Queer Christmas”)
“It’s the world’s first anti-capitalist, pro-queer, suspicious of christmas-as-patriotism, sex-positive, not safe for work, multi-ethnic, radical leftist Anti-Holiday record. There is nothing redeeming about christmas in any of these 10 songs. Please note this album contains adult language and themes completely inappropriate for children. On purpose.”
Let me show you where you’re staying
You see these separate, twin beds?
One for you and for your friend
It’s a very queer Christmas
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” (consent lyrics by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski
“What is this drink? (Pomegranate La Croix)”
Not strictly queer, but very important. If you’re planning a bit of New Year’s action, ladies and gents and those of all and no genders, never doubt the use of a Yes/No/Maybe list.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, has developed a creepy vibe over the years. Songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski revised the lyrics to emphasize the importance of consent in sexual relationships, but they didn’t expect the song to go viral. We loved it so much that we invited the duo to perform their version live in The Current studio. Buy the song anywhere online via Rock the Cause Inc. 501c3 – a portion of net proceeds will benefit the Sexual Violence Center and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Sam Orchard and his partner Joe are the cutest and made this nice comic about rewriting the words to “Jingle Bell Rock” to be a sweet supportive song for queer and trans folks.
Movies and Books
Carol, or The Price of Salt (1952) by Patricia Highsmith (as Claire Morgan)
Grace Manger said it best:
Carol—or, as I like to call it, Sexual Tension: The Movie—is a wonderful and all-too-rare film. The story, which began as Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian pulp fiction novel The Price of Salt, follows a clandestine love affair between two women living in Manhattan. While Therese (Rooney Mara) is an aspiring photographer who pays her bills working at a toy store, Carol (Cate Blanchett) is an older socialite going through a messy divorce. Throughout the 118-minute film, we see Carol and Therese fall in love while struggling to define an attraction that, in their era, has scandalous and heartbreaking consequences. Oh, and it’s Christmas.
The movie: visually gorgeous, beautifully acted. The palette, the use of reflections and glass, the sexual tension–incredible.
I love both versions, but what I love about the book is the prose. Highsmith’s descriptions of Therese’s attraction to Carol are just gorgeous. Do you ever read something and just relive all the times you and your best friend asked each other out on coffee dates for years and you were both trying to tell the other one “I am madly in love with you,” and there it is, that elusive, giddy, terrifying feeling, those same words, right there on the page before you?
“How nervous I was the first time I held this cup. You brought me coffee that day. Remember?”
“How’d you happen to put cream in it that day?”
“I thought you’d like it. Why were you so nervous?”
Therese glanced at her. “I was so excited about you,” she said, lifting the cup. The she looked at Carol again and saw a sudden stillness, like a shock, in Carol’s face. Therese had seen it two or three time before when she had said something like that to Carol about the way she felt, or paid Carol an extravagant compliment. (176)
While it’s not strictly holiday-themed, this feel-good anime about a down-on-his-luck figure skater and his idol defies expectations about sports anime and queer relationships. The animation (lots and lots of figure skating) is so fluid and lovely. The lack of pandering to tropes is a delight. Here’s an article (with spoilers for episodes 10) about role of anxiety and mental health in the series, and here’s one on how the show avoids queerbaiting. Season 1 just wrapped up yesterday.
Happy holidays, and please leave more suggestions in the comments!