Sign in to follow this  
TopBilled

'Q' for questioning

43 posts in this topic

Someone I went to high school with years ago has changed his name from Jon to Jen and is on my Facebook list of contacts. Today Jen posted a link that showed up on my Facebook newsfeed that said LGBTQ. 

 

I honestly did not know 'Q' had been added to this acronym. Was it recent? Does the name of this sub-forum need to be updated from LGBT to LGBTQ..?

 

And relating it to film, are there movies where the main plot involves questioning one's sexual orientation/identity over coming out of the closet? It occurs to me that even gay-identified individuals could question themselves and decide they are bisexual or straight. 

 

So how important is 'Q' for questioning? I look forward to the replies this may generate. Thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call me progressive, but it okay to be Questioning, because you aren't putting your sexual identity in a definitive and limiting binary construct. Sexuality is allowed to be ambiguous, and still be apart of one's identity. 

 

In Patty Jenkin's Monster (2003), and this might be a bad example, but Charlize Theron's Aileen doesn't exactly say what orientation she is. She just slept with men and one woman. 

 

A better more fact example is Alice Walker, she has dated and slept with men and women, and she doesn't identify herself to be anything more than a human being. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call me progressive, but it okay to be Questioning, because you aren't putting your sexual identity in a definitive and limiting binary construct. Sexuality is allowed to be ambiguous, and still be apart of one's identity. 

 

In Patty Jenkin's Monster (2003), and this might be a bad example, but Charlize Theron's Aileen doesn't exactly say what orientation she is. She just slept with men and one woman. 

 

A better more fact example is Alice Walker, she has dated and slept with men and women, and she doesn't identify herself to be anything more than a human being. 

Yeah, my goal was not to debate 'questioning' or what it means to different individuals. I was interested in whether there are films about questioning, where it's a central plot point, and not necessarily a process of coming out. Does that make sense? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call me progressive, but it okay to be Questioning, because you aren't putting your sexual identity in a definitive and limiting binary construct. Sexuality is allowed to be ambiguous, and still be apart of one's identity. 

 

In Patty Jenkin's Monster (2003), and this might be a bad example, but Charlize Theron's Aileen doesn't exactly say what orientation she is. She just slept with men and one woman. 

 

A better more fact example is Alice Walker, she has dated and slept with men and women, and she doesn't identify herself to be anything more than a human being. 

 

Well said.    I really like this sentence:    Sexuality is allowed to be ambiguous, and still be apart of one's identity.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are certainly films about men who have become women, like Xavier Dolan's recent, "Laurence Anyways", but I do not believe that there are films about individuals who are questioning their given sexuality.

 

On TV, however, there is "I Am Cait", which is about a man who is identifying as female, but has yet to undergo the necessary operation.

 

First and foremost, he remains Bruce Jenner, not Caitlyn Jenner.

 

And he now tells us that he would like to date men.

 

So, doesn't his present stance make him simply - gay?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are certainly films about men who have become women, like Xavier Dolan's recent, "Laurence Anyways", but I do not believe that there are films about individuals who are questioning their given sexuality.

 

On TV, however, there is "I Am Cait", which is about a man who is identifying as female, but has yet to undergo the necessary operation.

 

First and foremost, he remains Bruce Jenner, not Caitlyn Jenner.

 

And he now tells us that he would like to date men.

 

So, doesn't his present stance make him simply - gay?

You hit it right on the money. This is how I feel about my old high school friend. He's dressing up, wearing a wig-- calling himself a "woman father" to his children (that's exactly what he said in a Facebook post today)...but I think the whole thing is just a strange way for him to come out of the closet and finally admit he's gay. It seems like a lot of work just to be comfortable with oneself and admit to liking members of the same sex. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You hit it right on the money. This is how I feel about my old high school friend. He's dressing up, wearing a wig-- calling himself a "woman father" to his children (that's exactly what he said in a Facebook post today)...but I think the whole thing is just a strange way for him to come out of the closet and finally admit he's gay. It seems like a lot of work just to be comfortable with oneself and admit to liking members of the same sex. 

Some men, who have been hiding their homosexuality for years and years, are simply unable to say "I am gay".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some men, who have been hiding their homosexuality for years and years, are simply unable to say "I am gay".

And sometimes it's not so much that they are questioning their sexuality, but rather, other people are questioning them and their inability to just be themselves. This questioning thing works both ways. LOL

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Caitlyn Jenner, I think it is all a matter of agency. The only person who has the right to identify and claim identification for people to reference is the person in question themselves. To put a label on them whether the person wants the label or not disrespects that person's agency. So, Caitlyn can identify as a woman if she wants to. Anatomy doesn't make a person, character does. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, my goal was not to debate 'questioning' or what it means to different individuals. I was interested in whether there are films about questioning, where it's a central plot point, and not necessarily a process of coming out. Does that make sense? 

I have yet to see a film that allows "questioning"- it seems based on the perception of the filmmaker and the expectation of audience, orientation and identity is limited and absolute. 

 

Again, all I have in which only hints on that is Monster(2003)- and that is a side matter, because Aileen wasn't identified by her orientation, but by her actions. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, Caitlyn Jenner may be a bad example of transgender. Laverne Cox is a better example. Oh, but here I am being image-conscious when heterosexuals don't have that consciousness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to see a film that allows "questioning"- it seems based on the perception of the filmmaker and the expectation of audience, orientation and identity is limited and absolute. 

Do you think this "plot device" would work better with characters of a certain age, like teens or college-aged youth? Or would it apply evenly across generations?

 

Remember all those John Hughes teen flicks of the 1980s. Hard to believe none of them were questioning their sexuality, given all the angst those films depicted.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catlyn Jenner is a publicity gimmick dreamed up by the Kardashians...."Questioning" is another term for that old excuse- gee I was so drunk last night I forget if I had sex with a man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you think this "plot device" would work better with characters of a certain age, like teens or college-aged youth? Or would it apply evenly across generations?

 

Remember all those John Hughes teen flicks of the 1980s. Hard to believe none of them were questioning their sexuality, given all the angst those films depicted.

True, but America of the 1980s wouldn't have tolerated a gay story line. "Gays have AIDS" would have been too much of a risk in mainstream films. 

 

When I saw Pariah (2011), the dramatic arc of the character had less to do with her coming out and more to do with her questioning the desire to due to her pressures to fit in with her friend who knew she was lesbian and her family, whom, her religious mother wouldn't have tolerated, her father didn't care one way or another, and the little sister, who was accepting of her sister but didn't say so. Her dramatic arc is her questioning, but at the end of her arc, she comes out to her family. 

 

If I am going to see a film about questioning in general, I don't have an age preference because questioning as one's sexual identity has existed for a long time, and people are just more comfortable and open about it now than earlier because society has managed to partially pay attention to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catlyn Jenner is a publicity gimmick dreamed up by the Kardashians...."Questioning" is another term for that old excuse- gee I was so drunk last night I forget if I had sex with a man.

Is that your experience talking or you trying to make sense of what you don't know? 

 

I don't mean any malice. There is a gap in the generations in the GLBT community, and I know many older GLBT individuals who want to learn the language to catch up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but America of the 1980s wouldn't have tolerated a gay story line. "Gays have AIDS" would have been too much of a risk in mainstream films. 

 

When I saw Pariah (2011), the dramatic arc of the character had less to do with her coming out and more to do with her questioning the desire to due to her pressures to fit in with her friend who knew she was lesbian and her family, whom, her religious mother wouldn't have tolerated, her father didn't care one way or another, and the little sister, who was accepting of her sister but didn't say so. Her dramatic arc is her questioning, but at the end of her arc, she comes out to her family. 

 

If I am going to see a film about questioning in general, I don't have an age preference because questioning as one's sexual identity has existed for a long time, and people are just more comfortable and open about it now than earlier because society has managed to partially pay attention to it. 

Thanks for the reply. I tend to feel that 'questioning' works better in stories with characters of a certain age. A story with an 85 year old person suddenly questioning their sexuality seems far-fetched. I suppose it is quite possible, but after all those years, you think they should have figured it out by now. It makes more sense for me to see stories of teens and 20-somethings confused and questioning. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I tend to feel that 'questioning' works better in stories with characters of a certain age. A story with an 85 year old person suddenly questioning their sexuality seems far-fetched. I suppose it is quite possible, but after all those years, you think they should have figured it out by now. It makes more sense for me to see stories of teens and 20-somethings confused and questioning. 

If the dramatic arc allowed context, I would say that an 85 year old wouldn't "suddenly" be questioning their sexuality, but would be allowed to be themselves if given the opportunity. Have you seen the film Beginners (2011)? Because Christopher Plummer's character is exactly what a good dramatic arc is of an elderly person coming out of the closet, knowing their sexuality, but knowing their history, and being allowed to live happily ever after in the context of a previously closeted life. 

 

It is also the inciting incident of the Netflix sitcom "Grace and Frankie"- who wind up living together after both their divorce laywer attorney husbands come out at the same time and announce they plan on marrying. 

 

Maybe confusion could be for the youth, and clarity for the elderly? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the dramatic arc allowed context, I would say that an 85 year old wouldn't "suddenly" be questioning their sexuality, but would be allowed to be themselves if given the opportunity. Have you seen the film Beginners (2011)? Because Christopher Plummer's character is exactly what a good dramatic arc is of an elderly person coming out of the closet, knowing their sexuality, but knowing their history, and being allowed to live happily ever after in the context of a previously closeted life. 

 

It is also the inciting incident of the Netflix sitcom "Grace and Frankie"- who wind up living together after both their divorce laywer attorney husbands come out at the same time and announce they plan on marrying. 

 

Maybe confusion could be for the youth, and clarity for the elderly? 

Well, we need to make sure we're not stereotyping youth or their senior counterparts. Your example of Plummer's character is interesting. But it doesn't sound like he's questioning anything. Coming out is different than questioning, I think. My earlier post was that I wouldn't find it too realistic if an 85 year old questioned his or her sexuality. I feel if a person lives enough years, they move beyond questioning...they are well into verification of sexual identity through previous experiences. In the case of the role played by Plummer, he may be questioning the decisions he made to stay closeted so long but he wouldn't be questioning if he's gay; he would have long ago arrived at such a conclusion.

 

Also, it occurs to me that people do not really question their heterosexuality, do they...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many more letters are we suppose to add to LGBT ?  Now I'm sure there are people who question their sexuality later in life- but it's kind of preposterous to imagine that they did not know or felt same sex attraction at an earlier age.  They might have denied it - or were afraid or unable to act upon it.   There was a made for cable movie" Normal" (2003) with Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson as her husband who becomes a woman.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we need to make sure we're not stereotyping youth or their senior counterparts. Your example of Plummer's character is interesting. But it doesn't sound like he's questioning anything. Coming out is different than questioning, I think. My earlier post was that I wouldn't find it too realistic if an 85 year old questioned his or her sexuality. I feel if a person lives enough years, they move beyond questioning...they are well into verification of sexual identity through previous experiences. In the case of the role played by Plummer, he may be questioning the decisions he made to stay closeted so long but he wouldn't be questioning if he's gay; he would have long ago arrived at such a conclusion.

 

Also, it occurs to me that people do not really question their heterosexuality, do they...?

Now that would be an interesting movie

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that would be an interesting movie

Yes..it would have to be a comedy. Or else some sort of strange allegorical science fiction movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just seen an exquisite film with Eddie Redmayne, I would say that "The Danish Girl" is definitely a film about a young man, who is questioning his sexuality (he is a married man) and finally decides to become a woman.

 

It is the true story of Lilli Elbe, a pioneering spirit who died in the attempt to fully embrace her femininity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many more letters are we suppose to add to LGBT?

Your guess is as good as mine. LOL  We have groups that go a little overboard in their zeal to be inclusive. So we wind up with elongated acronyms that change periodically (and sometimes become quite meaningless)-- they're like ever-changing "new and improved!" brands of alphabet soup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your guess is as good as mine. LOL  We have groups that go a little overboard in their zeal to be inclusive. So we wind up with elongated acronyms that change periodically (and sometimes become quite meaningless)-- they're like ever-changing "new and improved!" brands of alphabet soup.

LGBT - and now. Q? - no, one letter too many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us