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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

I Can’t Think Straight: From the top

What thoughts and feelings are queer artists comfortable sharing with the world?


Troye Sivan is pictured in 2018.

I’m gay. For anyone who has ever seen me in person, that’s probably not that much of a shocker. But even though I’ve been out since high school, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t feel right saying it. The part of me that hides itself deep down, protected by a flimsy fortress of blue nail polish from the Davis Square CVS and a Tinder account which I’ve deleted several times over.

What I mean to say is that even though I’ve been out since high school, I don’t actually like the fact that I’m gay. First of all, men are objectively the worst. I’ve only been on two dates and both times they were rude to our waiter, which was an instant ick. And second of all, I don’t really feel like I fit in with the gay community. This isn’t to say “I’m not like other girls” or that I’m super masc and like sports, I’m just generally terrible with pop culture. I don’t know the names of the Kardashian children, I didn’t watch Troye Sivan’s “Rush” (2023) music video until preparing to write this column (it’s a masterpiece, by the way) and I can’t tell you how many times a straight man has been disappointed when I told him I don’t know anything about “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009–).

So, I see this column as a chance to turn a new leaf. Over the next few weeks, I want to examine as much queer media as possible in hopes of understanding how other people in the community see themselves. Perhaps by discovering how the most confident members of the LGBTQ+ community represent themselves to the world, I can learn something about my relationship with my identity.

But I also don’t want this column to be a personal gay diary or even something that only queer people can value. I think that art and media, no matter their form, say something about where we stand as a society. And I think that queer art and media have long been ahead of their time in voicing what changes need to be made in the world.

So as I move forward, I want to ask: What thoughts and feelings are queer artists comfortable sharing with the world? What does it say about our progress as a society that a once marginalized group is now taking up a more significant space in our culture? Or, is this progress simply an illusion?

I don’t think I’ll be able to answer all these questions. I probably won’t even come close. But, with every stroke of an artist’s brush or sentence from an author’s pen, a small truth is released into the world that tells us something about who we are. And I think we can all relate to wanting to understand that just a little bit more.

This column is my attempt at understanding, and I’m glad to have you along for the ride.