Synthesis #1: “Freakin’ at the Freaker’s Ball”: Halloween in the Castro, a Love Story Eng.985Synthesis1
I enjoyed your synthesis a lot! I hope next time you will post it as a web page so that others can access more easily — especially the pictures, which are fantastic.
Your examples of the heteronormative “field of vision” are a lovely connnection between the Delany (making me think of Ana’s inability to see what was going on in the porn theater) and the theoretical work we read in the first week. Thinking about the changing status of a parade like Halloween, and of districts like the Castro itself, will also be a transition point into our discussions of the urban and the rural this coming week.
On the one hand we have the growing heterosexual audience for gay events (like the hen/bachelorette parties filling up gay bars); can transformative life experiences similar to the ones you describe be part of a process of commercialization? On the other hand, the status of the urban gay/queer community itself needs to be interrogated; what if the freakers’ ball is becoming less freaky not only because of capitalist incursions but also because of class- and race-based gentrification processes that are making areas like the Castro liveable for only the most privileged queers? Tongson in particular is concerned with the consequence of changes like this one.