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And speaking of unnecessary design groups,
January 26, 2002 11:00 AM   Subscribe

And speaking of unnecessary design groups, the Queer Design Alliance proposes to educate the masses and show that "gay art" does not equate to erotic art, and that "we are your neighbors, babysitters..." etc. So?
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posted by Su (20 comments total)

 
They apparently propose to do this by means of bad design which uses images where text should be, bad spelling/grammar, kvetching about rainbow flags, and the limp-wristed nelly-boy who doesn't represent the founder's* particular flavor of fag. Of note is the fact the only stereotype addressed in the mission is that of the gay male. What about the other letters in LGBTQA, huh? "While those who fit this descrip do exist and thrive in our ranks, their personal behavior and mannerisms do not represent a community of millions." Oh get over it, Mary.

*The site's creators and constituents are pointedly nameless, but some digging turned up the owner, Anthony Hurd, whose own domain is without content(like so many designer sites *sigh*), but is being hosted here, in case you were curious. Yep, his work seems to be perfectly devoid of needless boy-on-boy action. So then why does it matter that it's queer?
posted by Su at 11:01 AM on January 26, 2002


I thought "queer" was an insult?
posted by mcsweetie at 11:05 AM on January 26, 2002


I thought it was one of those words which had been 'reclaimed' by the community. i.e. you can use it if you're gay but not otherwise. You know, 'we're here, we're queer, get used to it'?
posted by darukaru at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2002


I have to admit, the design of the site was pretty queer, in the traditional sense of the word. The annoying Flash "loading" intro (gathering data? WTF?) almost gave me a seizure. Then when I actually try to view a sample of their work, it's a bad link, which is bad enough but just to get to the link requires some counter-intuitive maneuvering.

God help us if they branch out into the QWebDA.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:20 AM on January 26, 2002


you can use it if you're gay but not otherwise

Nigga Pah-leeze We've seen that occurance before.
posted by fuq at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2002


Or as per one 95-year-old I know, "Everyone's crazy but me and thee, and sometimes I think even thee's a bit queer!" If you're portraying non-heterosexuals without any cues on things sexual, how do you tell who's what?
posted by sheauga at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2002


He sure seems to like to call his pages "Untitled Document"...
posted by c3o at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2002


I thought it was one of those words which had been 'reclaimed' by the community.

and thereby solidifying the words' negative connotations into our lexicon? gotcha! and furthermore: shrug!
posted by mcsweetie at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2002


I thought "queer" was an insult?

lotsa younger people like it because it's not gender specific, or even orientation specific (i.e., includes bisexuals, etc). I think in my neck of the woods, the 'straight-but-not-narrow' crowd is "allowed" to use it.
posted by mdn at 12:27 PM on January 26, 2002


judging by their portfolio, they're awfully straight. i'm seeing no specifically queer messaging in their work (unless you count the cheerleader, but whatever).

as well...are they proposing to make these changes from within the design industries, or is this a media infiltration thing? the event sounds like a businesscard-drop. a tired one, too.
posted by patricking at 1:01 PM on January 26, 2002


queer usually means political in my experience, and not political as in "i follow the news and always vote democratic" but "i go to rallies and fight for my rights against the horrible straight opression" i don't know if that's what people actually mean when they say that, but it is often true. not many people say, "i'm queer"

i'm gay=i'm attracted to people of the same sex

i'm queer=i'm angry that people i perceive as being against people like me exist, and i'm proud of my sexuality (which is queer by the way, not gay, because that's not inclusive enough) and i probably wear pride rings and i am, or know lesbians

that last bit might seem weird but if you want a quick way to tell how gay-political gay men are ask how many lesbians they see regularly. these are just some of my impressions from being a homo that only occasionally has time to fight the evil straight opression, when the evil republican opression relents :)
posted by rhyax at 1:22 PM on January 26, 2002


why some of my best friends are lesbians
posted by Mick at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2002


They apparently propose to do this by means of bad design...

Including the 67 <br> tags they used to position the logo.

...images where text should be

Apparently QDA was also founded out of a frustration with line spacing.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2002


Methinks Mr. Hurd doth protest too much.
posted by verdezza at 4:26 PM on January 26, 2002


Wow, this discussion of the word "queer" is kinda odd to me. In the circles I travel in, queer is a word used by many people of many sexual orientations as a way of saying "not strait and narrow." For example, when I was an undergrad, my college had a Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgenered/Transexual Alliance (called the GLBTA), which is now generally referred to as the Queer Alliance.

I've known a few hard-line lesbians and gay men who don't like don't like the word applied to them, and I think this is because "queer" implies a fluidity of boundaries of sexual identity that they don't identify with. Still, the word allows a broader group of people to affiliate with one under a more inclusive label.

Say ... anybody have any comments on the actual mission of the group, rather than the name of the organizaiton or the design of their web site?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:14 PM on January 26, 2002


the mission's kinda muddled. i can't decide if they're addressing gay media professionals specifically orjust any media professional who wants to change public stereotypes (it's just never stated). and there's some relatively insulting languaqe applied to ideas of queenier men, not to mention saying that "the average housewife" thinks that "we make great housepets." both characterizations are belittling.

the author has some serious bias issues to get over before asking anyone else to do the same.

as well, it's never stated what makes a gay media professional's work queer (in the political sense), or why it's good/bad to be political in the media industries. that's a hole big enough to drive a truck through. sideways.
posted by patricking at 6:31 PM on January 26, 2002


Crouton: The discussion re: queer is interesting exactly because of the phrase "in the circles I travel in." Any word that sticks around long enough gets regionalized to some degree. In my experience, "queer" has been assimilated as sort of a political statement, like Rhyax described. I've never seen it applied the way you mention, which I find kinda neat.
Regarding the critique, I realize it seemed like a snark, but frankly, the design was about the only concrete thing there, and considering design will be the outward representation of the group it is kind of relevant to discuss it.
I do think that the name of the organization being looked at is important, as it provides an easy out from the non-exclusivity(based on sexuality) statement. As an extension, how many "white" people do you see joining a hypothetical African American Design Alliance, that said they said they didn't discriminate because of race, even if they really didn't? The name of any organization, exclusive or not, is still a statement of who they want in the group.

As for your question:
I pretty much see it as a bunch of queer people, who have no common bond other than that they are all queer, banding together to make an issue of not making an issue of being queer.
posted by Su at 6:51 PM on January 26, 2002


I pretty much see it as a bunch of queer people, who have no common bond other than that they are all queer, banding together to make an issue of not making an issue of being queer. < thunderous applause>
posted by verdezza at 9:56 PM on January 26, 2002


i'm queer=i'm angry that people i perceive as being against people like me exist, and i'm proud of my sexuality (which is queer by the way, not gay, because that's not inclusive enough) and i probably wear pride rings and i am, or know lesbians

Speaking as someone who self-identifies as quote queer unquote, I'm with ya on everything but the pride rings. Those things are SO 1996.

I think some of the images they have posted as samples are actually rather nice, but you guys are right on the web design - not that I know all that much about how to do that stuff myself, but you'd think "professionals" could do better.
posted by apollonia6 at 9:48 AM on January 27, 2002


Something that any group needs to recognize is that it takes a variety of skills to create a web presence. While this group charters themselves as queer designers, they don't seem to actually be competent in the other skills that make designing a quality web site possible.

It's pretty, to be sure, and personally I think some of the work is actually really nice. But getting there is a chore and their textual content is so inappropriately displayed (e.g. images where text should be, paragraphs in all caps) that I find myself not even wanting to finish the four paragraph self-description they present.

To collect design work made by queer individuals that does not identify itself in a purely sexual way is, potentially, a fairly admirable intention. For this to be valuable success, however, there must be aspects of the collection's presentation giving those works coherence to each other. It must explain how this work is affected by the fact that the creators call themselves queer.

They say: "Queer Designer's Alliance is founded out of our frustration with the visual representation of homosexuality..." yet their site does not give us an alternative to that representation.

And don't even get me started on the usability problems this site has... we could be here all day.
posted by theRegent at 1:39 PM on January 27, 2002


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