When ‘Being’ Becomes ‘Doing’: Representing Queer Masculinities in Screen(dance) Space


  • Callum Anderson




queer, masculinity, representation, performative progressiveness, heterocentric


Departing from the proposal set out in Amelia Abraham’s Queer Intentions: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ+ Culture - that although being gay is now largely accepted in the global north, there is still a disparity in the acceptance of actions - I assert that there is still a lack of explicit gay and queer narratives in dance and on screen. Amelia Abraham is a journalist from London, UK, and her first book Queer Intentions is a snapshot of queer experiences contemporary to its publishing date of 2020. Discussing marriage, drag performance, pride and representation, it also discusses countries and parts of the world where identifying as LBGTQ+ is still punishable by law. Drawing on these different aspects of contemporary queer experience, Abraham discusses the complications of increased acceptance as queer culture becomes more mainstream in the West and, in discussing the exponential closure of gay bars, along with other queer spaces in the UK, suggests that “[p]erformative progressiveness seemed to indicate that being gay was OK, while doing gay wasn’t” [^6] (orig. emphasis), and I contend that this ‘performative progressiveness’ is still apparent today.