Globalised Queerness inquires into the recent popularisation of queer media around the world. The book surveys the appearance, establishment, and eventual commodification of queer media producers and artists by reflecting on the weight of local and global affiliations in their selling.
The book invests in multiple quantitative and qualitative methods to pursue important questions: To what extent can queerness in the media be deemed as a local or global phenomenon? To what degree have queer artists dialogued or reproduced local and global repertoires to echo notions of success and fame? What happens to local queer cultures when global media flows take one model of queer culture at the expense of local repertoires?
From the performance of drag queen pop star Pabblo Vittar to the Egyptian-Italian rapper Mahmood, and French singer Christine and the Queens, much of recent queer success in the mainstream media is down to local stereotypes, slangs, and play with multiple languages they speak. These resources are seen as advances for queer culture, but how about folk and regional manifestations? Rural queer? Decolonial queer? Is inbred queer rootedness clashing with a history of hostility found in local contexts?
While evidence of local queer culture transpires much in literature, LGBTQIA+ artists actually have inevitably met the imperatives of commodity queer. On a large scale, the lack of more languages and aesthetics has reduced the pool of local queer references, as these links back home remain unseen or encrypted away from the wider media world.
The book eventually defends a reassessment of queer media according to its indebtedness to artists’ and producers’ early experiences in life. The assumption that queer media is only lived and consumed through a set of cosmopolitan references, including drag races, gay parades and rainbow flags, obscures the many personal complexities of its producers and audience expectations.
Is queer culture failing or succeeding in channelling diversity from the source, if there is one source? Can queer artists achieve a form of communication that is part commercial success and part cultural legacy? Are queer artists without mainstream success failing because of their not being ‘global’ enough?
These and other questions are responded when Globalised Queerness is published by Bloomsbury during Spring 2023.