Arts & Entertainment

Queer Joy: A Soundtrack

Queer yearning and trauma are common themes through many of pop’s greatest hits from “Sofia” by Clairo to “TALK ME DOWN” by Troye Sivan. But, queerness is not just struggle, sacrifice, and heartbreak. Queerness is bold, vibrant, and exciting. And, while it may be cathartic to sob along to songs alone in bed, sometimes we need music to remind us that queer joy exists. Here are ten songs by queer artists about the queer experience that radiate sunshine and serotonin.

Getting to Queer Joy in Media

Throughout the past century, media that portrays and represents queerness and queer relationships have changed for the better. When looking at earlier 20th-century queer works, the tone is rather drab, with an understanding that queerness isn’t allowed to be something that is happy or something that leads to happy ends.

“Filthy Animals”: An Exploration of Queer Sexuality and Masculinity

I recently read “Filthy Animals” by Brandon Taylor, which was released last year in 2021. I’d been looking to read more explicitly queer novels, ones that explored themes outside traditional YA themes. “Filthy Animals” is an exploration of queer sexuality and masculinity, a book that seems to understand the contradictions between all levels of queer identity. It is a book that aims to explore generational trauma, the past haunting its characters like an ambivalent ghost where the characters crave an intimacy they haven’t before. 

“Abortion Weekend”: Respecting Multiple Personhoods

I recently saw a play called “Abortion Weekend,” directed, produced, and written by two Black queer creatives, Mareshah Dupree and Jairis Carter. “Abortion Weekend” is exactly what the play is titled: a young pregnant woman and her friend trying to figure out how to induce a miscarriage during the last weekend of the summer.

Palomino Festival Displays Country Music’s Progress Toward Diversity

Photos by Liza Jane (left), Rachael Polack/Palomino Fest (center/right) As a queer Indian-American, the country genre has always seemed antithetical to my existence, a mix of hypermasculinity and overwhelming whiteness. Observing country artists like Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, I…

For Queers By Queers: A Spoiler-Free Fire Island Review

Still from Jeong Park/Searchlight Pictures Written by stand-up comic, writer, actor, and gay man Joel Kim Booster and directed by Andrew Ahn, “Fire Island” (2022) brings together a classic romance and the glitter-covered queer party scene off the shore of…

The Yassification of Shirley Jackson: A Queer Reading of The Haunting of Hill House

The queer horror genre has taken a lot of twists and turns to reach where it is today. First and foremost, it began with misrepresentation. With examples like the predatory lesbian figure in “Daughter of Dracula” or the blatant demonization…

Candidly Cathartic with Cara Connors: A “Straight for Pay” Review and Interview

Photos by Andrew Max Levy “Basically, long story-short, [my ex-husband] wanted me to be like a housewife-type of person, you know, very traditional and, like, with the kids. And … I just really wanted him to be a woman. TURNS…

“Framing Agnes”: A Story of Dis- and Reconnection

Photos by Lex Ryan/UCLA FTV Archive As part of a larger showing presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive on April 18th, some of the OutWrite staff had the chance to watch the film, “Framing Agnes,” a tale about…

EXCLUSIVE: Up-And-Coming Queer Artist D’arcy Releases New Music Video “Crazy”

Still from D’arcy’s music video “Crazy” **Trigger warning for depictions of overdose, implications of suicidality and hospitalization** Pre-save “Crazy” Queer electro-pop artist D’arcy releases her new single “Crazy” tomorrow, but we have the exclusive opportunity to give you all early…