House of Ladosha

House of Ladosha, musically starting in 2007, is a hip-hop group unlike any other. Composed of Antonio Blair (Dosha Devastation) and Adam Radakovich (Cunty Crawford Ladosha), House of Ladosha was inspired by New York ball culture. Not only do they throw shade with the beats of their music and their lyrics, but they also dress mostly in drag.

Their music is not a force to be reckoned with. Their performances can be described as ‘an explosion of glamor and terror.’ When watching their performances, you are likely to see Adam dancing more than Antonio, but the atmosphere of the places they perform is definitely like one of those rave clubs. They get their inspiration for their music as they are sleeping at night or while meditating. Antonio normally finds wealthy suitors at her feet, sex with mythological characters and a royal house of cannibalistic “cock pussy bitch faggots” that wear elaborate costumes. Respecting her body, Antonio abandons the usual references to the penis, vagina and butt replacing the hyper-sexualized language that goes with these words. The metaphors she uses instead almost describe interpretations of Salvador Dali paintings.

Both Antonio and Adam had very different childhoods, but they had one thing in common: their parents accepted them for who they were. Antonio grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. His parents were both “art-raging,” so he was always surrounded by everything art related. His parent’s did not care about gender norms either; he had over 30 Barbie dolls when he was younger, and he also wanted to be a gymnast as a child because of their outfits.

Adam grew up in a small town in Ohio. Although his parents were conservative schoolteachers, they always let him explore and do what he wanted to do. His older brother, Brian turned him onto rap music. As a child, he also loved any sort of television show that made him feel excited and fashionable.

As well as music, House of Ladosha is also considered to be like a second family. The starting members of the house all met in New York. They had all traveled from all over the country to attend New York’s fashion school. They started out going to parties together, but then it became much more as they got more comfortable with each other. Their family is described differently than the standard American family, however: this family consists of people that they have ki ki’s with. Those who are apart of this family also have dinner together and talk on the phone with each other. As a whole, the House of Ladosha family is a group of artists who rage.

Mrs. Doubtfire

A movie loved by most, Mrs. Doubtfire, starring the late Robin Williams, as an actor who’s life is basically falling apart: he recently quit his job, he is just divorced, and because of said divorce, he his now homeless. In order to turn his life around, the main character Daniel, dresses up in granny drag as a 60-ish year old woman playing the part of a nanny in his ex-wife’s household.

Filmed in 1992, Mrs. Doubtfire was a prime example of what gender norms of the 90’s were supposed to be. The cultural panic about divorce and the decline of men’s roles at home lead to insecurity about masculinity. Playing on that, in Mrs. Doubtfire, the mother wears the pants in the family, so Daniel has to prove his worth by wearing a dress.

In the process of trying to get the job of his ex-wife’s nanny, Daniel pretends to be a few different characters to throw her off. During one of the phone calls, his ex-wife informs the character that she has two daughters and a son. With this the character replies “oh, a boy. I don’t work with the males, ‘cause I used to be one.” His ex-wife immediately hangs up with a disgusted look on her face that implies “I could never have someone like that in my home!”

When looking at this joke from a perspective of audience members in 1992, it worked well. Now, it appears to be transphobic and insensitive. Although, during that time it was probably not intended to be offensive to transgender people, it did come out that way. In today’s society, especially, with famous transgender figures such as Lavern Cox and now Caitlyn Jenner make it difficult to make such gender-bending comedies without seriously offending someone. Some people even compare Caitlyn to Mrs. Doubtfire.

Later in the movie, Daniel goes to his brother and brother in-law’s house in order to transform into a 60+-year-old woman, introducing drag into the movie. Although they don’t outright call it drag in the movie, nor does Daniel go all out while doing his makeup like some drag queens we see such as Bianca Del Rio, we are able to get a taste of what drag queens might go through if they are going in and out of drag in a bathroom somewhere where it might not be accepted.

Towards the end of the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire agrees to go to dinner with his ex-wife’s family as well as meet a television producer at the same restaurant on the same night. At one point, Daniel forgets which table he’s going to in which costume, so he accidentally goes to the television producer’s table dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire. With this the television producer is surprised as questions why he’s dressed as a woman. Daniel, thinking on his feet, decides that it would be a good idea to make a television show about her, using his granny drag to help his career as an actor.

Chasing My Sexuality (Life)

Chasing Life, an ABC Family show mainly based around how the main character, April Carver, has cancer, has various subplots. One of them being about April’s younger sister Brenna and her continuous struggle to find herself and search for acceptance within the community. In the beginning of season one, Brenna discovers that she is bisexual. In early episodes when first discovering she is bisexual she meets a well-known, well-liked preppy lesbian named Greer. They hook up, eventually turning things into a relationship, and things get messy because Geer’s parents are set on getting her out of the ‘gay phase.’ So they break up when things got too complicated.

Later during season two, Brenna joins a LGBT+ group at her high school. When telling the group that she is indeed, bisexual, they make fun of her for it and say she’s attracted to whoever she feels like on any given day and that she’s just attracted to anything that walks, bringing out the bisexual stereotypes of that ‘they’re just not sure yet’ or that ‘bisexual girls are straight and bisexual guys are gay.’ Even when she tries explaining herself, another member of the group cuts her off explaining what happened when her ex bisexual girlfriend left her for a guy.

“I’m not going to apologize for my heart, okay?”

Although the one leader of the group seems to get it, no one else in the group does. While in a room full of minority groups, knowing how awful it is to be mislabeled, misrepresented and misjudged on sight, they do the same thing to her, expecting her to either be a lesbian or straight – bisexuality being out of the question. As that portion of the episode concludes, the leader of the group points out that there is a lot more to discuss about bisexuality, at that point, we meat an agender character who also feels that the others need to learn more about that as well.

 

This portion of the episode ties into Judith Butler’s gender performativity, in how gender is an ideal, in that when being attracted to someone, it should be one or the other, not both, or neither, or anything in between. Even in the end, when the agender character, Jerry, says that they need to explain what being agender is, proving that the group doesn’t understand nearly enough about the LGBT+ community. There is also a need to realize that gender is a fundamental concept that is for the most part, irrelevant. There isn’t a need in today’s society to define what gender you are along with your sexuality. Society needs to realize this and accept that it’s not just straight and gay anymore, there are so many more genders and sexualities that those need to educate themselves about.