Most kids from the 90’s probably remember their favorite show being Catdog or All-that but I have to say that my all-time favorite is definitely Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a television show created by Joss Whedon and it lasted from 1997 until 2003. The show is mainly centered around the main character Buffy who is a vampire slayer. Her two best friends, Xander and Willow, help Buffy fight the vampires and deal with everyday teenage drama. In the first 2 seasons, Willow is a normal heterosexual nerdy girl in high school. She dates this man, Oz, who is a werewolf. He breaks up with Willow in college after feeling the need to get away and learn how to control his werewolf powers. While he is gone, Willow gets interested in witchcraft and joins the Wicca club on her campus. The club doesn’t want to practice actual magic but she meets a women in the club, Tara, that wants to practice magic just like Willow. The two get super close because of their similar interest and begin dating.
I chose this television show for the project because, even though it is fictional, the characters are very relatable and it was the first exposure that I ever had to queer culture. It represents queer culture by telling a story that is often not mentioned, especially in the 90’s. When it comes to sexuality, people tend to only think about homosexuality but forget about bisexuality or they just don’t take it seriously. Willow represents bisexuality and she does it in a positive light. Willow dated Oz and they had a good relationship. She honestly loved him and wanted to be with him forever so when he broke up with her she was beyond heartbroken. She then met a women with the same common interests as her and therefore fell in love with Tara. This showed that how bisexuality is a real thing and that bisexual people truly can be in functional, loving, caring, relationships. Since this could have been some people’s first exposure to queer culture, as it had been for me, it is important that it left a good representation.
In class we read Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. The reading mentioned how our world looks at women. We believe that women are innately attracted to men and that women’s heterosexuality is not questioned. It was also mentioned in the reading that all people would be bisexual if they were not forced into categories. Willow perfectly disproves that women’s heterosexuality is not questioned and proves that people would be bisexual if they aren’t forced to be heterosexual. Willow was attracted to a man but her heterosexuality was questioned when she started having feelings towards Tara. Willow didn’t let society influence who she can love so she fell in love with a women which demonstrates that when she didn’t let the world influence her sexuality, she was truly bisexual.
The very first gay pride flag made its first appearance in 1978. The original flag had eight colors. Today’s gay pride flag has only six colors. Each of the colors represent a different aspect of life. The first gay pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker. He is an artist from San Francisco. Among the gay pride flag there is other pride flags that represent different pride groups. Some of these other pride flags are Leather Pride, Bear Pride, Bisexual Pride, Lesbian Pride, Transgender Pride, Asexual Pride, and Feather Pride. These are only a few of the other pride there is many more. The other main one that I want to focus on is the Bear Pride flag, because this was the next pride flag that was created. Craig Byrnes was the designer of the Bear Pride flag. He came up with the official design in 1995 as the bear pride community was growing. Each color represents all the different types of real bears all around the world.
(the flag on the left is the original 8 color flag and the flag in the middle is the present 6 color flag and the flag on the right is the ear pride flag)
Gay pride and bear pride along with leather pride are the top three pride groups that usually attend pride fests. In class we watched a short clip from “Where the Bears Are”. This is an internet show about the Bear pride community. It is a comedy mystery web series which won the 2012 “Best Gay Web Series”. It has become a big hit ever since it made its debut in 2012 with over 10 million hits. This show represents basically one group of gay men who are very hairy and have a larger masculine body structure. These men also usually have facial hair as well as chest hair. The Bear pride community has many different slang terms to describe what type of bear every man is that’s in the community. Another short web clip we watched in class was “Easy Abby”. This is a web series based on a lesbian who has a lot of girlfriends that she doesn’t remember when she runs into them after not seeing them for a little while after they broke up. Both web series are based on gay people weather they are men or women. Before other pride groups were formed and came up with their own pride flags they all would have originally used the rainbow gay pride flag to support their sexuality. But now each gay group has their own pride flag. there is a pride flag for transgender people, lesbians, straight, asexual, and many more different groups.
I chose to do my history archive on the history of the most common gay pride flags because not many people realize that there is more than just the original rainbow (gay) pride flag. Along with the gay pride flag being one of the most popular pride flags, the bear pride flag is also one of the three most popular pride flags as well. Bear pride has been growing more popular since 1995 when the official design of their flag was debuted to the community. No matter how many different gay pride flags there is the original gay pride flag (the rainbow flag) will never fade away because it is what has formed our community and shaped the future for other pride flags to come to gay groups that do not have a special flag of their own. We all share the original pride flag, but like to stand out with our own pride flag that represents who we truly are.