A Salute to James Dean
In continuation with my recollections of adolescence, I thought it would be wise to mention James Dean.
See, I was a nerd, and queer, and crazy, and I didn’t really have a life. Oh there was that naughty escapade with the bisexual witches in grade twelve, and the rave scene I was in, and making videos that went to queer film fests all over the world, but before all that life was pretty grim. Watching music videos, playing video games, reading bell hooks. pimply nerd girl stuff. And I needed some kind of outlet, and it came in the form of the movies.
The movies was where I could dream about who I wanted to be and who I wanted to be with, it was it’s own magic world. I was all about finding queer subtext. I mean, I was sticking deep complicated meanings on these movies based on my identity and gender. My two icons were Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
Ironically my favorite diner in Saskatoon where I whiled away much of my youth is absolutely PLASTERED with James Dean/Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and photos.
I think I wanted to fuck Marilyn, but I was also watching her, trying to figure out femininity. I wasn’t around uber femmes in my life, all my cousins my age were boys. It also made me really want to try out smoking. Fuck, she smokes a lot.
But James Dean appealed to me. Later I would find out it was a gay/lesbian attraction. But what I liked so much was his vulnerable masculinity. I wanted to BE James Dean. He was my role model for masculinity.
I don’t know where it went wrong.
Do you suppose it’s the bunnyhug?