If you’re new to this blog you should be aware that I make no pretense of being an upstanding person. I can get fairly debauched, just ask the two people I lost my virginity to. And I like telling people about my sexuality as it relates to mainstream media. And I like to do drugs.
So when I was on mushrooms this past holiday, for some reason I kept returning to Isabella Rossellini.
“No, wait, really you guys, it’s like, there’s Isabella Rossellini, and she sunk a BC ferry, I saw it in a free paper once.”
“And like, Isabella Rossellini was how I figured out I was a homo because of Death Becomes Her.”
“Well yeah, all she was wearing was a necklace.”
“I know!!! How could I not be a lesbian with Isabella Rossellini running around like that!?”
I was thinking of this drug induced exchange with my cousin when I saw the clip below of Ann Jillian as the Red Queen, who I remember being totally attracted to. I would have been seven. So that predates Isabella Rossellini. But I remember even further back there was a female children’s entertainer I thought was cute. I would have been four. And when I was a little girl I had a soft spot for girls playing with my hair in line ups. I felt sad cutting off my hair later just because of that.
The irony of being a queer kid, a butch kid especially, was that most of my friends were boys or other tomboys, until the age when boys and girls have to stop being friends. There was even I guy I went to high school with who never talked to me but who I used to play with between the ages of five and eight. I felt sad seeing the boys I played with drift away because of the social rules imposed on children. I think I have a very different view of men because they were my friends when we were tiny. I wish we’d been able to keep being friends. Girls to me were an otherworldly species, I didn’t understand girls. To be more specific, I didn’t understand feminine girls. I didn’t see the point of having 16 types of berry flavored lip balm, and I definitely didn’t understand New Kids On The Block and that kind of desperate lust.
Although looking back on it, I really did understand that desperate lust towards Celebrity sex icons. Maybe I could have gushed too, but no one would understand why a twelve year old girl had Isabella Rossellini pictures everywhere. No, I didn’t get nervy enough to do that until Michelle Pfeiffer’s turn as Catwoman came along.
See, even if mass media is wiped of all queer references, we can still queer it just by our spectatorship. And it can still prompt people to realize they’re queer, after all it’s a chance to watch beautiful people up close for long periods of time.
And Isabella Rossellini did not sink that ferry, she was just in a photo beside it because she was at the film festival and the headline was for a story further down about a ferry sinking.