Wednesday, June 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: LGBT+

Queer at Royal Holloway: Interviewing our LGBT+ Community
Features, Lifestyle

Queer at Royal Holloway: Interviewing our LGBT+ Community

University is often considered a place to ‘find yourself’. Most students have come straight from A-Levels, from the cliquey savagery that defines one as ‘popular’, ‘unpopular’, ‘weird’, ‘edgy’. In my experience of a small-town, back-arse-of-nowhere all-girls’ school, these categories trumped any personal identity. University, on the other hand, is all about individuality. Sometimes it’s almost like a game of ‘who can be the MOST unique, quirky, fucked-up of them all?’ Those kids who ran the social hierarchy in school (you can detect them because they adamantly claim that ‘popularity wasn’t a thing in their school’) have to re-adjust to this new ecosystem, leaving many 18-year-olds to essentially start again. Of course, many have been grappling with their identity long before university, m...
Convenience Store Woman Review: The Perils of Sexpectation
Culture & Literature, Literature

Convenience Store Woman Review: The Perils of Sexpectation

Asexuality – what is it? Simply put, someone who is asexual experiences little to no sexual attraction. In Sayaka Murata’s book, she captures the minds of her readers through the unapologetic and quirky character of Keiko, a convenience store worker in Japan. Keiko, thirty-six and unmarried, is asexual. Few novels approach asexuality from such a unique perspective, and they are rarely this successful in doing so. When Keiko got her first job at a local store at age eighteen, her family were happy to see her find a job; now, nearly two decades later, her family – as well as her friends and co-workers – all have something to say about the ‘dead-end job’ she has not moved on from. But for Keiko, change just isn't on the menu in any aspect of her life, including romantically. She has ne...
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: LGBT service In The Military’s Violent Role Reversal.
Features, Opinion

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: LGBT service In The Military’s Violent Role Reversal.

The date could be the 22nd January 2008. Or 1948. Or 1848. What has remained consistent for centuries is the vicious targeting of LGBT people from the military they put their lives on the line to serve, an institutionalized cruelty rendered ironic as well as senseless when it is pointed out that the military as we know it today was founded by armies made up of gay men. In the wake of Donald Trump’s recent ban of Transgender personnel from the military, it is worth considering the substantial history the LGBTQ community has with the military. The Sacred Band of Thebes was an army made up of 150 pairs of male lovers, the most famous embodiment of a Greek practice where men were encouraged to form intimate relationships with the men in their bands. The hope was that the urge to protect lov...
As anti-gay torture continues, we need to pay attention to Chechnya
News

As anti-gay torture continues, we need to pay attention to Chechnya

It's likely you'll remember the first wave of attacks on LGBT+ people in Chechnya, a federal subject of Russia, in April 2017. The independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported that up to 100 people suspected of being gay were abducted and tortured as part of a coordinated government campaign. At least three men were reported to have been killed by this governmental scheme, but the actual number of victims is likely to be much higher. 'Honour killings' still take place in Chechnya, as individuals deemed to have dishonoured their family by being LGBT+ are sometimes killed by a family member. While some gay men have been able to flee Chechnya and tell their stories, others in the LGBT+ community desperately need media attention, activism, and governmental help. Since December ...
Lily Parr: the lesbian football icon I didn’t know I needed
Culture & Literature, News

Lily Parr: the lesbian football icon I didn’t know I needed

I'll start off by saying that I don't like sports. I have little to no knowledge about most sports, P.E. was my least favourite lesson at school, and I spent the majority of Sports Days at home 'sick'. But while brainstorming ideas for this LGBT+ issue of Orbital and researching how many premier league footballers have come out as gay (hint: really, really not many at all), I stumbled across a woman who has now introduced me to the incredible history of women's football. Lily Parr's football career began in 1919, at a time when the popularity of women's football was at an unprecedented high, until the Football Association banned women from playing on their member grounds in 1921 (due to women's teams playing charity matches to raise money for the families of striking miners, and also...
10 films and TV shows that would be better if they were gay
Culture & Literature, Film & TV

10 films and TV shows that would be better if they were gay

Love Island It would just be better, right?   High School Musical If Chad and Ryan's homoerotic performance of 'I Don't Dance' in HSM 2 didn't convince you something steamy was going on in the locker room after that baseball game, I don't know what will.   Titanic ‘Jackie, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls’.   To All The Boys I've Loved Before This could be a great bisexual one. Stick a few girls in. You'd have to change the title I guess, but it would be worth it.   Gilmore Girls Some people preferred Dean, others preferred Jess, and Logan was there too, but there should be one thing that we can all agree on: Paris should have been gay. Whether or not Rory should have ended up with Paris is up for deb...
Queering Country
Culture & Literature, Music

Queering Country

Drag superstar and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 Trixie Mattel was on the path to becoming a country singer long before she tried on her signature blonde wig for the first time. In fact, the seed of musicality was planted before the persona of Trixie Mattel existed at all. Brian Firkus, the man behind Trixie’s dramatically contoured face and histrionically feminine figure, was just a child growing up in rural Wisconsin when his grandfather identified his knack for music.  “My grandfather was a folk musician,” Firkus tells in an interview with Broadly. “I grew up playing guitar and singing at the kitchen table with my grandpa. That was in my blood, and there was an understanding that I’d grow up and be a musician.” Trixie’s grandfather’s table-side fostering of her musical tal...
Let’s get it on
Lifestyle

Let’s get it on

Seeing as February is the month of Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be rude not to discuss sex in all of its glory. From opinions on BDSM, to tips for spicing up a long-distance relationship, find out four people’s ultimate desires in the bedroom. Introducing: Bi-Babe Describes sex life as: “fulfilling, romantic and exciting” First time: I was 15, he was 19. Lasted about 3 minutes. Wasn’t a big deal.   Little Miss Curious Describes sex life as: “up for experimentation” First time: a complete mess. No one knew what they were doing. 100% would not recommend.   Luscious Lesbian  Describes sex life as a “sensual, romantic, emotional and passionate experience” First time: In a club bathroom toilet, in Thailand. Daddy Lover  Describes sex life as: ‘slutty by straight stand...
Pride Is For Everyone
Features

Pride Is For Everyone

The icon rainbow flag, also known as the Pride flag, has been used as a symbol of pride and solidarity amongst the LGBTQ+ community since 1978. First designed by openly gay activist Gilbert Baker, the flag first flew on 25 June 1978 at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade, although it looked a little different to the flag you might recognise from today. The original pride flag contained eight different coloured stripes which all carried a specific meaning: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity, and purple for spirit. The hot pink was removed in 1978 due to a lack of fabric when attempting to replicate and distribute the flag. The turquoise soon followed and was later removed in 1979 to modify the f...
Diversity in YA Literature
Culture & Literature, Literature

Diversity in YA Literature

As a genre that has arguably only been a marketed category within in its own right during the last century, YA literature has rapidly progressed to the forefront of diversity discussions. Diversity feels particularly important with regards to the YA community because naturally, they are the next in line to push for intersectional representation. In terms of mainstream publishers, such as Macmillan, Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, statistics show that the numbers of LGBTQ+ YA novels have been increasing rapidly since 2014; Malinda Lo gathered that in 2015, 54 LGBTQ+ novels were published by aforementioned publishers, and in 2016, figures rose to 79. Although recent years show a positive rise in YA novels about sexuality, there seems to be a lack of literature being published s...