What happens when a lesbian gallery-sits for Gay, Jewish, or Both?
Today, I had the pleasure of hanging out in this delightful installation vibrantly exploring that curious crossroad about which I have heard so much, but really, know so very little. Being a gay and having been raised by Italian Catholics, I want to say that I may have some understanding of the combination of gay and Jewish, but one does not merely make assumptions about these sorts of things.
As I began culling some ideas for this blog post and situated myself ever so lazily in that smartly upholstered chair in the corner of the gallery, I felt oddly at home. Wasting time and chatting with a friend online while sitting there, I was asked to share a picture of the show. What I sent was a picture snapped from my seated position, my leg crossed over my knee, showing off some of my leather boot. Said friend’s response to the picture: “That type of boots always remind me of a strap-on.”
I regained consciousness a few minutes later. The combination of a highly sexual and yet, somehow still hysterical, comment made me dizzy. Regardless, in coming to, I realized how perfect the comment was, as I was sitting in this exhibition, feeling the way that I do. Such a poignant symbol of lesbian sexuality would hardly fit as a physical accessory in this room, but the mention of it here would hardly be ill-suited.
The overt display of stereotypes and of the odd intersection of a religious culture and sexual identity in this show somehow comforts me. It reminds me of the comfort of simply being part of the universal gay community, of sharing one major similarity with a vast group of people of whom I know nothing else. Additionally, it seemed important to reiterate to myself that art brought about this feeling, this recognition. What is art, really, if not the plethora of associations we make when we view a thing, whether physically or mentally? And so I, the lesbian with the boots sitting in the corner of the gallery, would leave the gallery feeling more connected (if not gayer.)