This weekend was Q-Me Con’s 3rd annual huzzah, and let me tell you guys, it was one hell of a juicy fete. Queer women media-makers from all over the world converged on Ripley Greer Studios in Midtown Manhattan for a full day of workshops, panels, seminars, and a truly hard rock keynote address from perhaps the most beloved lesbian director & filmmaker of our time, Rose Troche (The L Word, Go Fish).
Have we been helped or hindered by niche marketing? Have we arrived in the promised land of social justice and equal representation, now that we’ve got The L-Word and Logo and Here! TV? (The general answer to that question was no.) We talked about the Bush Administration (six more months, kids!), the state of queer media stories in the post-L-Word world, and the need to move beyond coming-out stories and get on with showing something real that reflects our fabulous, frightening, authentic queer lives. There was so much energy in this jam-packed studio—all these women with something to say and the determination to make themselves heard. Yep, it was totally hot. But the highlight was definitely Troche’s keynote, which managed to be incredibly intimate (most of us sat on the floor; no stage, no podium) and galvanizing, even while acknowledging that things are not yet where we’d like them to be. Always our fearless leader, Troche was clear from the beginning that there would be some negativity in her speech (not to be confused with a “bitchfest”)—but that this was important in the sense that we cannot get where we want to go without first assessing where we are now.
“I have a theory about what’s happening now,” Troche opened with a sardonic smirk. “My theory is: the Bush administration. That’s what’s happening. What we’re into right now is such a culture of fear, we’ve gone to a place that’s very primal: ‘man goes out, protects woman.’ I’ve never seen men taking over in the way that they are now. We are talking about major studios—Warner Brothers has said outright that they don’t want to make women’s movies. Why? Because Iron Man made $300 million. Because we have this culture of fear.” Troche went on to point out that, while we aren’t getting our stories told, we still make up the majority of the population on this planet. So, logically, we should hold a