Event Title

A’Lotta Masculine Guys Like’m with a Tank Full of Sugar’: Black Guy Male Effeminacy in Noah’s Arc

Location

Panel 10: Kearney 312

Start Date

27-10-2012 8:30 AM

End Date

27-10-2012 10:00 AM

Description

This paper explores the ways that black male effeminacy is articulated and embodied in Ian-Patrick Polk’s Noah’s Arc. Airing only two seasons before being cancelled by the cable network LOGO and later making its big screen debut as Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, Noah’s Arc represents the first television drama centered on the lives of Black gay men: Noah, Alex, Ricky and Chance, hence the ARC. These representations are not static, but dynamic and confronts a culture of desire that conflates black male effeminacy with social stigma and perpetuates the black masculine ideal. The show depicts character relationships through feminine/ masculine dichotomies, especially the relationship between its central characters, Noah and Wade: Noah is feminine while Wade is masculine. Yet, as I argue, black male effeminacy both anchor relationships and structure transformation, which then enable character development. Through textual analysis of episodes and commentary provided on DVD “extras,” I will discuss how black male effeminacy and its association with “bottom” sexual identity politics reworks scripts of stigma and becomes the ideal mode for a liberating (black) empowerment, which manifests and culminates in “jumping the broom.”

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Oct 27th, 8:30 AM Oct 27th, 10:00 AM

A’Lotta Masculine Guys Like’m with a Tank Full of Sugar’: Black Guy Male Effeminacy in Noah’s Arc

Panel 10: Kearney 312

This paper explores the ways that black male effeminacy is articulated and embodied in Ian-Patrick Polk’s Noah’s Arc. Airing only two seasons before being cancelled by the cable network LOGO and later making its big screen debut as Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, Noah’s Arc represents the first television drama centered on the lives of Black gay men: Noah, Alex, Ricky and Chance, hence the ARC. These representations are not static, but dynamic and confronts a culture of desire that conflates black male effeminacy with social stigma and perpetuates the black masculine ideal. The show depicts character relationships through feminine/ masculine dichotomies, especially the relationship between its central characters, Noah and Wade: Noah is feminine while Wade is masculine. Yet, as I argue, black male effeminacy both anchor relationships and structure transformation, which then enable character development. Through textual analysis of episodes and commentary provided on DVD “extras,” I will discuss how black male effeminacy and its association with “bottom” sexual identity politics reworks scripts of stigma and becomes the ideal mode for a liberating (black) empowerment, which manifests and culminates in “jumping the broom.”