In efforts to explain how Musings On Other Queens came to be, here is a brief rundown of my early experiences with Otherness, followed by an excerpt from a previous essay, The Beginnings of Beauty (originally published on July 29, 2010 on Blogger).
I encourage you to visit the first-ever Musings post to witness my lengthy and baffling encounter with Otherness, Queens’ Courts, and Majestic Mis-fitting. But in a quick recap: I am a bi-racial girl adopted by a family of different races and ethnicities than I. While I was always aware that I was somewhat surprising in my appearance compared to my family and peers, I tried to blend in quietly, and I thought I was doing it well. My bubble burst when I was in 8th grade of junior high and was nominated for several end-of-year yearbook categories: Best Personality, Nicest smile, and one half of the school’s Cutest Couple (dude, I was with a dreamy boy who brought me balloons and teddy bears on Valentine’s Day. I was 13). A mixup at the yearbook printers led to my picture floating below the title of CUTEST (equivalent of today’s SCHOOL HOTTIE) instead of BEST PERSONALITY (the title I really wanted). One could say that was my first brush with public opinion and the need to self-preserve. People would whisper and exclaim their warring opinions about my status as CUTEST in the school as I would make my way to my locker, my frizzy hair shoved into a scrunchy. Yeah, I said it: I wore scrunchies.
Then came high school when I was nominated for HOMECOMING QUEEN in the OTHER category because my school wanted to try and politicize Homecoming. They even tried to counter sexism by renaming the elected queens and the King as Ambassadors, assigning a different Ambassador to a different race. An entirely new category was created for folks who didn’t fit any where else. Subsequently, I, being the bonafide Fili-Rican that I am, was nominated for Ambassador of OTHER.
While I was oblivious, and preferred instead to listen to post-punk alt rock, streak my puffy, triangle-shaped afro purple, and jones for World Literature class, my genius brother Chew decided to become my Homecoming Queen Campaign Manager. His first order of business? T-SHIRTS, Suckas! He proposed silk screening t-shirts with this slogan:
KJ IS OTHER
At the time, I was mortified at becoming a focal point in the arena of High School Homecoming Queen Politics. Today I realize the gift bestowed upon me: The awareness and opportunity to celebrate Otherness. I withdrew my name from the Homecoming race all four years I was nominated, but without sounding too cheeseball, I realize it really is an honor for the nomination.
Other Queens and KStew
And how then, did I find myself a champion of Kristen Stewart, and defender of Others? Here is an excerpt from a Musings titled: The Beginnings of Beauty, outlining my Road to Kristen and Rob…
~~I was a fan of the Twilight books, one of those folks who had actually read the books first before Twilight the movie was released in theaters in 2008. I had been bed-ridden for six weeks in recovery from knee surgery and one of my cool hipster girlfriends came to have lunch with me. She had circles under her eyes and she was yawning. She told me in hushed tones, eyes darting around her, that she was up all night finishing a book…and she whispers “Twilight”. I didn’t laugh and point at her, though I did giggle conspiratorially, since I eyed the books every time I went into Borders (which if it were up to me, would be a daily requirement), but never picked up a copy. My beautiful, cool hipster friend’s endorsement of the books and my happening to have a lot of time on my hands convinced me I needed a little Twilight in my life. I knew a movie was coming out, and I knew Robert Pattinson was in it…Hello, Harry Potter Fan here, friends. I knew Cedric Diggory, and I recognized him instantly in a trailer I saw earlier in the year. Ok, well, I read the books, including Breaking Dawn in about 5 days, and my insatiable thirst spilled over to the internet. Wanna know what I found, that forever changed everything??
Yesssss. The legend. The myth. The April 22, 2008 on-set Twilight interview with Larry Motha-effin Carroll on MTV. I knew instantly, not from my practice as a psychotherapist, not from any tabloid jabbering (though of course, that came in spades, later) that these two individuals, Robert and Kristen, were twin souls, and their chemistry was UH-MAY-ZING. So while I was a Twilight book reader first, I found myself observing the actors, their static electricity and resonating with them as people long after I had finished the text. More Googling led me to bios on Kristen Stewart (Hey, I DO remember that little girl from Panic Room!) and of course Rob…and to pictures of the two of them like this:
Naturally, I stumbled upon major gossip reporting sites who clearly were compelled in the same indescribable manner that I was, but I noticed the division pretty quickly. There were folks who really, really, really worshipped Rob…and greatly admired Kristen, and loved the idea that there was something more than friendship between the two. Then I saw sites dedicated passionately to the cause of tearing down Rob and Kristen, as a couple and as individuals. I was stunned. I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t comprehend that people hated these young actors, and disproportionately KRISTEN, with the vile intensity of a thousand suns. I steered clear of those sites, and found a group of posters on an entertainment site that regularly commented on and discussed the Twilight filming schedule, and Rob and Kristen as actors and perhaps “more than just best friends”. Fast forward two years later [ADDENDUM 2012: Four Years Later!!], and here I still am, passionately defending these lovely people against not just slanderous attacks on the franchise of which they are apart, but for the personal characteristics that are of decidedly OTHER persuasion that they very clearly EMBRACE.
Dear attackers, haters, vultures, BullShit People, Critics, Bat-shit Insane “NOT-FANs”: HELL TO THE NAH. A public attack and the hunting down of two OTHER REBELS is truly an affront and assault to ALL of us. Maybe it’s my Island blood, in which the clan sticks together, or maybe it’s the psychologist in me trying to make sense out of unfounded, unrelenting HATRED, but I know this much: You attack my fellow Misfits, it’s GAME. ON. And I will use what tools i have at my disposal. For me, that means my words, my abilities to copy and paste pretty pictures, and my penchant for picking really, really good music. *grins*. That, my Lovelies, is the story of the inception of Musings on Other Queens. ~~