Men trying to understand gay art is like a toddler trying out cartwheels. They just seem incapable without someone holding them and doing it for them.
It's not even like I dislike explaining art (my own or others). I love discussing perspectives in art, intentional, unintentional, political, social. I love thinking about what something means to someone, but I need the other person in the discussion to be on the same level as me. Nothing against people who aren't on the same art understanding level as me, but it's torture to just be holding someone's hand as we speak. Like I interact with simplistic memes that understand objectification and queerness more than most men seem to on a daily basis. It's a baseline for talking about lesbian art and if you don't have the knowledge it's hard to talk at all. Especially when it's to people who don't understand concepts the same way you do. Cishet men will never understand how it feels to be a lesbian and be looked at by a man. To feel dysphoric at even the idea of your chest giving anyone but an intimate partner visual pleasure. And sure, one can't learn this without having someone explain it to them. Or to have the idea translated in a way they understand. But...you can do the work on your own to understand. I, as a white person, will never truly understand what it's like to be seen by white people as a non-white person. I will never fully grasp how daunting or harsh that can be. Or to be the only person of color in a white room. But I can translate the feelings through a queer lens and begin to understand. I can read think pieces and other writings to begin to understand. To be able to empathize. But it's not up to people of color to explain it to me. They don't owe me shit. And some people really think they're owed a kind of explanation or that they're different from "worse" people. That if they put a "please" that it's okay. Well, this isn't Chasing Amy pal.
Maybe it just needs to begin with a diverse friend group. The more different people you know the more you are able to understand different people and the closer you become to them the more appropriate it is to begin conversations about empathy and understanding perspectives. Strangers aren't your soundboard to just bounce questions off of. My best friend who is a man can ask me about my possible attraction to men because I've known him for years and that's the kind of deep conversations we have. A stranger shouldn't. And a stranger should KNOW they shouldn't.
Anyway, I've had a lot of dumbass conversations with men lately about art because they can't comprehend my existence and it is exhausting. Like, if you want this labor from me you better be getting my venmo or buying my art cause this is work and I don't work for free.
Listening to: Bryan Adams
Reading: Tales of Dyke Derring-do