Portmanteau Commentary: The changing landscape of coming out


It's always a nice feeling to be proven right.

That's one of the reasons my body floods with endorphins every time somebody whom I suspected of being 'not straight' adds to my 100% accuracy record. This applies to celebrities as much as it applies to people I know in everyday life, strangers I meet in passing at the most heteronormative of events, even people I've known in my childhood. In many cases these people were trying really hard to stay in the closet, so I said nothing to anybody but myself, and perhaps somebody close to me. But then time passes, and they come out, one by one patting my gaydar for its accuracy.

Gaydar is real 

Thus far I have never been wrong. Not once.

I've been wondering what it is that makes my gaydar seem to never go wrong and I think I've figured it out. It's in the how, not the what. It's in the when, the reactions, the details of body language, not in gender expression or context of words said. I have so many receipts on each one of the women on the list and many more off the list, I wouldn't know where to begin. It's the lgbtqia+ version of "Lie to me" detection of micro-expressions.



Who?

In this post I'm going to talk about instances of when my gaydar, or as I sometimes like to call it, lgbtqia+ detector, started to function. I will do so in chronological order. It started to detect, think and suggest thoughts around the time I was a pre-teen, even before I was fully aware of the concept of bisexuality or being gay itself. The chronological order is not of when the people came out, but when my gaydar went off initially.

I am not including anybody who I think is gay or bi but who has not officially come out (yet), even when they've been very public with their relationship with somebody of the same gender. I deleted at least two people off the list because it transpired they had refused to come out officially. I may add them in the future, as the world becomes a place in which they feel comfortable and understood enough to do so. I'm also focusing on celebrities because I can share sources and facts, unlike with personal anecdotes where you'd have to simply take my word for it - perhaps another time. 

Jodie Foster

When I read that Jodie Foster had come out, I was confused because I thought that she had already been out. I just was so certain that she wasn't straight that I didn't even think about it that much. I certainly thought this in "Panic Room" with Kristen Stewart, and I thought it even more in "Contact". Bear in mind that I was a child myself when these films came out and yet it was so clear to me.


Portia de Rossi

I have to admit, I didn't recognise her. When I saw her being Ellen Degeneres' wife, I thought "Oh, she's pretty. Who's that?" I didn't think about it much at first but then eventually looked her up and to my shock, realised that she was the character in Ally McBeal who I thought was gay... before I even knew the word. It was strange, I still find it difficult to connect her with the person she was back then - they look like different people. But that's not the point.
I only watched Ally McBeal a handful of times - secretly, it showed past my bedtime. I watched it for the legal humour (back when I was going to be a lawyer when I grew up) and for Lucy Liu, one of my first ever celebrity crushes (alongside Natalie Portman). As I watched her character in Ally McBeal I kept thinking "Of course she doesn't like that lawyer guy. Why would you like a guy if you can like actually pretty women" despite the fact that her character showed no indication and I was clearly completely mixing up the character and the person and actress behind the character. But I did think it, very explicitly, even as a pre-teen who only had a very vague concept of what that even meant. 


Kristen Stewart

Ah, Kristen. I remember you in Panic Room with Jodie Foster like it's yesterday. I remember wondering whether Kristen Stewart and Jodie Foster had bonded over something personal, like she was her fairy godmother somehow, but for reasons of shared understanding, shared experiences. I didn't have the word yet, but I remember thinking it. I remember being irritated at people who insisted Kristen must be a lesbian as if the concept of being bi was not possible. Her coming out was subtle, not a statement but a reality that trickled through. First her mum mentioned her girlfriend in an interview, and later, Kristen herself.
Kristen Stewart talks about being in love with her girlfriend in Elle UK


Ellen Page

I was more aware of the fact that Ellen Page was NOT out along with others and kept saying "You don't know until she says it, leave her alone. But come on." And then I would point at a myriad of micro expressions and body languages in every film I had seen her in. I feel bad saying this about actors whose job is make us believe they are in love, but I'm sorry. I can and could and did see the difference in how the reactions to "assigned male love interest" was interpreted by the actress, and how much more intense the connection was with the female characters. This applies to Jodie Foster, too, an actress coined one of the best of our age. [Reference 



This picture was taken while Ellen Page was still in the closet. There's also one of them kissing, but I find this one to be much more telling. Look at Ellen Page's hands and the position of her head. Drew Barrymore is open and fun and secure, had been out and was hiding nothing. Ellen's body language is completely different. I could go on, but that may be a bit awkward and trail off my point.

So, her coming out officially was a cause for me to feel happy, very smug and excited. But I've had straight friends say to me "wasn't she already out?" in confusion, similar to how I reacted to Jodie Foster's coming out.

Ellen Page comes out in speech at the Human Rights Campaign inaugural Time to Thrive conference

Cynthia Nixon

This was quite similar to Jodie Foster in that I thought she had been out all along. In her case more so than with the others on this list, I judged on appearance and the character she was playing more so than on body language and expressions. Regardless, I was less than not surprised when I saw in passing that she has a wife. I like how she words it in this article with the Telegraph: "I'm just a woman in love with a woman" but she does explicitly use the label bisexual in another article.

Cynthia Nixon for Telegraph

Amandla Stenberg

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I have a pretty sizeable crush on Amandla Stenberg. She's so intelligent, creative, talented, and beautiful, and she gives me hope for the generation to come. Every video I've seen her talk in made me wonder if she was bi, and then soon after, this video appeared and made me happy. The past few years more and more young well known women have been coming out in a very nonchalant way, which makes me happy every time. But Amandla was on my (gay) radar for a while before she did so, which is what this list is about.


Lauren Jauregui

Billboard: I am a bisexual Cuban-American

This morning, Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui came out as bi in an open letter aimed at voters of somebody whose name I don't want to exist on my blog. I don't know much about the girl group other than the occasional reference by Lilly Singh iiSuperwomanii vlog: The Time Fifth Harmony Slayed Everything (Day 603) and the Roses (RoseEllenDix: Drunk Fifth Harmony 7/27 Reaction). While they mostly focused on other band members, I couldn't take my eyes off Lauren and wondered, with my absolutely personal preference projected, how anybody could focus on anybody other than Lauren. From the very little I'd seen of my several hours social media stalking, she seemed to be the most... relevant to me, which I couldn't quite pinpoint other than that she is gorgeous. But so are the others, especially Normani. Alas, it became pretty clear what that detail was.

The changing landscape of the coming out process

This post started out as something entirely different. I wanted to put together a presentation of receipts and details to show how a specific somebody who I am, with that gaydar of mine, quite sure is bi. I have so many receipts. But unfortunately, I don't have the time to put together such a presentation, and more importantly, it is not my place to do so.

Instead, this post became both a celebration of bisexual and gay women coming out more and more often, in many different ways. Due to the chronology one can see a clear shifting trend in the way the coming out takes place, and I am certain it will continue in that direction.

And that in itself is a flicker of wonderfulness in all the darkness that has been happening this year, and worthy of its own post. That, and also the stroking of the ego of my excellent detection skills. Obviously.

LL the Portmanteau video: What is Your Language? | No More Craptions


Subtitles and captions are the sound for the majority of your viewers.

What is your language?

I will now read to you what I wrote.

Many things shape our personality, experiences, perception of reality, our informed decision-making, but I’ve recently been able to draw a circle around one particular fact about myself with which I have differed from pervasive paradigm, and which, in combination with needing to live within the common paradigm, inevitable makes that differing aspect stand out in the formation of my reality.

That circle is that I am hard of hearing.  From the outside, I sit between worlds. Not hearing enough, not deaf enough. I’ve been deriving the explanations for my reality from within the paradigm of a loud and silent world. When the eyes of your awareness open, it colours every fraction and nuance of your reality. 

What is the method you employ for communication and expression that makes you feel safe, in control, understood, understanding, whole, and true?

My language is not speech nor signing. But duality is not the truth, multiples and nuances exist. Just like limbo is a concept in itself despite its intrinsic value of in-betweenness and conceptual relevance to a duality of life and death, just like being bi is a orientation in itself rather than a pendulum between genders, just like the concept of now can be understood without the duality of past and future, so can I and my language exist: the written word.

That is my element, my reality, my communication, my core, 
the tangibility of a rope of letters to which I can cling in the stormy oceans of in-between, and feel at ease. 

Language is a key to differing perspectives and interactions with the world. Many deaf people communicate visually, and thus, more physically. Body language and understanding communication through a person’s physicality is part of a deaf person’s intelligence and therefore much more likely to be a language from within which dance is in close reach rather than the leap deaf dancers are assumed to need to take due to the hearing paradigm’s assumption of intrinsically viewing dance as an extension to an audible world. 

In the hearing paradigm, dance is seen as an extension, a visual expression of: music. Dance sits within sounds. Noise. Audible creativity. It isn’t shape which stands at the core of dance - as it should be - nor athleticism, nor language and communication. No, music and sound is seen as the core from which dance is drawn like fluffy strings of cotton candy pulled from crystal sugar.
But when one stops to view the actuality of the act of dance in itself, it is much more obvious that a deaf person has a higher tendency to find beautiful expression within dance. 
It is in fact not a leap but a visual, physical extension of an established understanding of body language.
Since bodily expression is already a deaf person’s language, dance becomes poetry.

But I am hard of hearing. I can see dance from a deaf point of view of understanding the communication of physical expression of beauty, but I also love music. I hear music, I feel music, but most of all, with dance, I can see music.

[Dancers]

I can marvel in the poetry of concrete expression of sound. Dance, for me, is the portmanteau of my in-betweenness, the form of beauty and poetry which keeps me company in my lonely limbo world.

Now apply this to writing. 
Written words are the manifestation of speech the way dance is perceived to be a manifestation of music.

The visual, concrete written word of writing is my core, my connection to the world. The written word is my language. In World of Wordshape this is elaborated on.

Subtitles and captions are absolutely essential for me. 

I’m merely one person, though, with a very specific illustrative example of a reason, a single combination of the way in which deeply personal realities come together to explain the importance of subtitles when I consume media. 

No more craptions is a campaign by Rikki Poynter.

There are many videos which talk about the advantages of subtitles and captions in detail - many which talk about the fiscal and numerical advantages of the search engine optimisation, the videos aimed at the practical video creator, the one whose views derives from that search of how to do something. 
There are many videos which talk about accessibility, aimed at the creator who cares about being fair and inclusive. 
These videos exist and are true. But if you as a creator don’t fit into either of these categories enough for it to affect a change in your choice, you need to understand just how detrimental to yourself the choice to not apply subtitles and captions is. 

Now I’m addressing you, content creator.


Your content is online, not doing a stand-up in a local pub. The internet is not a local place but the most widespread manifestation of globalisation. Your content is a video, the most comprehensive flat method of communication we currently possess: when you create you care about sound, sight, speed, noise, information, beauty, entertainment. But here’s the reality you ignore when you don’t use subtitles in your videos: the following category is a big, big number. 

People for whom the language of a piece of media is not the first language are the majority of media consumers. Let me repeat this: the majority of your viewers’ understanding of what you are saying increases exponentially with subtitles. Without subtitles, the majority of your viewers is highly likely to miss out on a big chunk of what you are saying. The majority. Did you get that? Majority. Ignoring the needs of it is, to put it simply, foolish.

I am only one story.
But examples and reasons and combinations thereof are wide and varied. 

For that majority, which deaf and hard of hearing people, and people with auditory processing disorder are merely a part of, you deliberately decrease understanding when captions and subtitles are inaccurate, deliberately sit behind an automated ball launcher in the direct light of the sun while expecting the player to catch each and every single ball. 

What is your language? What is the method you employ for communication and expression that makes you feel safe, in control, understood, understanding, whole, and true?
Think of this language and imagine it being deliberately tampered with. 

As a dancer, imagine somebody stepping out of beat. As a musician, imagine somebody singing off key. As a filmmaker, imagine a cut just off frame, unintentionally blurry and askew. As a mathematician, imagine paths to the solution skipping several steps. That is what inaccurate captions do to me. 

It is astounding to me that you would care so little for your own creation and the intended communication thereof - to the majority of your audience - that you allow it to be tainted, tampered with, diminished. Take control and responsibility for your creation. You wouldn’t think of adding sound that is not in sync with what can be seen on the screen and say that you have no control over it, act as though you only added sound out of the goodness of your heart, hint that sound can easily be switched off at the push of a button. Subtitles and captions are the sound of the majority of your viewers.

Have you understood this paradigm? Will you add it to the language with which you communicate and create?

What is your language? 

Thank you for captioning your videos.

Thank you to Rikki Pointer for tirelessly working for our sound, the written word.

Please watch the other videos for a more educational, practical, less pretentious take on the #NoMoreCraptions campaign.

https://shop.liraleirner.com/collections/my-sound-is-visual



New LL the Portmanteau video: What is Your Language? | #NoMoreCraptions


Thank you for captioning your videos: subtitles and captions are the sound for the majority of your viewers. There are many videos which talk about the advantages of subtitles and captions in detail - many which talk about the fiscal and numerical advantages of the search engine optimisation, the videos aimed at the practical video creator, the one whose views derives from that search of how to do something. There are many videos which talk about accessibility, aimed at the creator who cares about being fair and inclusive. These videos exist and are true. But if you as a creator don’t fit into either of these categories enough for it to affect a change in your choice, you need to understand just how detrimental to yourself the choice to not apply subtitles and captions is. Your content is online, not doing a stand-up in a local pub. The internet is not a local place but the most widespread manifestation of globalisation. Your content is a video, the most comprehensive flat method of communication we currently possess: when you create you care about sound, sight, speed, noise, information, beauty, entertainment. But here’s the reality you ignore when you don’t use subtitles in your videos: the following category is a big, big number. People for whom the language of a piece of media is not the first language are the majority of media consumers. Let me repeat this: the majority of your viewers’ understanding of what you are saying increases exponentially with subtitles. Without subtitles, the majority of your viewers is highly likely to miss out on a big chunk of what you are saying. The majority. Did you get that? Majority. Ignoring the needs of it is, to put it simply, foolish. For that majority, which deaf and hard of hearing people, and people with auditory processing disorder are merely a part of, you deliberately decrease understanding when captions and subtitles are inaccurate, deliberately sit behind an automated ball launcher in the direct light of the sun while expecting the player to catch each and every single ball. It is astounding to me that you would care so little for your own creation and the intended communication thereof - to the majority of your audience - that you allow it to be tainted, tampered with, diminished. Take control and responsibility for your creation. You wouldn’t think of adding sound that is not in sync with what can be seen on the screen and say that you have no control over it, act as though you only added sound out of the goodness of your heart, hint that sound can easily be switched off at the push of a button. Subtitles and captions are the sound of the majority of your viewers. Have you understood this paradigm? Will you add it to the language with which you communicate and create? What is your language? Thank you for captioning your videos. Thank you to Rikki Pointer for tirelessly working for our sound, the written word. #NoMoreCraptions is a campaign by Rikki Poynter. Please watch the other videos for a more educational, practical, less pretentious take on the #NoMoreCraptions campaign. ------------------------------------------------ Subscribe for occasional writings! More likely weekly during European Winter months: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC05FJooVZIl24-g2pye74hQ?sub_confirmation=1 A new video will be posted on a Tuesday, maybe. Everything worn in this video is part of the LL fashion line: http://ift.tt/2d2ifBz ------------------------------------------------ Find me, talk to me, and see what I create: Art: www.liraleirner.co Fashion Line: www.liraleirner.com Photography: www.liraleirner.net Instagram: LiraLeirner Twitter: LiraLeirner Vine: LL.the.Portmanteu Facebook Fashion: http://ift.tt/1SnZTbr Facebook Art: http://ift.tt/1Pm1a2W Blog: http://ift.tt/1SnZTbt ----------------------------------------­--- Links: Rikki Poynter - No More Craptions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O4YcVQt5NM Derral Eves - Creating Subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJGiS83eQLk Alexandria Taylor - Inclusivity on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86eXcb5uA5c The #NoMoreCraptions Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa2HGeuqKyQ3JvzGzg6F4ljagLUcSHbdf The World of Wordshape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBuimBPphoc ----------------------------------------­--- Information on the content: With the exception of the three YouTuber clips, all content has been filmed or created by me. Art included are from: Art Basel, Venice Bienniale, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Dance included are: Stillaut, The Progressive Wave, "See the Music, Hear the Dance" choreographed by Crystal Whitley for "Solaris" by Thomas Adès played by Britten Sinfonia.

LL Travel Photography: Lugano, Tessin

Lugano Lake Mountains
Swimming in green
Red Perspective
Layers of living
Nature wins
Details of life
Structured sundown 
Protect creativity
Intimacy framed
Dipping into moon colours
Fields of the night

LL Travel Photography: Mendrisio, Tessin

Mendrisio
Where are you from?
Midday shadow
Steps in the concrete
Shadowplay
Morning view
Most beautiful tree
Empty swings
Salamander sunning
Wine growing
Horses by the path

New LL Stock: Issey Miyake inspired Coat


BUY NOW: €300

New Lira Leirner in stock! Handmade elegant unisex, one-size-fits-all, versatile coat inspired by vintage Issey Miyake. Two tone grey knit and cotton melange summer coat perfect for a layered evening or day look. Floating and comfortable, yet chic and with structured details.

Size: One size fits all. Truly.
Base of neck to longest front point: 140cm
Arm span: 155cm
Colour: Two tones of grey
Material: 95% cotton and 5% elastane 

Inspired by vintage Issey Miyake this coat is modern and incredibly versatile.
Its versatility makes it the perfect travel companion. 
The cotton panel balances light yet protective components, making it both warm enough to be used in the winter over a jumper and light enough to be a throw over a suit or dress on a warm summer evening. 
The neutral grey colour and crisp elegant cotton panel means the coat can complete and tie together any elegant night time look, and is yet light enough to not be too dark for daytime outfits - it goes with every colour.
The knit allows for a comfortable oversize blanket style cardigan to hide in during travels, yet provides a dramatic, structured yet floating and elegant coat any time, anywhere you are. 
The cut, size, fabric choice and colour combination means that the coat can be worn by men, women, and everybody else, for any given elegant occasion both day and night.





Lira Leirner Art: Are We There Yet? Behind the scenes

Art is much like humans in that some look better in person than on photographs, others only communicate well in person and are complicated to grasp via any medium. Some only dazzle upon direct interaction, others are most honest and content on their own.


This piece is all of the above. As a mirror with light writing it turned out to be quite difficult to capture: the background had to be dark, not white like a wall, otherwise the writing could not be distinguished. No light could be shone on it lest entire chunks would miss due to the reflection, so natural backlight and higher ISO means a grainier image. To get an even angle for the sides, the photographer needs to stand in parallel to the object, yet in this case it would disrupt the even background needed as the photographer would show, a 300 tele lens had to be used to achieve a blurred enough dark background without the photographer in the image. Too close or at an angle meant that the double reflection of the immediate mirror and glass makes the text appear blurry. Thus were the difficulties.

The difficulties for the classic capture, however, presented themselves as playground. Reflecting light, the letters cast shadows darkly upon the next surface. Reflecting dark and light structures, holding objects in certain places, allowed for certain words to be hidden and others brought to light. Self reflection, shadows, patterns; the combination pointed to an additional reminder of the self-reflection of myself being the content of this piece.
Name: Are we there yet?
Year: 2016Dimension: 30cm x 30cmMaterial: Acrylic on Glass MirrorPrice: £830 – BUY NOW
For more information about this piece and the written out text please click here.







Portmanteau Commentary: Texture on Canvas at Art Basel 2016

One of the most exciting patterns to observe for me during this Art Basel was the large amount of pieces which revolved around the recurring theme of relief texture and three-dimensionality on a two dimensional platform, straddling the line between sculptural object and painting, and thus working with a reduced palette monochrome simplicity to enhance the focus on structure.

herman de vries "v 71-72", 1971. Relief, wood and white paint. Gallery: Borzo Gallery. Art Basel 2016

Lucio Fontana's early iconic supernova slit or stab of the 2D canvas to birth the 3 dimensional, 4th wall-breaking awareness of spatialist materiality was omni-present throughout the Art Basel 2016. Everywhere I looked there was a Fontana for sale.

Art vs/ incl. Selfies

Doug Aitken "NOW (dark wood)", 2016. Gallery: Regen Projects, Art Basel 2016
1 I
2 Am on
3 That image

4 One, Three, Five, Seven

5 Quick, art needs reason
6 Quick, what you agree in
7 Quick, pre-empt potential "sin"

6 That picture is truly mine
7 That perspective is my sign
8 That watermark is included

6 To make my mark on it
7 To be certain I exist
8 To prove tangible memory

8 Not quite as branding as a dove
9 Not quite as possessive as a dog
10 No, I hijack for my own creation

8 This is not an excuse here
9 This is not a justification
10 This is a self-serving observation

9 I interact with my surrounding
10 I fake memories of understanding
11 I immortalise my own reality

1 Or
2 Like this:

25 I wanted to take a bunch of selfies with things I think look good because I think I also looked good



Art Basel 2016

Sherrie Levine "Fedora", 2011. Jablonka Galerie. Art Basel 2016

Juan Muñoz "Miroir et cuillère", 1997 Gallery: Marian Goodman Gallery. Art Basel 2016

Olafur Eliasson "Cosmic Gaze", 2016. Gallery: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Art Basel 2016

Random International, "Blur Mirror" 2016. Art Basel 2016

Hans Op de Beek "The Collectro's House" 2016. Gallery: Marianne Boesky Gallery, Galleria Continua, Galeria Krinzinger. Art Basel Unlimited 2016

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Krzysztof Wodiczko "Zoom Pavillon" 2015. Gallery: Carroll / Fletcher. Art Basel Unlimited 2016


Tracey Emin "The more of you the more I love you" 2016. Gallery: Xavier Hufkens, Lehman Maupin, White Cube. Art Basel Unlimited 2016
Galleria Tega, Art Basel 2016