Queer film festivals have politicised origins and tend to be imbricated in complex gender and sexual identity politics. Language plays a central role in defining queer identities in festival contexts. This article examines the use of identifying language in queer film festival programs, with the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (initially titled the Melbourne Lesbian and Gay Film Festival) as a particular case study. The earliest queer film festivals were generally described as gay or gay and lesbian, rather than as queer or LGBTIAQ+ events. Queer is often seen to act as an umbrella term, though it is argued that this serves to erase the power hierarchies still prevalent, and therefore adoption of the term may mark an attempt at heightening inclusivity, whilst actually masking tensions and thereby reifying existing invisibility. Following a discussion of discourses and queer film festival naming practices, a quantitative analysis of Melbourne Queer Film Festival programs from 2006-2014 showcases a distinctly larger number of uses of the word ‘gay’, as opposed to ‘lesbian’, while both of these terms remain far more present than uses of the terms ‘bisexual’ or ‘trans’. However, whilst ‘bisexual’ has remained at only one or two references per festival program, the use of the word ‘trans’ increases dramatically as the festivals progress, reflecting changing festival dynamics. The disproportionate use of identity terms in the MQFF program discourse indicates that representational hierarchies still exist between the categories we tend to conflate under queer, regardless of title changes.

The critique of the queer subject is crucial to the continuing democratization of queer politics. As much as identity terms must be used, as much as “outness” is to be affirmed, these same notions must become subject to a critique of the exclusionary operations of their own production.1

Frequenting film festivals, our attention tends to be directed at the screen and films on offer. Undoubtedly though, the character and atmosphere of these events exceeds what flitters across the screen itself. Looking back on archived programs can provide a strong sense of the tone and character of a festival, both in terms of its content (programmed films, advertising, and imagery) as well as the language used. Although critical discourse analysis may not typically be at the fore of festival research, substantial insight can be garnered by examining the role that language plays in organising, addressing and categorising films and audiences. Such insights are especially pertinent in the realm of theme-specific and identity-based film festivals, which tend to be aligned with community building, activism, and representational politics both on and beyond the screen.

Queer film festivals (QFFs) have particularly politicised origins and tend to be imbricated in complex gender and sexual identity politics. These politics have often lead to tensions played out in battles over language. As festivals negotiate contemporary queer politics they find themselves engaged in yet another “precarious dance,”2 concerning language, this time between embracing and rejecting traditional identity politics. Although adoption of the term queer may mark movement away from more specific battles over naming rights (or the right to be named) tensions and hierarchies may endure within the contested category of queer, with some identities remaining underrepresented and marginalised despite movement toward more inclusive language. Examining these dynamics in discourse and exploring a new direction in film festival studies, this paper examines the ways identity-based language manifests on the pages of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival’s programs from 2006–14 and offers a quantitative overview of the ways particular identity-based terminology has been used by the festival.

Program discourse

Thus far program discourse has been referenced without full clarification. Whilst the program part of this idea is rather self-explanatory – referring to the annual paper programs published by a festival – the term “discourse” requires further delineation. This is chiefly because the term discourse circulates with various competing definitions dependent upon the field and context in which it is used, but also because the terms “discourse” and “Discourse” will be drawn on in distinct ways throughout. The term discourse will be used to demarcate the written text of the MQFF programs. This language, or discourse, forms the corpus of text analysed in the latter sections of the article. However, this analysis is pursued because of the interplay that can be drawn between the language or discourse used in the festival’s programs and the wider discursive realm of the festival. Links can be made, then, between program discourse and the more politically charged concept of Discourse. This distinction between lower case and upper case discourses is informed by the work of James Gee. Like Gee, I define “discourse” (with a little “d”) as “any stretch of language in use”, and “Discourse” with a capital “D” as “the ways in which socially-based group conventions allow people to enact specific identities and activities.”3 Echoing Foucault, Gee’s conception of Discourse allows us to theorise and examine the relationship between written text and ways of being: “‘Big ‘D’ Discourse analysis embeds little ‘d’ discourse analysis into the ways in which language melds with bodies and things to create society and history.”4 Because Discourses “integrate words, actions, values, beliefs, attitudes, and social identities as well as gestures, glances, body positions and clothes”,5 a study of written discourse alone cannot be exhaustive. Yet it can still be telling, particularly in the case of QFFs, where discourse has played a pivotal political role.

Program notes present an especially rich source of discourse for analysis because of the pertinent role they play in framing films and addressing audiences directly. They are also valuable because of their materiality and tendency to be archived. Mél Hogan argues that all film festivals queer or otherwise can be characterised as ephemeral events, which leave only traces of tangibility in their wake.6 These traces are left “first and foremost through [the] films and videos” they screen.7 However, there are also traces left behind by extra-texts or paratexts including program notes, forum transcripts, festival reviews, websites, and posters. While all of these materials may be useful for researchers, the program offers a particularly compelling wealth of discourse for analysis, including, in many instances, lasting records of a festival’s self-conception and aims, as well as its intended or perceived audience. QFF programs offer especially insightful discourse because of the evolving sexual and identity politics they navigate. More than merely navigating or reflecting these Discourses, the language used by QFFs harbours the potential to reproduce and question categorisations of queer cinema. Significantly, as identity-based events, QFFs also possess the power to reproduce and (perhaps, at times, the burden) of questioning the very collective identities upon which they were founded.

Naming rights

QFFs began to form in the late 1970s, when “the general post-Stonewall vigor and enthusiasm for standing publicly for gay rights led to more visible practices.”8 Skadi Loist traces the roots of QFFs back to the 1960s. Echoing Ger Zielinksi, she explains:

Several strands of identity-based film festivals – all with a corrective and self-affirming nature – came out of that era and the social movements that revolved around identities and representational politics. The civil rights movement spawned black film festivals, second-wave feminism provided the base for a surge of women’s film festivals, and the sexual revolution following the 1969 ‘Summer of Love’ and the spread of contraceptives sparked a brief outbreak of erotic film festivals.9

Mirroring the political impetus of these examples, the earliest QFFs aimed for the inclusion of homosexuals in mainstream culture and “were marked by positive imagery politics.”10 Debuting as The Gay Film Festival of Super-8 films in 1977, “Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival” was the first QFF in the United States and remains the longest-running globally. Its origins provide telling insight to the subsequent development of other QFFs. Susan Stryker describes the festival’s founders, The Persistence of Vision, as “a loosely run collective,”11 thriving in a scene where “self-expression was everything and money was beside the point.”12 The Persistence of Vision collective defined their newly found festival as “a forum for our art,” and a way of pooling “talent, energy, and equipment to help each other.”13 From the outset Frameline was described by its organisers as a political event, a means of exhibiting and fostering the production of queer, or, to avoid an anachronism, gay films ─ by and for a gay community. The “our” and “each other” in these objectives indicates a clear conception of community and highlights the significance of unity and visibility to the festival’s inception. In the years since, QFFs have proliferated around the globe. Because these events vary greatly, no single or linear historical overview can encompass their varied space-specific cultural dynamics. However, it can be tentatively observed that the tenets at the heart of Frameline – unity and visibility – have become key political aims of many festivals on the contemporary queer circuit. Unsurprisingly though, as political agendas have evolved so too have QFFs.

Some of these changes can be observed in the name play of festivals. Reflecting their contexts, the earliest QFFs were generally described as gay or gay and lesbian, rather than as queer or LGBTIAQ+ events. Over time, however, with changing politics and expansion of the so-called alphabet soup, many festivals have adapted their titles. For instance, throughout the 1980s many lesbian feminists criticised the gender bias of QFFs. Subsequently, several events became “gay and lesbian festivals”. Others demonstrated the perceived power and symbolism of language by inverting their titles to “lesbian and gay film festivals.”14 Along similar lines, in 2002 after extensive work by The Coalition for Unity and Inclusion, an organisation founded by bisexual and transgender activists, “NewFest: The New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival” changed its name to “NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival”. These titular additions highlight some of the discursive ways that QFFs have negotiated their publics as well as a faith in discourse to symbolise and affect further change. They are also consistent with literature highlighting the “political and material consequences”15 of identity labels and language as well as their worth as “personal, psychological and political tools.”16

These ideas, however, are challenged by queer theory. Unlike the self-affirming tradition of the gay and lesbian movements, queer politics are identity-critical; accordingly, they offer “an all-inclusive, non-normative, non-identitarian activism and theory.”17 With the rise of queer theory throughout the 1990s the traditional identity politics that had underpinned many QFFs were disrupted. Despite this, queer was adopted in the titles and lexicon of a number of events – including the “Melbourne Queer Film Festival” (MQFF). At the same time that the tenets of visibility and unity seem to be undermined by queer politics, however, Heiko Motschenbacher explains that this oppositional interpretation of queer “is mainly restricted to the academic debate whereas outside academic contexts queer is usually used in the sense of ‘non-heterosexual.’”18 Rather than functioning as an identity-critical term, queer may instead serve as an umbrella term for festivals, providing a catchall for non-heterosexual identities without necessarily encouraging critical reflection on identity politics. Because of this, adoption of the term may mark an attempt at heightening inclusivity, whilst actually masking tensions and thereby reifying existing invisibility. Festivals that opt to move away from identity terms altogether may face similar problems.

In 2014 the “London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival” (LLGFF) changed its name to “BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival”. Addressing the name change, organisers explained:

We felt, and audiences have been telling us for years, that the LLGFF was no longer inclusive enough or representative of the broad LGBTQ programme the festival offers, hence the change… Although ‘queer’ is something a huge number of our audience and wider LGBT community identify with, it was equally clear from audience feedback that a significant number don’t.19

Avoiding potential alienation of festival goers, organisers opted for a title which “suggests the flare of an idea, moving forward and growing outward.”20 Or, as Karl Schoonover and Rosalind Galt observe, it “creates a sense-perception of a community that is not easily captured in identitarian terms.”21 Although the festival’s subtitle contains the LGBT acronym, its promotional materials do not make this especially salient and, instead, forefront the snappier shorthand Flare, much like the marketing of Frameline. Reviewing the festival, Schoonover and Galt explain that the new name reflects a “balancing act” between the obligation to embrace identity categories and the need to establish “distance from identitarian models in an attempt to remain relevant.”22 In addition to shaping the event’s title, this tension can also be observed in the program’s organization of films by mood rather than genre, which demonstrates the organisers’ eagerness to “transcend traditional categories of national, gendered, and sexual identity as well as a desire to figure… queer audiences differently.”23

queer film festivals

2013 poster for the 27th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

queer film festivals

2014 poster for Flare, the London LGBT film festival

Many contemporary QFFs must navigate this tension of maintaining political efficacy by fostering visibility and unity, and reflecting the ever-growing multiplicity of queer sexualities beyond their gay and lesbian origins. Although a title alone may not be entirely representative of the content and community of a QFF, like all organizations and groups “a name can clearly mark a space as inclusive or exclusive.”24 The name changes and evolving titles discussed above highlight some of the ways that this tension has been broached; they also highlight the continued importance of language to QFFs and (sexual) identity Discourse. To pursue these issues in greater depth, the ways that identitarian terms manifest beyond titles is necessary.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival

The MQFF boasts a rich history, albeit a relatively recent one in comparison to an older event like Frameline. First screening in 1991 as the Melbourne International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, MQFF is one of the oldest QFFs in Australia. A “welcome” in the 1991 program from the festival’s directors provides telling insight to the fledgling festival’s aims and motivations:

Lesbian and Gay film festivals are incredibly important for the profile of our community. They provide visibility not only for the work of lesbian and gay films to be screened and seen by our community but also by the community at large… There aren’t too many nights when we can turn on the television or go to the cinema and see ourselves portrayed positively on the screen… We hope you enjoy our exciting program… and thank you, the audience, for coming out to support and celebrate your festival.25

Much like Frameline, MQFF was organised in response to a lack of visibility, and as a means of nurturing gay and lesbian artists and their work. Although it is acknowledged that the festival provides greater visibility of gay and lesbian films for all, the use of inclusive language in the program’s introduction (“our community,” “we can,” “see ourselves”) signals a very clear target or perceived audience and emphasises the aim of uniting a counter-public outside “the community at large,” both symbolically and physically at screenings. The language of this address and the festival’s title at the time demarcate this “we” as gay and lesbian individuals; an assumption which promotes a sense of community and coalition.

queer film festivals

Program cover for the Melbourne Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, 1991.

Just two festivals after its inception, amidst a mounting wave of New Queer Cinema, the title Melbourne Queer Film and Video Festival was adopted. In the 1993 program, festival president Madeleine Swain addresses the change as follows:

We considered the change of name carefully and felt that the word ‘queer’ addressed a potentially wider audience, as well as significantly cutting down on the cost of typesetting! … Most of us won’t notice much difference in the product, any genre has its roots in previous film movements, and queer is firmly rooted in lesbian and gay filmmaking.26

Although the name change signals attempts at addressing a wider audience, Swain is quick to assuage potential concerns by reassuring “most” readers they “won’t notice much difference,” a move that suggests anxiety around the name change by downplaying its significance. Further anxiety surrounding the change can be observed in the transcript of a forum held during the 1993 festival. Gathering film and media scholars Felicity Collins, Barbara Creed and Chris Berry, the academic-oriented forum facilitated discussion of the impact of queer theory on queer film and the festival’s name change. While Creed describes queer as “an umbrella term that resists theoretical pigeonholing and also allows us to problematize gender-specific terms… emphasising a range of sexualities and desires,”27 Collins laments that it is still a form of identity politics and that “any kind of identity politics tends to constitute a self and an other… [Hence] something gets marginalized or left out.”28 Tellingly, Collins adds that despite seeming “ungendered or even beyond gender… queer is profoundly gendered, and there’s no prize for guessing which gender is on top.”29 Echoing similar concerns about the predominance of men within queer spaces, an unnamed questioner comments: “we know lesbians are going to be invisible within a few years of [queer] being used. I wonder why we want to give up one of the most powerful words in the English language, namely lesbian?”30

A year later in the 1994 president’s message, a subtle shift away from emphasising community and identities can be observed, with the festival’s cinematic and artistic merits emphasised instead. The message begins by honouring Derek Jarman (recently deceased) before acknowledging the number of queer films securing theatrical releases and outlining the variety of the 1994 program. In the years that have followed this shift in emphasis has tended to be maintained. In particular, the international diversity and quality of the films on offer tends to be made most prominent. By the late 1990s the impact of more radical queer politics can be traced in the welcome addresses. The 1999 welcome, in particular, echoes the identity-critical inflections of queer theory, claiming to “leap beyond the confines of identity politics,” represent “men whose sexualities defy labels such as ‘gay’ and ‘straight,’” and “titillate many genders.”31 However, despite the influence of queer politics, identity-based language has maintained significance within the festival.

In 2006 identity-based terms were particularly foregrounded, with a shift in the language of the welcome address: “We hope to see important social and legal changes ahead for our LGBTI communities.”32 Referencing LGBTI communities, rather than a queer community, the welcome also marks a return to emphasising the socio-political roots of the festival. This pluralising of the LGBTI communities both unites various groups under one acronym, whilst also differentiating between communities and their specific pursuits of social and legal change. Notably, 2006 also marks the involvement of the festival’s first naming-rights sponsor, Volkswagen. Thus reverting to the LGBTI acronym may reflect commercial considerations. At the same time that the 2006 program acknowledges bisexual, trans and intersex identities more overtly in its welcome, it also adds greater significance to gay and lesbian identities by targeting them directly. Firstly, by introducing the “lazy lesbians”, “lazy buggers” and “director’s choice” curated passes, and secondly by reframing the Boob Tube shorts session, previously defined along gender lines, as a collection of lesbian films. Although this tweaking of the language was not mirrored in the other 2006 shorts programs, which maintained their gendered rather than sexuality-based descriptions, in the years that followed a general trend toward more clearly demarcating the gendered shorts sessions as either lesbian or gay has persisted. By 2014, the shorts sessions organised by gender were all prefaced by a brief description as either lesbian or gay – undermining sessions which otherwise present as more fluid and inclusive, and framing more ambiguous films in limiting terms. Helping to alleviate the problems of programming shorts sessions along binary gender lines, in 2008 a trans shorts session was introduced, and in 2009 a Lazy Tran’s curated pass was added. In 2012 these passes were replaced with five, ten, or all-in options, offering attendees greater flexibility and disrupting the (mis)conception of attendees as gay, lesbian, or trans. It also signals a move away from identity-based curation. As the subsequent section highlights, however, these shifts have not necessarily impacted upon the programs’ extended discourse.

Identity-based language use

In addition to considering the use of terms in prominent ways throughout the program, quantitative analysis of the ways identity-based language manifests is also revealing. In order to assess the frequency with which particular identitarian terms are used in the MQFF program discourse, the digitised programs from 2006–14 were analysed using data analysis software NVivo. In addition to the findings discussed below, the frequency of other identity-based terminology was also recorded, including: asexual, pansexual, gender queer, gender fluid, intersex, transphobia, biphobia and homophobia. Although the term homophobia appears 41 times, each of the other terms appear less than four times in total over the nine year period – most appear once or not at all. The absence of these terms reflects their lack of visibility relative to the identities discussed below. Though these identities warrant closer attention, in adherence to the scope of this article, just five identities will be discussed: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. This decision reflects the community moniker LGBTQ, an acronym often interchanged with the term queer. When queer is employed as an umbrella term, these identities appear the most likely to be united beneath it. Yet as the findings below reveal, the extent to which each identity is represented varies.

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 TOTAL
Lesbian(s) 40 38 45 46 37 46 51 29 33 365
Gay(s) 78 89 87 90 74 68 59 70 59 674
Bi/Bisexual(s)/Bi-sexual(s) 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 2 1 14
4 9 14 14 22 23 39 21 19 165
Queer(s) 22 65 72 70 57 70 49 68 63 536
TOTAL 145 202 219 221 192 210 200 190 175 1754

The disproportionate use of LGBTQ terms is revealing, though perhaps not entirely surprising. The clear disparity between gay and lesbian references, for instance, echoes concerns about gender parity that have haunted queer festivals since the 1980s and ’90s. Although the term gay can be used in more gender neutral or wide-ranging ways, very few of the references recorded reflect this. In three cases the term gay is used to directly describe or refer to a woman, for instance: “Rose’s conservative mother doesn’t know she’s gay.”33 A number of more general deployments, including references to a gay community or gay marriage, are also present. However, overwhelmingly it is used to attribute an identity. By contrast, the term queer is deployed in relatively gender neutral ways to describe groups or things, rather than individuals. For the most part, it is used to denote queer films, filmmaking, film festivals, or cinema. Along similar lines, queer communities, queer history, queer youth/young, and queer culture occur with some frequency throughout. Much like its use in the festival’s title, queer is generally used as an all-inclusive term rather than as an identity, suggesting a reluctance to relinquish more prescriptive terms. As the data indicates, these more specific descriptions tend to attribute either gay or lesbian identities in unambiguous ways: “a gay teen” or “lesbian airline colleague.”34 Used in these direct ways, the terms and identities they reflect are affirmed as coherent and recognisable. Examples which juxtapose a character’s sexuality with their ethnicity or nationality particularly exemplify this: “a handsome gay Turk”35; “a British gay man.”36

By contrast, a sense of reluctance accompanies the use of bisexual and trans terms. This reluctance is signalled first and foremost by the striking underrepresentation of both identities. Whilst this underrepresentation reaffirms and enacts invisibility, it can also be understood as a reflection of wider cultural erasure. Whilst both trans and bisexual communities have gained greater political traction over the past two decades, they have also had to counter marginalisation in both heteronormative and purportedly queer spaces; often facing challenges to their very existence. In light of this, the underrepresentation of trans and bisexual terminology in the program discourse reiterates what has long been assumed. What is rather interesting, however, is the variance between their representations.

The use of trans identity terms is initially low in the period studied, with only four direct references in the 2006 program. However, these references rise from year to year before reaching a peak of 39 references in 2012, almost ten times more than 2006. References dropped in 2013–14; however, at 21 and 19 respectively they remain higher than pre-2010 numbers. Over this period, then, the use of trans identity terms has increased, spiking in 2012 before plateauing. The introduction of the trans shorts program and a curated trans pass complement this rise, and suggest a concerted effort to increase trans visibility. Additionally, in 2014 and coinciding with the MQFF plateau, Melbourne’s first trans and gender diverse focussed film festival, “Tilde”, was established, facilitating a space dedicated to the experiences and work of trans and gender diverse people.

By contrast, no significant variation in the use of bisexual terms presents. Although usage doubles, halves, and even triples throughout the period, this merely reflects that not one of the annual programs overtly references bisexuality more than three times. On the infrequent occasions that bisexual terms are used, they often accompany other identities in nonspecific descriptions, such as: “the creation of trust between lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons”37. Analogous use of the term bisexual has been seen to characterise bisexuality as “a kind of tag-on ‘after-thought’… that is both secondary and linked to gay identities.”38 The relative invisibility of bisexuals within program discourse reflects a number of studies which suggest bisexuality tends to go unnamed or subsumed.39 Instances of this can be observed in the discrepancies between bisexual representations onscreen and in program discourse. Despite fifteen films being tagged on the MQFF website with the keyword bisexual in 2013, the corresponding paper program contains just two “tag-on” references. In the synopses for the films categorised as bisexual online, suggestions of bisexual behaviour can be traced, but the term itself is absent entirely, undermining its legitimacy. In McLean’s study of the impact silence and bisexual stereotypes have on individuals, one bisexual woman explains: “I find it difficult… I don’t see the word [bisexual] very often or hear it spoken… This can be isolating and alienating.”40 At the same time that underrepresentation in discourse reflects cultural erasure and invisibility, it also perpetuates further feelings of alienation and exclusion. Accordingly, underrepresentation of bisexual and trans identity terms in program discourse can be understood as both a product, and a reification of limited understandings of bisexual and trans experience41 and the mislabelling or misattribution of identities – the latter likely stemming in large part from the former.

The disproportionate use of identity terms in the MQFF program discourse indicates that representational hierarchies still exist between the categories we tend to conflate under queer, regardless of title changes. If queer is functioning as an umbrella term under which various identities can huddle, then this analysis reveals uneven occupation of that contested space. It also suggests room for further acknowledgement of difference and differentiation within language, particularly for those identities beyond the LGBTQ moniker focussed on here. If queer is not functioning as an identity-based, but rather an identity-critical term in this instance, then the prevalence of particular identities within program discourse is still worth addressing. In the name of deferring ownership or a static conception of queer identity, an identity-critical queer politics may be more invested in interrogating predominance and hierarchies within language as tangible examples of wider intra-community dynamics. It is erroneous to assume that use of the term queer negates the need for ongoing contestation, or at the very least reflection, on matters of language within QFFs – both on the use of specific identity categories, and use of the term queer itself.

More specifically, this data confirms suspicions that bisexual and trans identities remain underrepresented in program discourse. Though the trans data and the founding of Tilde mark progression in trans visibility within film festivals, the fixed sidelining of bisexuality leaves much to be desired. Although isolating exact reasons for the underrepresentation of bisexual, trans, and to a lesser extent lesbian identities on the pages of the MQFF program cannot be made conclusively, what can be asserted is that a number of interesting issues regarding visibility, legitimacy and program discourse surface. With further qualitative analysis the ways that these relationships might inform or reflect the categorisation and interpretation of individual films and the festival’s perceived audience becomes possible. What this research suggests most resoundingly is that if we continue to employ identity specificity within QFFs (whether for purposes of visibility, marketing or clarity) then we need to become more attune to the ways this manifests in the language we use.

The article has been peer reviewed.



  1. Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter (New York: Routledge, 2011), p. 173.
  2. Karl Schoonover and Rosalind Galt, “Minds, bodies, and hearts: Flare London LGBT Film Festival,” European Journal of Media Studies 3.2 (2014): p. 217.
  3. Paul James Gee, “Discourse, small d, Big D,” The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction, eds. Karen Tracy, Cornelia Ilie and Todd Sandel (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2015), p. 420.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Paul James Gee, “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction,” Journal of Education 171:1 (1989): p. 7
  6. Mél Hogan, “21 Years of Image & Nation: Legitimizing the Gaze,” Nouvelles «vues» sur le cinéma québécois 10 (2008–2009): p. 1.
  7. Ibid., p. 2.
  8. Ger Zielinski, “Queer Film Festivals,” LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia, eds. John C. Hawley and Emmanual S. Nelson (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2008), p. 980.
  9. Skadi Loist, “A Complicated Queerness: LBGT Film Festivals and Queer Programming Strategies” in Coming Soon to a Festival Near You: Programming Film Festivals, ed. Jeffrey Ruoff (St Andrews: St Andrews Film Books, 2012), p. 158.
  10. Ibid., p. 159.
  11. Susan Stryker, “Twenty-five Years: Frameline and the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival,” 25th Anniversary San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Program Guide (2001): p. 19.
  12. Ibid., p. 21.
  13. 25th Anniversary San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Program Guide (2001): p. 3.
  14. Zielinski, “Queer Film Festivals,” p. 982.
  15. Kenji Yoshino, “The epistemic contract of bisexual erasure,” Stanford Law Review 52:2 (2000): p. 359.
  16. Rebecca Shuster, “Sexuality as a Continuum: The Bisexual Identity,” Lesbian Psychologies: Explorations and Challenges, ed. Boston Lesbian Psychologies Collective (Illinois: Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 1987), p. 63.
  17. Loist, “A Complicated Queerness,” p. 160.
  18. Heiko Motschenbacher, “Queer Linguistics,” Language, Gender and Sexual Identity: Poststructuralist Perspectives (Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2010), p. 10.
  19. “What’s in a name?,” British Film Institute, (15 April 2015), https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/flare/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=whatsinaname
  20. Ibid.
  21. Schoonover and Galt, “Minds, bodies, and hearts,” p. 218.
  22. Ibid., p. 217.
  23. Ibid., p. 223.
  24. Kirsten McLean, “Inside or Outside? Bisexual Activism and the LBGTI Community,” The Ashgate Research Companion to Lesbian and Gay Activism, eds. David Paternotte and Manon Tremblay (Burlington: Ashgate, 2015), p. 152
  25. Lawrence Johnston and Pat Longmore, “Welcome,” MILGFF Program (1991): p. 2.
  26. Madeleine Swain, “President’s Message,” MQFVF Program (1993): p. 2.
  27. Chris Berry, “Looks a Little Queer To Me,” Metro 95 (Spring 1993): p. 38
  28. Ibid., p. 39.
  29. Ibid.
  30. Ibid., p. 40.
  31. Richard Watts, “Welcome,” MQFF Program (1999): p. 1.
  32. Lisa Daniel, “Welcome,” MQFF Program (2006): p 8.
  33. Out of Bounds,” MQFF Program (2012): p. 85.
  34. MQFF Program (2013): p. 25.
  35. Ibid., p. 32.
  36. Ibid., p. 29.
  37. MQFF Program (2010): p. 61.
  38. Paul Baker, Sexed Texts: Language, Gender and Sexuality (London: Equinox, 2008), p. 148.
  39. See, for instance: San Francisco Human Rights Commission, The Bisexual Invisibility Report (March 2011); and Yoshino, “The epistemic contract of bisexual erasure.”
  40. Kirsten McLean, “Silences and Stereotypes: The Impact of (Mis)Constructions of Bisexuality on Australian Bisexual Men and Women,” Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review 4.3 (2008): p. 162.
  41. The diverse terms and spellings of bisexual and trans further suggests limited or inconsistent understanding of these identities.

About The Author

Chloe Benson is currently undertaking her PhD at Federation University. Her doctoral thesis examines the complex interplay between sites of exhibition, official entryway paratexts and contemporary representations of bisexuality. This research stems from her wider interest in paratextual theory, film festival studies and queer cinema. Chloe has written reviews for Film-Philosophy and Film & History, and her work has also appeared in Metro Magazine.

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