In “Queer in the Time of Terror,” Rao discusses the dilemma of Third World societies on the topic of homosexuality. He writes that, “homosexuality is frequently cast as a corrupting, alien influence, imported from a decadent ‘West.’” There is the belief that the gay influence is another western idea that many reject. The LGBT rights are also discussed as “a marker of modernity,” so it becomes another battle between traditional versus modern. Although homosexuality is not something ‘new’ or ‘modern,’ some see it that way because of the Western view and the attempt of Western nations to push others into accepting LGBT rights. Third World societies are described by Rao as being, “sandwiched as they are between a coercive liberal solidarism supportive of Western hegemony, and a variety of authoritarian pluralisms that claim to contest this.” Colonization has pushed people away from the accepting of homosexual behavior, and now Western nations are now advocating the acceptance of gay communities.

The poem “Dubious” by Vikram Seth in the beginning of Rao’s article was something I read both before and after the article. It shows this confusion on what to believe and questioning why one has to pick sides: homosexual vs heterosexual. Towards the end of the poem Seth asks the question on his own status within the “strict ranks of Gay and Straight.” Then he mixes the two, “Stray? Or Great?” I liked this because it served the message of why is there a perceived ‘strict rank’ between the two.

The fact that Nollywood is producing their own films on homosexuality rather than people watching an international or western film on this topic, then allows people to step towards the acceptance of homosexuality on their own account from their own people’s portrayal through film. Homosexuality then will not be seen as western or modern, but something within their own society – not a reversal of colonialism. However, then another question comes up from “The Video Closet,” how much is too much to show. In one film, “the censors felt that the women were enjoying themselves too much.” As the producer stated in This is Nollywood, the films they make are “educatainment.” It is a mixture of education and entertainment. However, there is a concern that homosexual films are more entertainment (showing too much) and less education. The fact that Emotional Crack has received so much attention and success shows that Nollywood has a long way to go before homosexuality can actually be accepted without someone dying or giving up in the end.

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About karadim

I am a first year graduate student at American University's MA Literature program.

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