Anna Eichenauer: Creative, Writer, Director, Actor, Producer of Comedic YouTube Videos About Queer Representation
Anna is a funny creative originally from Germany who now lives in Barcelona but travels around often. She is most known for her YouTube channel "Why Stuff Is Great" where she makes videos about queer representation onscreen. Her most popular video is "5 Free Lesbian Web Series," which is an indication of the hunger for more lesbian representation and content. We talk more about the need for lesbian content along with queer representation of other genders and sexualities in TV and film. Anna shares her take on the issue of non-queer actors playing queer characters, which plays into how many actors are actually OUT as queer. This raises a question of how important is queer identity? Do queer actors have a responsibility to be OUT?
In addition, I ask Anna who her favorite queer characters on TV are and why. If you're a fan of The Walking Dead or Orange Is The New Black, then you'll be interested in her response. Anna and I talk about the sex scene in Blue Is The Warmest Color and the "male gaze." We explore the "female gaze" more-what is it? is there such a thing?- and how the concept of binary gazes is a heteronormative expression, as Anna points out. Instead of the "female gaze," we resonate more with the "feminist gaze," which recognizes a variety of genders. Anna reveals what she wants to see more of in terms of queer representation onscreen. She is tired of seeing the same type of lesbian being represented and wants to see different gender representations.
As a writer, Anna shares how she writes what she knows, but how it's important to also take our imagination deeper. She believes that writers need to have a personal connection to the stories they create in order for their stories to be good and have impact. Recently, Anna has decided that she wants to write for Television and shares how that realization began and what she's doing to follow her dream.
Lastly, I ask Anna about her feminist journey and when she knew she was a feminist. She admits that she's been uncomfortable with the term feminist because of its lack of intersectionality and trans-inclusiveness. Also, Anna points out how it's important not to exclude non-queer women from the discussion as well as men. We discuss the need for solidarity, and the importance of men being feminists and what men's role is in feminism. Part of bridging this solidarity involves talking to people and being kind and understanding of one another, as Anna advises.
Food For Thought:
- Why don't we see much representation of trans men?
- Can men have a feminist gaze?
- What do you think men's role is in feminism?
- How can feminism be more inclusive of queerness?
- Do queer actors have a responsibility to be OUT?
Share with me your responses to these questions below! Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it on social media. I would really appreciate it. :)