Queer Futurity in San Junipero

In this episode of Black Mirror, the main characters have an interesting role in setting a narrative throughout the show that focuses on a homosexual relationship that persists through a very heteropatriarchal system. Throughout this episode the story follows two queer subjects as they meet and eventually decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together. This choice for the characters to spend the rest of their lives together is very much accepting and upholding queer love but in order to achieve this point in their lives both these characters must in many ways come to terms or even engage with a heteropatriarchal system. In order to reach San Junipero, Yorkie married a male doctor but through this minor section of the story displaying a heterosexual relationship- Yorkie is able to bridge a connection to alternate queer reality.  In both of the women’s lives there is an oppositional understanding of straightness where neither of them are quite satisfied with the romantic relationships they develop with men, and in this the episode builds on their queer relationship.

While this relationship is a clear presentation of queer love it is interesting to ask- how to does this piece still conform and fit into normative constructs of heteronormativity, straightness, and committal and monogamous love? Although it seems safe to say that this narrative that centers around a homosexual relationship is revolutionary, it can be argued that this episode simply paints queer love through a very capitalist and idealized notion of loving someone forever. This piece is meaningful and important to the LGBTQ community because simply proclaiming and taking on a lesbian identity is impactful. The world in its entirety during this episode still follows a strict understanding of heteronormativity and this construct makes the very existence of a lesbian subject- an outstanding narrative (Munt 4). San Junipero brings forward a story of lesbian love that ends happily ever after and this gives the queer viewer a sense of relatability and comfort to see this narrative where the main characters are at odds with the heteronormative structure inherent in the piece. This narrative definitely comes off as supportive of queer people and queer rights yet the piece reinforces the normativity of marriage (a heteronormative concept) and capitalism. Both these structures are normalized through the future being painted as one in which happiness is found through paying for immortality, marriage, and ownership. In order for this piece to be truly a revolutionary piece upholding the principles of intersectional feminism, there ought to be a more defiant role of the main characters in questioning the very constructs that seem to mimic the real life hegemonic constructs that idealize the queer subject but maybe still lack in liberating them. By setting this narrative within a heteronormative structure, the piece can be aesthetically seen as revolutionary although it is still functioning within power structures that are inevitable and far greater- therefore making the piece fit into a limited space of revolution (Goltz 565).



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