Tuesday, January 15, 2008




Caroline said...
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Caroline said...

To identify as "queer" is to claim membership to one or more of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQI) communities. However, "queer" is not an umbrella term. To me, "queer" has political significance. "Queer" signifies the politicization of LGBTQI identities and recognizes that LGBTQI people are marginalized by society. I think there is a huge difference between having sex with someone of the same gender and being queer. Mary Cheney is an out lesbian and hosted a baby shower with her partner, yet she campaigns for a political party whose platform denies queer people their human rights. She is not queer. Members of San Francisco's Castro neighborhood opposed opening a shelter for homeless queer youth. They are not queer. It is possible to be gay or lesbian and still deny other members of the LGBTQI community their rights. Queer people recognize the privilege that they have to be an out queer person, to be legally protected from discrimination, to be able to go to nightclubs or gay bookstores or pride parades, without being harassed or killed; and they recognize that this privilege was fought for long and hard against people who thought that homosexuality was criminal and perversion. Many queer people worldwide and in our own country still face legal harassment and physical danger. To conveniently assume that your privileged, white, Republican gay or lesbian life should be protected at the expense of other members of the queer community is selfish.

Wow. I wrote a lot, but the term "queer" is very important to me. I learned the hard way that many people are not up to speed with current queer identity politics when I did a presentation on queer young adult literature at the College of Charleston and people thought I was using queer as an insult.

"Does Dick Cheney Really Love His Grandson?"

"Gay Youth Shelter Meets Resistance"