So apparently there’s such a thing as “queer heterosexuality.” According to Wikipedia:
Examples of queer heterosexuality are when one or both partners express their gender in non-traditional ways: heterosexual butch women or feminine men, and taking up different gender roles.
So it’s true—straight people can be ‘queer.’ That really does confirm my suspicion that ‘queer’ no longer has anything to do with being gay. Didn’t queer used to mean gay at some point? I’m pretty sure it did. This gay male writer for Huff Post isn’t happy about them changing their Gay Voices section to Queer Voices, because he has experienced the word queer as a gay-bashing word. He writes:
“Yes, the word is painful. It was a point driven home to me with fists and kicks. It was the word vomited at me by bullies at school. It was one of the words, along with “faggot” and “sissy” that the gym coaches threw at us. If you didn’t want to put on boxing gloves and hit another kid in the face you were a fag. You were queer. If someone was queer it was okay to inflict pain and suffering on them because of it. That message came from staff at school, from coaches, house parents, and the older boys. It was pervasive and universal. Let’s all play smear the queer.”
There’s something really uncomfortable about this. Gays have been beaten since forever while getting called queer. Some of them are beaten and called queers while they’re still young and have not yet ever had the sex they are being punished for wanting. But straight people who wear interesting outfits call themselves Queer Heterosexuals in order to sound cool. There’s a real big disconnect here. Being gay isn’t a costume you put on to look cool.
An article in Vice asks, “Can Straight People Be Queer?” and then provides a non-answer to the question with the usual incoherent jumble of mismatched thoughts and celebrity quotes. First of all, some quotes from young celebrities who know nothing about Gay and Lesbian history but who are genderfluid and not sticking to any particular label because sexuality is a “vast spectrum.” (My sexuality is not much of a spectrum. I just like women, and that’s that. But anyway.) Then there’s an obligatory tweet of Jaden Smith wearing an outfit.
This confirms my suspicion that the word ‘queer’ means ‘wearing a Tweetable outfit.’ Our Vice writer continues with this
word salad paragraph:
“Being queer is not the same as being gay. Queer means lots of things to lots of different people. Its definition defies any meaning that is pinned to it. For many, it is a political persuasion as well as a sexual one. There are plenty of gays who don’t identify as queer—who wouldn’t subscribe to gay marriage, for instance. Writing “no Asians” on your Grindr profile and having mostly white pride lineups are other examples of gay culture devoid of queer thinking. You don’t have to be queer to be gay, but do you have to be gay to be queer?”
Well, I’m glad he admits that ‘queer’ defies any meaning. Truly, it does. I don’t have a clue what ‘queer’ fucking means any more. I am flummoxed by the sentence where apparently gays who don’t identify as queer wouldn’t subscribe to gay marriage. Huh? I think a citation is needed here. And then apparently if you are racist on Grindr then you are devoid of queer thinking. Does that mean ‘queer’ means ‘not racist’? This is really all over the place. I’m not getting anything out of this.
“For someone who is homosexual and queer, a straight person identifying as queer can feel like choosing to appropriate the good bits, the cultural and political cache, the clothes and the sound of gay culture, without the laugh riot of gay-bashing, teen shame, adult shame, shame-shame, and the internalized homophobia of lived gay experience.”
Now that I can agree with! Straight people who wear outfits and call themselves queer have not had to go through what gay people go through. They are appropriating.
So then the Vice writer interviews a straight male drag queen who has a girlfriend who thinks it’s “sexy” that her boyfriend does drag. *yawn* As usual, if a man wears a cool outfit he is suddenly TEH MOST COOLEST GUY EVER AND IS SO SPARKLY AND BRAVE.
“I ask Hollis Robin, drummer of queer feminist punk band Teenage Caveman, whether straight people can be queer. Hollis identifies as bisexual when talking to cisgendered, heterosexual people because, “it’s easier to understand and keeps the conversation flowing.” Hollis prefers the term queer and uses that “when talking to other queer people/people who get it.”
Obviously, when writing about a social issue with a complex history, it is always good to ask a drummer in a punk band for her opinion. It is a known fact that drummers in punk bands are the leading experts in contemporary social studies. Anyway. Hollis prefers to use queer terminology around queer people. Well I have to state here that I would not understand Hollis’ queer terminology. I am mystified by this stuff. I am just a boring old homosexual, and I don’t understand sparklegender unicorn rainbow terminology. I suppose that when talking to actual homosexuals, it is probably best to use layperson terminology, not this ‘queer’ stuff.
“Queer is a very broad term that encompasses many aspects of sexual and gender identity,” Hollis says. “Society needs to be deprogrammed, subverted, or queered, and that involves a process of unlearning and de-conditioning white supremacist, cisnormative, and heteronormative behavior and values. Straight and cisgender people engaged in that work could be considered queer but I feel it’s not a label/identity cis and straight people are entitled to claim, more one that they need to earn. In the same way cisgender men can’t just declare themselves feminists, or white people can’t just declare their activism intersectional, they have to be held accountable to the people society places beneath them.”
So society needs to be ‘queered’? (Right now I am rubbing at my forehead in exasperation.) You know, I can agree with a tiny bit of this paragraph. We do need to unlearn heteronormativity and white supremacy, obviously. But then she throws in “cisnormative” and loses me with that. Cisnormative is a bullshit concept. Cis is a bullshit concept. Nobody’s personality precisely lines up with the sex role assigned to them. And the reason that it’s the norm to be ‘not trans’ is because most people aren’t trans. That’s not really a problem. We don’t all need to inject ourselves with hormones. And we should not normalize injecting everyone with hormones. I’m just an Evil Transphobic Shitlord who thinks that maybe everyone’s body is just fine the way it is.
“So go on. Have gay sex, listen to Arthur Russell, and watch RuPaul, straight people. Paint your nails and eschew binary logic. Cross-dressing is not cross-dressing if dresses do not belong to women. It is dressing, which is always already performance. You are born naked and the rest is drag. Go forth and engage with the important and difficult issues happening to the queer people who you love. Be a good ally.”
Wait, what? Did she just tell straight people to have gay sex? I’m pretty sure straight people don’t want to have gay sex, or else they wouldn’t be calling themselves straight. Is straight gay sex a thing now? Like, if a man and a woman who wear cool outfits take off their outfits in a cool way and then get it on, is that “gay sex”? I wouldn’t really be surprised if this was a thing, because the bullshit has gotten this bad. But anyway.
This writer is totally a TERF, by the way. I just caught a TERF statement in here. She wrote, “Cross-dressing is not cross-dressing if dresses do not belong to women. It is dressing, which is always already performance.” I have made this exact statement before! If a man puts on a dress, the only reason we call it “cross-dressing” is because dresses have been assigned to women. But if we just thought about clothing as being for anyone, then there would be no such thing as cross-dressing, there would just be dressing. (However, I disagree that dressing is always a performance. I am currently wearing some sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt, both of which I took out of the dirty laundry bin, and I don’t think that this clothing is performing anything at all. Unless ‘slob with PMS’ is a performance piece.)
So this Vice article ends with a quote from a random celebrity who is bisexual, and there is no actual conclusion as to what ‘queer’ means. That’s because there is no conclusion to make, because queer doesn’t actually mean anything.