The Role of Term Queer

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

In the 19th century, people rejected traditional gender identities which meant that they had to adopt a name that described their sexual orientation. Apart from sexuality, the term was also used to describe non-normative identities as well as politics (El-Tayeb, 2012). Queer politics and theory came into action during 1990 and has continued to be influential today in both politics and social influence of the LGBT community. Therefore, it is important to discuss some of the roles of the word queer from 1990 and how it has evolved over time. The development of the queer theory and movement started in the year 1990 when a group of organizations, as well as individuals, did join forces to ridicule the oppression to LGBT rights. In the United States, activists formed a group known as Queer Nation which represented people who were not practicing straight sexual orientation in the country (Michael, 2011). The groups used militant styles to force the government and the community to accept their sexual orientation. In the United Kingdom, the LGBT movement formed a movement known as Outrage which also used direct actions to lobby society to accept people who had a different sexual orientation (Albertine, 2005). In their protests, the queer groups lobbied their members who had not come out to announce their sexuality to come out and show solidarity so that majority of the population can know that they were aggrieved (Valles-Morales, 2015). The latter continued until the community started getting respect as having a different identity in the society regarding sexual orientation. The word queer was also had sociopolitical connotations where it was used to reject the traditional sexual identities by the activists.

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Because of the ambiguity of the name, some activists preferred the use of the name queer so that they can avoid getting profiled by the community as gay, lesbians, and transgender (Gamson, 2000). Breaking the rules of sex and gender would be associated with the term queer which made people come up with the right term to somehow make LGBT as people who are accepted in the society just that they are different (Albertine, 2005). This is contrary to the fact that LGBT was previously regarded as an outlawed sexuality in the American culture as they associated it with infectious diseases as well lack natural values by the people who practiced the same (Michael, 2011). Before, the era of the 1990s which saw people accept and start treating people with different sexual orientation differently and positively, the term was used to refer to the radical homosexuals who refused to heed the advice of reforming from homosexuality to being straight (Morland, 2009).

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The term was a form of resistance from the people who refused to engage in traditional essentiality identity politics in the past (Michael, 2011). The term advocated for freedom of citizens to do whatever they wanted both in politics and in social lives. The term was also used in arts as the word was used to inform the audience about the atrocities the LGBT community goes through in the real world. The film industry also joined the revolution to popularize the queer movement (Albertine, 2005). One such movement that promoted the message of the queer communities in the US was New Queer Cinema which advocated for the independence of the filmmaking where actors were supposed to participate freely in producing movies that depict the plight and social behaviors of LGBT without restrictions (Morland, 2009).

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The adherence to the nationalism of the queer cultures and their acceptance around the world ensured that the LGBT people did form a distinct group of people that possessed different customs but not extreme to the human values (El-Tayeb, 2012). The word homocore which was originally used by people to refer to the culture of homosexual persons was changed to Queercore which represented the social movement and was majorly used in music and films to refer and appreciate the people with different sexual orientation (Valles-Morales, 2015). This also led to the formation of different organizations in the world which identified them of the support to not being sexually straight by using the identifier “Queer” which by early 1990s was already known to almost everyone in the world to relate to LGBT (Michael, 2011). Some of the organizations that used the identifier include Queer Cyprus Association in Cyprus and in United States Queer Youth Network (Valles-Morales, 2015).

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Regarding academics, the term queer had a role especially in the study against the grain as it pertains gender studies (Ferguson, 2004). The rift also existed between the members of the LGBT themselves as some decided to conceal their sexual and gender identity in fear of rejection by the society (Valles-Morales, 2015). However, some felt that there was no need of concealing their sexual and gender identities as doing that was only going to affect them psychologically (El-Tayeb, 2012). Some also avoid the use of the word Queer because they feel that it is some kind of faddish slang and it is associated with the academic promotion to identify people living with different sexuality and gender identities (Valles-Morales, 2015). In conclusion, the word Queer was used by the activists to describe the strange and different identity of the people who practiced different sexual orientation.

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The word emanated from the use and then to UK which then spread all over the world as many people started identifying LGBT communities with it. Ferguson, A (2004). Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota. Print. Gamson, J (2000), "Sexualities, Queer Theory, and Qualitative Research", in Denzin, N. wiley. com/doi/pdf/10. wbhaf083 Muñoz, J (2015). Dis-identifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2015.

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