“Lipstick-lesbian Fantasies” by Dotun Akintoye, NYC

Queer July 18, 2011 19:10

topic: QUEER medium: TEXT

submitted by Jessica Fabrizi

Shall I suppress the lipstick-lesbian fantasies of my male heterosexual id for a while? Fine, have it your way. In some respects I have no idea how to answer the query. The truth is I don’t think about the issue all that much, which, if you take my view of things, is social progress of a kind.  I’m also young, educated and have gay and bisexual friends and colleagues, and so my views on what queer means to me have a generational and class bias.

Queerness is losing its queerness. Naturally, that is both bad and good. Bad because any time the rebel or outsider’s voice is co-opted or diminished, society has lost a valuable critic, a refractive mirror for its own collective consciousness. Good in this case because the moral imagination, if you will, of society has expanded. The queer is no longer strange or subversive (at least not to me) and it no longer even seeks subversion. Vide marriage and kids and mortgages (by the way, I don’t see what all the fuss is about gay marriage, what I’m really excited for is gay divorce).
Gay people don’t owe anyone the performance of “queerness” any more that they ought to be thought of as queer first and Homo sapiens second.
Despite all of this, there remains a fact which must be admitted with shame, especially by straight men. Homosexuality remains an act of sex, not of love in the minds of many, and so “fag” and “gay” and “queer” remain a means of belittling fellow straight men. This is to admit that subconsciously, among men, queerness equals weakness and effeminacy. For reasons of nature and nurture, this is going to be a tough instinct to break, and because it would be dishonest to pretend at holiness or transcendence of one’s time and place, I must admit, that against reason and experience, surely that is partly what queer means to me too.

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