Recently, within the
last few decades, there have been efforts to push this epithet
the corner where a more positive and prideful lighting can
elucidate its antagonistic strategic potential. In this context,
to some, queer functions as a recuperating oppositional utterance.
Queer here bears some commonalities with other terms that have
risen and are rising from groups who were and are pushed down
by the great white, straight, male, upper-class, majority—the
people who cloak themselves in something named “normality.”
Sexuality, a site of feverish contestation, is not natural.
very much a discursive construct. What is more, sexuality is
constructed, encountered, experienced, and understood in culturally
and historically specific ways. Keeping this in mind, we could
say that there can be no true or correct account of homosexuality,
lesbianism, trangenderism, heterosexuality, and bisexuality.
The word queer served as a slanderous and negative epithet,
a hurtful abusive remark coined for the creation and destruction
of a sexually deviant feminized other and the concomitant creation
and elevation of a heterosexual masculinized self. Taken over
by various Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender communities,
later became, for some, a way of disempowering the people who
used it in a spiteful manner.
The author of this epigraph is calling for action. Action,
here, does not necessarily mean amassing a group of people
in public against an unfair system, program, etc. The action
to which the above epigraphs refer, and for which I am calling
here, is much more subtle and even harder to do. I think the
only realistic way to proceed would be to open a space for
people to recognize why certain people are seen as something
Construction of otherness has real-world affects upon those
The newly commissioned HPU club The Queer Caucus was created
to serve as a hub of queer mobilization on HPU campuses. It
is the club’s dual goal to spotlight and initiate the organization
and assembly of leadership and programming that is responsive
to and representative of the variety of needs and identities
in our queer community. Our mission also extends to combat the
baseless fear of GLBT people by giving others a chance to explore
and become acquainted with queer cultures and people. Until we
all make an effort to get to know GLBT people on an individual
level, as people rather than the others they are painted as,
the tendency to speak of “a fag,” “a homo,” or “a
freak,” will continue and the very palpable unjustifiable
pain felt by the dehumanized will continue.
The ability of people, social groups, and institutions to
dehumanize others through language, for exmaple, is staggering
meet, learn about, and get to know those people who are the
of our hurtful cruel stereotypes. This will take a conscious
effort. It is not only about calling into question the language
we use and the way we think, but the way we make sense of
the world around us as well.
Here at HPU we can effectively and positively advocate equal
rights for people facing such societal inequality by providing
GLBT students, faculty, and staff, as well as allied members
of the HPU community, a space to voice concerns and provide
a learning atmosphere that fosters the importance of maintaining
dialogue and reflection in the hopes of diminishing discrimination
based on sexual preference and gender issues, in particular,
and unjustifiable inequality, in general.