I've been warning for a while now that "lgtb studies" will eventually be replaced by "Queer studies" in the academies.
However, one has to remember that the academies are usually far removed from street culture, and the way they use terminology and jargon has a totally
"Queer" draws attention to the social constructed nature of all sexual identity, and it's claims of truths are revealed as simply reiterating a
certain gender performance (which changes over time and place).
There may be an essence to various sexualities somewhere, but that is not their real concern.
They would rather see people as products of discourse and various forms of power/knowledge.
Some might argue this means everyone is bisexual (although it's not argued like this exactly), which is astoundingly a discourse also found in
religions which claim that being gay is simply a choice.
"Gay" and "lesbian" were terms that were felt to repeat "masculinity", or "femininity", and looking for recognizably gays and lesbians in history (for
This ultimately lead to a canon of gay works that was considered very closed, and didn't bother to look at sexual moments outside the recognizably gay
and lesbian subculture.
Ultimately, I guess it was felt (I'd say mainly by radical feminists at first) this didn't really deconstruct patriarchy or heteronormativity enough,
and thus gay and lesbian studies became redundant.
Queer studies is the new hot topic.
In a sense it encompasses the gay and lesbian studies, but it radically goes beyond that - actually it's more a mode of thinking about the world and
There have been major disjunctures between gay and lesbian street activism and Queer studies.
It pays little attention to whether gay people experience their sexuality as life-long and non-chosen, or whether they were happy with some rights as
In fact, Queer studies would see both gay and straight identities as constructed.
I know of gay and lesbian people who want to hear nothing about "Queer studies" or social constructivism.
Some might say that such studies may focus on gender, but actually originate in Marxism, in which classes and eventually genders should disappear to
let everyone fight the class struggle.
That doesn't mean all the work on Queer study is self-consciously Marxist, and a lot of it is quite valuable from a social science perspective, but as
a gay man I don't like being put into that ultra-radical box.
But anyway, I guess it's here to stay.
edit on 8-11-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)