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Questions for Concerned Queer

In a comment to my blog post, someone posting as “Concerned Queer” had this to say:

I want to highly encourage you to continue to learn about your own community. We are not the same people that were fighting in the 60?s, 70?s, 80?s, 90?s or 00?s. Please learn the differences, respect the new waves and directions that we are heading towards. We have created new terms, new demands, and new goals. There is a difference between the gay community and the queer community (sadly), and that difference is very personal and very political.

I found the comment- this portion quoted and the rest very interesting. I have some questions I want to ask to better understand Concerned Queer:

1) When you say “there is a difference betweeen the gay community and the queer community,” what do you think that difference or differences may be?
2) The term “community” may mean very different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
3) When you say “gay community” do you mean gay men, or are you talking more about the mainstream LGBT vs Queer?
4) Do you agree with this notion of Queer as stated in Wikipedia. Why or why not?

In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) communities as being oppressive or assimilationist.

5) If there is a difference between the gay community and the queer community from your perspective, which community do you think I self-identify with? Which community do you identify me as a part of?
6) What does “respect the new waves and directions that we are heading towards” mean to you? What does respect look like?

Looking forward to reading any answers posted.

 

Photo by QZAP

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Concerned Queer's Questions | thomascwaters.com

  2. Concerned Queer says:

    I have a few questions for you as well and am very interested in your replies. 
    1.) Why was I chosen out of all the other people commenting on your blog to be singled out for further questioning?2.) How do you see yourself/what role do you feel you play in the Pittsburgh gay/queer community?3.) Please correct me if I’m wrong, but what is your recent interest with this particular slice of the gay/queer community? Many of us had never seen/heard of you before the rally.

    4.) What are your future plans of involvement within the gay/queer communities? Goals?

    5.) Have you thought about attending local queer events to discuss and learn about general community issues; such as gay privileges, heternormativity, class and race discrimination from within, sexism, trans*phobia, etc? 

    6.) How do you define gay community vs./or queer community?

  3. Concerned Queer says:

    I’m trying to have an enlightening, intelligent conversation, while sharing my opinions with you. Please don’t cut me down by insulting my assumed ego, since I have not belittled you. I’ll gladly further explain within your questions. Also, keep in mind that these are my opinions based on my interactions. People can certainly disagree with me since our experiences are not the same, so perhaps our outlooks will also not be the same. 

    1) When you say “there is a difference betweeen the gay community and the queer community,” what do you think that difference or differences may be?A.) My personal opinion is that there is a difference, sadly. What I mean is that the gay community (who include gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans* folks, etc) who are not necessarily politically active or politically progressive/radical.  The queer community, for the majority (again, in my opinion), are more into grassroots activism and may have different political views, ie gay marriage, than their counter parts in the gay community. They may be in the anarchist circle as well. These are also people who do not conform to the gender binary, privileges or heternormativity. 
    2) The term “community” may mean very different things to different people. What does it mean to you?A.) To me, a community is a group of people who seek the same outcome as you. They have the same political views and desires, and above all else, when shit hits the fan, you know they will have your back. There is an unspoken bond of solitary, camaraderie and kinship.
    3) When you say “gay community” do you mean gay men, or are you talking more about the mainstream LGBT vs Queer?A.) See question 1. The gay community encompasses all under LGBT.4) Do you agree with this notion of Queer as stated in Wikipedia. Why or why not?In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) communities as being oppressive or assimilationist.A.) I do agree to a certain extent. If we just look at the word “lesbian” and dissect that to understand the history of how the word has changed over the years from within the community; as well as how the mainstream heternormative community have used it. The image of the word “lesbian” has been created to reassure the heterosexual male that their sexual fantasy of two femme/feminine/biological women is actually for the male gaze. This issue has been enforced by the media and popular culture. While the word “queer” messes with those assumptions and images.5) If there is a difference between the gay community and the queer community from your perspective, which community do you think I self-identify with? Which community do you identify me as a part of?A.) I don’t know what community you identify with. It’s not my place to state what your self-identifiers are. As it’s not your place to state mine.
    6) What does “respect the new waves and directions that we are heading towards” mean to you? What does respect look like?A.) Every generation has new modern ideas, theories and directions that they want to see the community head towards. The feminist movement started with not wanting lesbian/bisexual/queer women or POC to fight for their “individual” rights at the same time in fear of not getting what the white, middle-class (usually college) educated women wanted. They were pushed aside, but stood taller with the younger generation and broke through. Sometimes older generations don’t want to “rock the boat”, so the speak, any more then they have to to get what they think is “correct” and “enough” at that time. While the next group of activists are working hard to continue on that path of equality.  

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