challenging gay left orthodoxy

I found this book at Webster’s, the local bookstore/coffee shop downtown, and thought it might make me sufficiently angry or challenged. From the Introduction:

Queer. Once—and still—an anti-gay slur, it’s been reclaimed by a minority of gay people as a supposedly affirmative label. Yet it’s an odd and problematic word, often less indicative of sexual orientation than of ideology. To be queer, by some people’s definitions, is not so much to be homosexual as it is to be a socially marginal rebel, defined primarily by his or her sexuality, who is perpetually and intrinsically at odds with the political and cultural establishment. But you don’t have to be all these things, as long as you think of yourself that way, or say that you do, or adopt a personal style that implies that you do. Or something like that. (ix)

As someone who uses the label queer, and doesn’t identify as gay (or homosexual), I think this book should be interesting. On a related note, I was told this weekend by a gay man that my queer identity and politics are, to paraphrase from memory, not pragmatic.

Bawer, Bruce. “Introduction.” Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy. Ed. Bruce Bawer. New York: The Free Press, 1996. ix-xv.

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One Response to challenging gay left orthodoxy

  1. Nels says:

    Oh, Bruce Bawer! I remember being young and naive in grad school thinking that I had to read A Place at the Table because it was a best seller and a big deal. And I hated it and thought something was wrong with me for hating it.

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