The Queering of America
For most Americans, labels such as “gay,” “non-binary,” and even “members of the LGBTQ+ community” are generally used interchangeably to describe those preferring same sex partners. This imprecision suffices for ordinary conversation, but it fails to capture a key political distinction among today’s homosexuals, namely those embracing the label “queer.”
The label “queer” may appear new, but it is decades old. In his 1995 book Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography, David Halperin explains:
As the very word implies, ‘queer’ does not name some natural kind or refer to some determinate object; it acquires its meaning from its oppositional relation to the norm. Queer is … at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant.
‘Queer,’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-a-vis the normative— a positionality that is not restricted to lesbians and gay men but is in fact available to anyone who is or who feels marginalized because of her or his sexual practices…
[I]t describes a horizon of possibility whose precise extent and heterogeneous scope cannot in principle be delimited in advance.
Queers thus differ from homosexuals who embrace the traditional gay political agenda of same sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws. Queerness aims to undermine the very ideas of normal sexual identity, create a world of “anything goes” where one form of sex is no better or worse than any other. This might include currently illegal sexual practices such as incest, bestiality, and pedophilia. Queerness is thus revolutionary and subversive.
And what is it Queer Theory does? It disrupts. By definition. The definition of ‘Queer’ in Queer Theory, as we see, is that which resists and challenges all norms and expectations of normalcy. So bringing into education materials based in Queer Theory, including so-called gender-critical perspectives that separate sex and gender as though they are completely different phenomena, is meant to make children activists in this disruptive, destabilizing mode of misunderstanding the world.
This subversive intent is apparent in how Queers fixate on the education of children, especially very young children, and the campaign to “capture” young children is hardly hidden. At one New York City Gay Pride parade, a flamboyant drag queen openly chanted, “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children.” An estimated two million onlookers watched that Pride parade. Proselytizing can be outrageous as in another Gay Pride parade where stark naked tattooed men marched down the street waving to children and their families. Elsewhere a man was dressed as a giant penis, and he too, waved to the crowd. Interestingly, the parade was sponsored by Bud Light beer. A similar parade of naked gay men with children watching recently occurred in Seattle while in Los Angeles elementary school students as young as five were required to participate in a weeklong celebration of “National Coming Out Day.”
The most notable example of exposing youngsters to “Queer” is the fact that drag shows have now become ubiquitous in America’s public schools. One NYC organization—Drag Story Hour NYC—has recently given its raucous drag queen show 49 times in 34 public schools to kids as young as three thanks to $200,000 in city funds. Columbia, Missouri’s Values Diversity breakfast was held to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and featured a drag show where adults tossed dollar bills at lip-syncing dancers. No parent was informed about sexual content. Permission slips just mentioned “traditionally there are songs, performances, and a food item.”
But the greatest controversy surrounding children and Queer sex concerns banning books from school libraries. The term “book banning” conjures up images of Nazi book burnings but debates ignore whether the portrayed graphic sex is age-appropriate. The often-unspoken reality is that hard core pornography has been placed in school libraries under the subterfuge of “educating” youngsters about human sexuality. No doubt, the graphic depictions are too raw for public forums.
Fortunately, the writer Dave Seminara provides lurid examples that young school children might encounter. In This Book is Gay, transgender author Juno Dawson claims that “perhaps the most important skill you will master as a gay or bi man is the timeless classic, the handjob” and “Something they don’t teach you in school, is that in order to be able to cum at all, you or your partner may need to finish off with a handy.” Also depicted are explicit descriptions of oral and anal sex where the recipient of anal penetration is praised for “taking it like a man.”
Seminara also highlights Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen, which depicts the explicit “unapologetically queer” active sex life of a teenager that asserts “Big hairy muscled men love taking it up the ass….” On page 285 we encounter a boy who boasts, “What I really get turned on by, is the idea of hurting (girls). Not like beating them or anything but spanking them, slapping them, making them wear collars and ball gags and ordering them around.” Despite the graphic material, the School Library Journal nevertheless praises Jack of Hearts as “an essential addition to library collections that serve teens,” recommending it for children in grades ten and up. These are just a few of Seminara’s examples of Queer pornography found in school libraries.
The Queer movement is also proliferating on today’s college campuses. Five prestigious liberal arts colleges now offer a certificate in Queer, Trans and Sexuality Studies that “leads students to investigate how non-normative and normative genders and sexualities intersect with other social categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class and nationality.” Another website provides a detailed guide to prospective Queer Studies majors and lists thirty-five colleges offering that major, including prestigious schools such as Brown University, Cornell, Penn State, and Rutgers (a minor in Queer Studies can be found at dozens of top colleges). Another site presents a detailed guide for Queer students on evaluating a school’s program, the challenges a Queer student might face on campus and, critically, available scholarships.
Queer activism is an all-hands-on-deck crusade across the entire American culture. On the movie front, the website Queerty boasted that “2023 is here, it’s queer, and it’s got a ton of great LGBTQ+ movies to look forward to.” The National Gallery of Art has a major exhibition of Queer Art, and thanks to philanthropic generosity, Queer artists will be able to produce yet more paintings, photographs and sculptures. Queer authors can meanwhile avail themselves of some 61 publishing firms which specialize in getting Queer writers into print.
For an identity comprising only a tiny sliver of the population, this is an amazing, almost overnight accomplishment. Its impact, however, may be far from insignificant, and pushing an agenda asserting that there is no such thing as “normal” in human sexuality is not inconsequential. It hardly exaggerates to say that society rests on normal sexuality though, to be sure, not every individual is obligated to embrace procreative sex. Multiple factors are currently reducing already low fertility rates, and we do not need one more push in that direction.
Queerness is a movement whose purpose is psychological affirmation of its adherents, not securing a tangible benefit, and, as such, is without limits. Will requiring grade school kids to watch drag shows help Queers to feel better about their identities? Will hands-on workshops for pre-teens on edgy sexual practices be next? Unlike most traditional gay political demands, for example, legalizing same-sex marriages, the Queer movement will not settle for half a loaf. They want to transform society in their image, not just a new law or two. Then add both physical and psychological damage inflicted on youngsters who decide to experiment with “Queer sex.”
The crusade is not about men harmlessly dancing around pretending to be sexy floozies.
Image: Free image, Pixabay license, no attribution required.