QUEER


    I'll say up-front that I intensely object to the word queer — still one of the most hateful words in the American language. Beginning in the summer of 1969, those of us in the Gay Liberation movement fought long and hard to have the word gay adopted as the preferred word.  And we succeeded.  First there was resistance, but eventually everyone from the man on the street to writers for the New England Journal of Medicine or the Wall Street Journal began using gay.
    Gay was always our word; it was always positive.  Together with its antonym straight it is analytically cogent. When applied to males: a gay man is erotically responsive to other males, whereas a straight man, for whatever reason, is not 
neither term makes reference to females. “Gay” is the positive term, and “straight” is simply its negation.
    Queer was always the word of our enemies — the last word gay men heard as they were being beaten to death.  There is no way that such a word can be “reclaimed”, as the “queer theorists” disingenuously put it.
    Virtually all gay men are opposed to “queer”, and most of them vehemently so. Nevertheless, “queer” has been foisted on us by an unsavory alliance of confused male academics, covertly anti-gay females (to whom the word never applied in the first place), and their various accomplices.

— John Lauritsen



Here five writers criticize queer from a variety of perspectives.

John Rechy, the best-selling novelist, finds queer “odious”. To read his thoughts on the word click here.

Wayne R. Dynes, Professor of Art History at Hunter College in New York City, takes a hard look at an academic foible. To read his article, “Queer Studies: In Search of a Discipline”, click here.

John Lauritsen (whose website this is) castigates the Queer Nation paradigm, asserting that its ideologues are proposing “an alliance of physical, psychological, and social rejects”. To read his piece click here.

Stephen O. Murray, a comparativist sociologist, objects to “queer” from several standpoints. To read his essay — “Five Reasons I Don't Take ‘Queer Theory’ Seriously” — click here.

Arthur Evans, one of the three main founders of the Gay Activists Alliance, asks: “Whatever happened to the word gay?” To read his letter to the San Francisco Bay Times click here.


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