Queer theory is different, however. It is different in that it does not look at gay and lesbianism as being compartmentalized. It recognizes that sexuality is fluid and that people who are gay and lesbian may not necessarily have rigid sexuality. More importantly, queer theory is not focused strictly upon gay and lesbian issues per se. Rather, it brings a queer sensibility to many areas of modern life, even areas that are not traditionally thought to be associated with gay and lesbian issues such as economics, for instance.
Queer theory also is interested in looking at heterosexual literature with a queer lens, so that, for instance, a certain piece of literature or art could be interpreted in a way that would encompass queer theory. In other words, queer theory is much more of a sweeping theory than gay and lesbian theory, therefore it potentially has a much larger reach. Moreover, it has the possibility of transforming sociological studies in a greater way than gay and lesbian theory has.
This essay will examine queer theory, what it is, and how it is different than gay and lesbian theory. It will also examine some examples of queer theory, and how queer theory recognizes the fluidity of gender constructions, and how gender is, in general, a construct of culture, which is opposed to sex, which is innate. Just like a person is born male or female, but is not necessarily would be considered to be the gender of his or her birth, so do gays and lesbians blur the cultural construct of the genders.
According to Turner (2000), queer theory addresses how lesbians, gays and transsexuals raise questions about how we understand sex, the sexes and gender. Sullivan (2003) states that sexuality is not natural, but, rather is discursively constructed, and is understood in ways that are culturally and historically specific. Get the best and most legit paper writing services now.
Queer Theory & Homophobia in the Black Community
Homophobia is a negative attitude and feeling towards the members of the LQBTQ community, which comprises Lesbians, gay people, bisexuals, transgender, and other types of queer people. It is observable in violence and discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation. Often in the black community, the members of the LGBTQIA community are treated with antipathy, hatred, aversion, prejudice, and contempt.
Religion and Queer Theory
Religion has played a critical role in worsening homophobia within the Black community and other ethnic groups. This is interesting because both the black and queer people are minorities and oppressed members of the community. Therefore, people who happen to be both black and queer become the most oppressed members of society (Giwa et al., 2020). Therefore homophobia within the black community further oppresses some members of teh community for no good reason.
Homophobia in the Black Community
Cheryl Clarke used the queer theory to explain the existence of homophobia in the Black community. Being a Black lesbian, she was oppressed based on gender, race, and sexual orientation. This is a form of triple minority identity and thus a good representative of the minority members of the society. She stated that “For a woman to be a lesbian in a male-supremacist, capitalist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, imperialist culture, such as that of North America, is an act of resistance” (Clarke, 1999).
Instead of perceiving herself as the ultimate victim of ignorance in society, she views her identity as the pushback for the oppression in society. This shows that black queer people should perceive their identity to expose society’s ignorance. It is important to note that discrimination manifests in everyday life like bars and even the black liberation movement. She views this as ironic and hypocritical of the black liberation movement.
Black Queer People
Like Cheryl Clarke, black queer people ought to call out more privileged identities for support. This includes the black heterosexual men and the white heterosexual women. Additionally, gay men ought to have more privileged than black lesbians. She was courageous enough to call out the elite in the black community for propagating homophobia (Anderson-Carpenter et al., 2019). Based on the fact that the elite in the Black Community is often male, they often speak against the members of the LGBTQ community. This often shows their devotion to the religious organization, be it in Christianity or Muslim.
Interestingly, the oppression of the queer people in the Black Community is a replication of the oppression of the black people by the whites. The black heterosexual people ought to take care of the best interest of both them and the homosexual black people. Therefore all members of the black community are left better off. This may spill over to homosexual people in other races and communities (Clarke, 1999). I would concur that this process should educate the community on the importance of eradicating homophobia. Therefore, if the black liberation movement is true to its purpose, it ought to fight for the liberation of the members of the LGBTQIA.
However, it is interesting that Cheryl Clarke blames the homophobia in the ethnic communities like the black community in America on the oppressions in white society. “That there is homophobia among the black people in America largely reflective of the homophobic culture which we live” (Clarke, 1999). The black community understands the effects of oppression; they have a responsibility to take care of other oppressed members of society. She notes, “Like all America, black Americans live in a sexually repressive society” (Clarke, 1999). This, however, does not explain why homophobia is more rampant in the black community.
Queer Theory References
- Anderson-Carpenter, K. D., Sauter, H. M., Luiggi-Hernández, J. G., & Haight, P. E. (2019). Associations between perceived homophobia, community connectedness, and having a primary care provider among gay and bisexual men. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 16(3), 309-316.
- Clarke, C. (1999). The Failure to Transform Homophobia in the Black Community.‖ Pp. 32-33 in Dangerous Liaisons: Blacks, Gays and the Struggle for Equality edited by E. Brandt.
- Giwa, S. C., Norsah, K., & Chaze, F. (2020). Navigating the spaces between racial/ethnic and sexual orientation: Black gay immigrants’ experiences of racism and homophobia in Montréal, Canada.