Look Over Here! The Really Queer Literature

Posted in Uncategorized by Moe on May 6, 2010

Something that I think is worth looking closer at is how the ideas of queer and racial identities evolved in our class over the semester. I think it’s interesting to note how our discussions of both queer and racial identity have been framed. Queer has been equated to a gay man or lesbian and race is either black or white. At the beginning of the semester we discussed what queer might mean in theory and what the “umbrella term” might cover. But all of our reading assignments, which heavily frame out discussions, have stuck to this dichotomy. Both queer and race have become so narrowly defined that they became exclusive rather then inclusive.

Watching this slow narrowing of terms that I had always envisioned as incredibly broad suprised me a great deal. Maybe I was expecting a more diverse range of authors and stories from this class. Sure there were glimpses of diversity with Arnaldo Cruz-Malave, some references to  queens , and a little talk of different fetishes. But where are the bisexuals , transgendered, or those queers so enigmatic as to be unclassifiable? Where were the Asians, Indians, Middle Easterners, Latin Americanss, etc? Does literature by Persian Transgendered individuals just not exist? (Or maybe it’s just not very good literature?)

I can rationalize the lack of both queer and racial diversity in out course materials because it may not have been as productive of a class or the class may have lasted for near five years if we had discussed everything and everyone under the sun. However, I think it’s very interesting that in our discussions we never strayed away from the texts to discuss these various aspects of queer and racial identities. We strayed to things like the House of Gaga and Noah’s Ark but not to transsexuality?

But there is a wide range of literature by a plethora of Queer authors out there. Here are some interesting links that I found that I hope will act as a leaping off point for further exploration:

Transgender and Transsexual Authors

Some GLBT Literature

A Just Really Cool Blog!


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  1. shortstuff84 said, on May 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I love this post! The main reason I took this class is because I wanted to actually take advantage of the Advanced Studies requirement I have and sign up for something completely random that had nothing to do with my major. I love to read so it seemed like a good fit. I don’t think I would have ever found anything we read on my own, so I’m glad I was exposed to queer readings and I would like to read more of it in the future. But you’re right, there’s so much more out there in terms of LGBT literature that we did not get a chance to explore. I wish we had gotten to read stuff by transgender or transsexual writers. We also did not read anything about bi-sexual or bi-curious writers. I also think it might be interesting to read works by queers that came out very late in life or maybe people that were queer but now identify as straight. I also agree that we could have used more racial diversity in our readings. The Cruz Malave book was the one Latino reading we had and the Delany and Lourde were by black authors (but I don’t think Delany really talked about race too much). Your point about Persian trans literature really stood out to me because the media tells us that the Middle East is so religious and repressive, so it would be great to read about the experience of an LGBT person in that environment. Even though I really enjoyed most of the texts in this class, I think it would make sense to add more authors of color into the mix.

  2. D. Lynn Thompson said, on August 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Wow. A real pity and disservice. Was this a queer theory class?

    There is a great deal of literature (fiction and non) from authors outside of the L/G dichotomy. A few favorites of my own are Middlesex, Sexual Metamorphosis , and (strangely) Psychopathia Sexualis. The first is an account of an intersexed person from childhood through adulthood. The second is a compilation of personal essays and accounts. The third is a book of case studies from the mid to late 1800’s. Borderlands is also a good one written by a Latina woman from the southwest US.

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