Elise M.
The Silhouette

Queer, through definition, has been used to describe something as odd or strange in comparison to the norm (what is seen as natural in society). As we already know, in our society, heterosexuality is what is normative. This is where heteronormativity is derived. It is the assumption that we are all straight, because that is what is “normal” and how it should be.

Individuals who fall under the LGBTQ* umbrella, all exist outside of conventional norms in society through our desires alone. What I mean by that, is that our desires (or lack thereof) for another person are outside of what is considered normal.

This is where the “queer” identity comes from for many people. This is where our power comes from. Just with the existence of our desires, and our courage to follow them, we are challenging normativity. We are presenting something that is “odd” or “strange” in contrast to what is deemed as being “normal” in society. We have been ostracized, beaten, mocked and murdered for the mere existence of our desires. (And in many cases around the world, we still are.) Yet, we never stopped challenging people to question the norm, and look at how far we’ve come. Our desires are a powerful thing that can shake conventional norms.

When I talked about ‘queerness’, I’m not talking about gayness. I’m talking about something that challenges societal conventions. Polyamory/non-monogamy, asexuality, oral sex, anal penetration, BDSM have all been considered queer – many still are – under the norms held by society at large, regardless of whether or not they are performed by straight people or otherwise. None of these things are wrong, they’re just considered deviant.

So to ‘queerify’ space we need to create a space where presenting ideas of ‘deviancy‘ isn’t thought about as being ‘odd’. It should be normal to challenge conventions, and it should be celebrated. That is what I describe a queer space to be, and that is where the desire to queerify society stems from.

The concept of queering space can make people feel uncomfortable, however, this discomfort is not harmful. Under our normative society, individuals do feel discomfort and exclusion on the basis of what is deemed right and wrong. Individuals are shunned and mocked for not fitting in. We shouldn’t be encouraging each other to conform to societal “norms.” That is harmful.

Queer spaces don’t hold prejudices against deviance nor do they uphold societal norms – they are just asking you to be yourself.

 

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