New Beginnings

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June & July, 2019

In recent years, discussions surrounding sex and romance have grown increasingly unproductive. In response, Queer Majority provides a space where individuals can convene to address challenging topics and engage in productive debates. In my capacity as Editor in Chief, I am determined to maintain this website as a platform for original thought, by publishing quality content from a broad range of perspectives, even when the positions articulated are controversial and/or do not reflect my own.

For this first issue, I have chosen the theme new beginnings because that is precisely how I see this project intervening in conversations about sex and romance. Over the last several decades, the LGBTI community has made significant strides in our pursuit of equal rights and acceptance; however, now, as a result of these successes, we no longer find ourselves in the same position as before. To continue making progress, we must take stock of our current situation and make adjustments accordingly, starting anew so as to most effectively pursue our future goals.

In “Queer: A New Narrative,” Rio Veradonir does exactly that. His focus on the use of language in the LGBTI community allows him to draw attention to both its contributions and its flaws. Specifically, he presents a strong critique of what he sees as the movement’s current over-reliance on identity politics, revealing how both the term “ally” and the ever-expanding acronym of the LGBTI community now serve instead to foster separation. To correct this, Veradonir holds up the word “Queer” as a more productive alternative, redefining it as an inclusive umbrella term that encompasses all individuals exhibiting non-heteronormative behavior, much as we envision it here at Queer Majority. In doing so, Veradonir strongly embodies the spirit of this issue’s new beginnings theme by ultimately urging us all to embrace this new approach in our pursuit to sexual freedom.

In “The New Normal,” Talia Squires takes this theme of new beginnings in a different direction, instead interrogating the very concept of the status quo. Using her father’s life as a frame, she reveals the often rapid pace of social change, thereby challenging the common assumption that such transformation happens slowly. Focusing specifically on American attitudes surrounding romantic relationships and sexuality, Squires refutes the view that current social norms are somehow fixed or final. Instead, she urges us all to keep pressing forward, and continue in our efforts to change attitudes and expectations so that one day we can all be seen and accepted for who we are, as normal.

Kaylee Walker also evokes the spirit of new beginnings in her provocative essay “Gender Policing on the Left” by urging for the reevaluation of current approaches to gender in progressive spaces. Drawing an unsettling parallel between these current approaches and the restrictive conceptualizations many of these same individuals have historically critiqued when they are found on the right, Walker clearly reveals the left’s need to reassess. To avoid this hypocrisy, she pushes for a return to traditional feminist approaches to sex and gender, where the two are understood as separate but related constructs, the latter of which is socially manufactured and often too rigidly applied to expectations surrounding appearance and behavior.

Much like these three essays, the other works included in this issue also take up the notion of new beginnings and grapple with it in various ways. In “Queer Tarot,” for example, a new beginning in the artwork of tarot cards is illumined through recent expansions in the representation of human diversity and sexual freedom found there, whereas in “A New Home: America as a Land of Queer Opportunity” the new beginning manifests itself more literally through the story of starting a new life in a different country. In all cases, the goal of these pieces, much like the issue as a whole, is to challenge outmoded ways of thinking and gesture toward more productive alternatives in an effort to move us forward.

 
 
Lorien HunterLorien Hunter