Queer Liberation

January 23rd, 2012

Queer liberation is a perspective that is inclusive of a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond the dominant heterosexual and gender binary concepts.  Queer liberation acknowledges the existence of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgender, two-spirit people, intersex, queer and questioning as well as the fluidity of people’s identities, behaviours and experiences regarding their gender and sexuality.  Queer liberation also recognizes the intersectionality of sexual orientation and gender identity with other characteristics that affect privileges and oppressions such as age, race, ethnicity, class, religion, (dis)ability, etc.  By centralizing sexual orientation and gender identity issues, queer liberation challenges heteronormative ideations that serve to marginalize and/or oppress the gender and sexually diverse.  Furthermore, and most importantly, queer liberation calls for the creation of a society that is inclusive, respectful and accepting of the gender and sexually diverse populations, as those populations choose to define themselves and live their lives.  Queer liberation commits its energies towards creating discourses and real life experiences that best meet the needs of gender and sexually diverse communities as they define it and not necessarily according to status quo, heterosexually-based equality models.

A critical queer liberation perspective engages in a process of questioning, resisting and challenging.  A questioning of the status quo that has been and continues to be dominated by heterosexuality and fairly defined gender roles allows for a deconstruction of such social structures.  Resistance to heteronormative socialization and conditioning – in essence looking, acting and behaving like straight people in order to gain acceptance and respectability – is rejected.  Challenged are the hegemonic notions that heterosexuality and traditional gender identities and roles are the norm.  For queers, contorting ourselves to meet these expectations is not only a false endeavor but an insult to our personal integrity.  Queer liberationists assert ourselves by defining what is important to us based on our own needs.  This is oftentimes in direct opposition to societal norms, a kind of countercultural assertion, in the hope that hegemonic discourses are challenged to make room for more diverse realities such as those identified by queers.

From our queer-identified political perspectives to our relationships (sexual and platonic), from our career choices to our living arrangements, from our community involvement to our leisurely activities, etc., this is about liberating ourselves from the tight constraints placed on us by a heterosexually and cisgendered dominated society.  This is about queer liberation.

– Nick Mulé  –  January 29, 2010

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