My name is Tom, and this is my blog about bout loving, fucking, and dreaming queer. It has a specific focus on queer liberation and queer utopias — the past, the present and the future. What does it mean to be or do queer, and how might we come to realise a queer future where all people are: free from oppression, gender empowered, and sexually liberated. The sociology of my experience, combined with my inquisitive and anxious nature, has lead me down a path of relentless questioning and searching. Where do I fit, and how do I fight, in a word which still alienates and disempowers people like me? What does a queer future look like, and how do we get there?

I’m painfully aware that many of the most interesting insights about these topics have been lost to past conversations, discarded books, forgotten fucks, arguments with past lovers etc. Maybe this is a blessing; thoughts and opinions are ever evolving and any record of mine would likely be embarrassingly incoherent and contradictory. Yet, there is clearly inherent value in queer people writing and sharing their ideas and experiences, however incomplete. This helps increase queer visibility, contributes to queer history, and aids in the development of ideas about queer oppression and liberation. So I have decided that I will use this page to begin a record of my thoughts, ideas, and research about queer liberation.

Below is a kind of summary of where I stand on certain issues, questions I want to find answers for, and things I like to think about — all based on topics you might consider queer. This is the result of many conversations, and years of thinking about the things that have affected me, my friends, and my community. What is right or wrong about the present? Where do we stand going forward? How might we come to realise queer liberation? And what does a queer future look like? I aim to further explore these ideas through my readings and my experiences as I continue fuck, love, and do queer –

  • How are normative ideas about how we live, love, fuck, and perform our gender, produced and maintained? What is their function, and how do they exclude and oppress people within society?
  • Isn’t it important to recognise that many aspects of queer culture, and many queer ideas, were born out of conditions of marginalisation and oppression? For example, would disco or house music, or more specifically the culture that surrounds it, have come about without black and queer oppression, or more specifically the social spaces and conditions which were created as a direct result of our marginalisation? Are these cultural manifestations and spaces increasingly lost in the present era of queer tolerance, assimilation and homo-normalisation?
  • The mainstream LGBT political movement has abandoned the values and principles upon which the queer liberation movement was founded – an agenda and vision for absolute and complete queer liberation.
  • Instead the movement now takes a narrow focus, which centres around equality and assimilation, without any significant critique of the society in which we are being encouraged to assimilate into. Society and its institutions are considered more or less okay so long as they accept those who identify as LGBT.
  • Critiques of racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, disabilism, and militarism / imperialism come second to securing LGBT acceptance in society and it’s institutions, despite the fact many LGBT persons are black, working class, women, trans or live in countries which are pillaged and destroyed by European and American imperial wars.
  • That’s not to say that these forms of oppression do not exist within the queer communities and it’s institutions, far from it. But it’s important to recognise that at one time, those spearheading queer liberation recognised that all forms of oppression were linked, and that because queer people also shared multiple other identities it made no sense to fight for just one cause under one identity.
  • In other words, queer lib was about more than just the emancipation of the privileged few who now dominate the movement and its institutions. It was also feminist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and socialist.
  • The LGB political movement is now almost exclusive focused on the singular identity, ‘gay’. This one-dimensional approach has resulted in an unrepresentative movement whose agenda is set by members within the community who hold more power i.e. white, middle class, cisgender men.
  • Queer people are encouraged to take full advantage by replicating hetero-patriarchal-capitalist lifestyle norms and choices which are increasingly available to them.
  • I reject the inherent and absolute positive value attached to inclusion and assimilation. Self-appointed LGBT leaders and their NGO’s believe it to be more important to commend and celebrate the equality and diversity policies of corporations and multinationals like BP or Goldman and Sachs, rather than condemning such organisations for the role they play in environmental destruction and the continued perpetuation of economic inequality and class war. There is little pride in military service and war, or working for institutions which are racist, or have wrecked environmental havoc, or destroyed our economy.
  • Tolerance of queer lives are largely conditional. Society still abhors many aspects of being / doing queer. To what extent are we allowed to be / do queer within straight communities and institutions? What price have we paid for acceptance?
  • Queer lives have become increasingly accepted within mainstream society because a great effort has been made convincing straight people that queer people aren’t really that queer at all. In fact, we are ‘just like you’. A project of normalisation has been at the forefront of queer politics since the trauma of AIDS, with conservative elements prioritising a cleansing of the queer image. Queer politics and culture panders to society’s homophobic judgements of certain queer forms and cultural practices, by insisting that these things do not represent the LGBT community. Increasingly, as more and more queer people adopt heterosexist values and lifestyle choices, these practices gain hegemonic and normative value within queer culture, and a process of homo-normalisation entails.
  • I am frustrated by pathological approaches to LGBT sexual health, which deny pleasure, and stigmatise entirely normal acts of same-sex desire.
  • I regard the inaction of governments on AIDS to be an act of criminal negligence, which has caused the unnecessary and preventable deaths of thousands of queer men, and other marginalised people.
  • I reject biological deterministic ideas about gender and sexuality, but equally, I am not convinced by arguments that such are entire social constructions.
  • Importantly, a biological basis to our gender and sexuality should not automatically limit our sexualities and gender expressions.
  • Popular expressions of gender, which fit predominantly into the socially constructed binary of male and female, are violently enforced across the world, despite the fact that people rarely feel comfortable or able perform such expressions.
  • Gender is constituted by the continued performance of these gender expressions which we are assigned at birth and conditioned to follow throughout our childhood and into adulthood.
  • To transcend or reject these social conditions usually meets violent resistance. Therefore the performance of gender becomes an important survival mechanism.
  • To reject, subvert, or adapt your assigned gender outside of prescribed norms is a brave and revolutionary act. It is only through these subverted gender performances that we can challenge,liberate ourselves from the oppressive gender binary.
  • A key feature of the gender binary is prescribed ideas about sex, pleasure, and reproduction. Evolutionary, biological, and religious perspectives on sex stipulate that the primary purpose of sex is reproduction and therefore same-sex attraction is rejected as pathologically abnormal.
  • Society has adapted and created norms within this reproductive binary which dictate what is sexually acceptable for ‘men’ and ‘women.’
  • Penile penetration is revered as the ultimate marker of masculinity demonstrating virility, power and control.
  • To be penetrated is often defined in opposition to these terms – passivity and subjugation. Within this binary male pleasure is prioritised and female sexual autonomy is devalued or prohibited.
  • Because penetrating is the revered act of masculinity, to be penetrated is deeply emasculating and therefore reserved for women. To be male and penetrated is the ultimate taboo.
  • Queer is about questioning and challenging: what is normal, how certain norms have come about, and who is excluded or oppressed by these norms.
  • Two prominent forms of normalcy are ‘heterosexism’, and ‘homonormativity’. Heterosexism is a system of beliefs and attitudes which positions heterosexuality and gender-normativity as the natural, normal and desirable order of existence. Within this, hegemonic masculinity – the white, middle class, masculine cisgender man, is superior. Anything that deviates from this is viewed as abnormal, undesirable, or wrong.
  • ‘Homonormativity’ is the adoption of heterosexist values by queer people and the belief that certain queer people are more worthy of acceptance, visibility and rights. It describes the assumption that all queer people wish to be included into mainstream heterosexist culture, and the process by which which those within the queer community who deviate from heterosexist norms are increasingly criticised, stigmatised and discriminated against.
  • Queer is about celebrating rage, because there is still a fuck load of things to be angry about.
  • Queer is about remembering and preserving our history and culture. It’s about saying queer culture and queer spaces are worth fighting for because they hold value.
  • Queer is about liberation, not assimilation – a process by which queer people are encouraged to emulate heterosexist values in order to achieve equality.
  • It’s about resisting the politics of ‘normalcy’ and ‘respectability’, so desperately pursued by self-appointed LGBT leaders.
  • It’s about challenging and seeking to overthrow oppressive systems and power structures, not seeking our acceptance within them.
  • It is about recognising the limitations of equal rights – an agenda chosen and enforced by white, liberal, middle class gay men – those with the most privilege and who stand to benefit the most from legal equality.
  • Queer is also ultimately a rejection of capitalism, particularly the neoliberal consensus we see today. It is increasingly recognised that “the systemic and individual oppression of queer people is rooted in the violence of capitalism”.
  • Queer is about solidarity with all oppressed people and understanding the links between different forms of oppression, whether based on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or nationality, to name just a few.
  • Queer is about recognising the intersection of different identities which interact and influence how we make sense of ourselves and others.
  • To fall outside, or, deliberately disobey society’s prescribed rules on gender and sexual normalcy.
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.