Furthering my Research into the Development of Queer Leadership
An invitation to take part in my leadership questionnaire and have your say!
If you’re a follower of my work on Th-Ink Queerly, you will know that I have been speaking about or making reference to “Queer Leadership” for the last several months.
The idea of a Queer Leadership started as a seed in my mind when I took part in a 5-month coaching program called “Gay Men of Wisdom” lead by Raymond Rigoglioso, also the author of “Gay Men And The New Way Forward.” As the seed began to germinate, I wondered how what I was learning that was unique to gay men, might also be comparable and applicable to LGBTQ+ peoples.
After the coaching program, I ran a short-lived Facebook group called, Living Out Leadership, where I was hoping to build upon some of what I was “seeing” with respect to “gay male leadership” that I speak about in, The Many Paths of Living OUT Leadership — LOP076. When you browse the titles referenced at the end of the show notes, you will notice that the word, leadership, shows up often. Perhaps this was the fertilizer for the seed. I closed the Facebook group because it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t until sometime later, last summer, when I reviewed some of my published articles on leadership and those still in draft that the seed took root and fully sprouted.
One of the biggest challenges of leadership is that we are seen
As queer peoples, or however we identify, some of us have more courage than others, while others are more risk-averse. Some of us are still in the closet, or we are out and have shame or gay shame issues to process. At worst some of us are suffering trauma from physical and/or emotional abuse at the hands of others who oppress us for who we are.
Yet, to come from a backstory of personal struggle to self-actualize and to eventually self-liberation is a very powerful and compelling place to lead from. This, I believe, is what potentiates the evolutionary, transformational, and witnessing qualities of a Queer Leadership*.
The Way of Queer Leadership article series on Think Queerly
Below, you will find the articles I have written to date that I am currently editing into a small book that will function as an introduction to Queer Leadership. It will be the springboard to what comes next.
- What Constitutes a Queer Leadership?
- The Way of Queer Leadership Is Never a Straight Path.
- Queer Rage is Valid But Weakens LGBTQ Leadership.
- How Do We Create a Community of LGBTQ Leadership?
- The Secret that Lives in the Closet.
- LGBTQ Diversity Demonstrates that Dualities Are Artificial Constructs.
My current definition of Queer Leadership
At first, I wondered if I should I share my definition here. While the words below may have an influence on your answers, if you complete my questionnaire, perhaps this definition will help you form your own thoughts in relation to what I am creating.
“Queer Leadership is not about organizing people. Instead, it’s the principle of individuals leading from their difference and creative uniqueness, not to assimilate into the dominant culture, but to liberate and elevate those oppressed by the status quo.”
Below are the questions you will find in my questionnaire. I share them here to explain the reason behind them. I have tried for openness with the questions, only asking two somewhat limited questions at the beginning about identity and one’s self-esteem around queerness.
- For the purpose of this questionnaire, how do you identify? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, non-binary, and so on.
- Do you consider yourself to be proudly queer?
- Please provide an explanation for your answer.
- How do you define leadership?
- What is the single most important quality of leadership for you?
- How do you define queer in relation to identity, politics, or as a way of viewing the world?
- If there were such a thing as “queer leadership”, how would you describe it?
- In a few words, what is the single most important aspect or quality of a “Queer Leadership” for you?
- How might this queer leadership benefit humanity?
- How might LGBTQ+ people lead others in a way that is uniquely queer?
Queer is a fascinating word
Some hear it and take immediate offence. I recognize the fact that the word has been used as a slur to insult and put people down. However, the meanings of words change, which is a natural aspect of all living languages. For a divergent discussion of the nature and economy of language, read my post, Too Many Gender Identifying Pronouns: The Decision Fatigue Paradox.
Too Many Gender Identifying Pronouns: The Decision Fatigue Paradox
The nature and economy of language provide clues about which pronouns will endure in the Queer Community.
While not perfect, nor universal, the word queer has taken on a larger semantic field and may be easily used as a noun to indicate “a person whose sexual orientation or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary” (source).
Queer is political, academic, identifying, and personal
It is also an affront to the status quo, which is why it holds the meanings, “strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular” (source).
Being proudly and unapologetically Queer is a form of disruption.
Disruption causes radical change, but change on its own is neutral. Many people are afraid of change; the deeper they are stuck in dogma, the harder it is to accept the necessity of inclusion and equal rights for all. Change that potentiates an evolutionary impact and improvement for humanity is what I seek to promote with a Transformational Queer Leadership.
Want to share your thoughts and feelings about what a Queer Leadership might mean to you?
You can! If you would like to contribute to my research, please complete my Queer Leadership Questionnaire. It should take you less than 10 minutes and I will be most grateful for your time and energy.
*Shout-out to Jeffry J. Iovannone for the qualities suggestions of transformative and witnessing in relation to Queer Leadership.