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Why Queer? Why Now?

Queer

Evergon. The Boar Hunt Victorious. 1986. Triptych 76 x 168 cm from Homo Baroque - Homo Rococo, 1985-1988. Polaroid.

FIRST, THERE HASN’T BEEN a super political queer mag since the Body Politic ended over twenty years ago in 1987. There have been a number of more academic inclined queer theory journals, special journal issues and a steady stream of queer articles. One could say that that there has been an explosion in queer theory and queer studies. This explosion of queer into the public from the 1990s onwards has simultaneously been breathtakingly exciting and boringly normalizing.

The CD queer Issue embraces, dominates and fucks with the political in queer, in the tradition of what the Body Politic claimed as its mandate and style: a “brash, inspiring, pig-headed – and vital” politics. We do it again and different.

Again, because it is time.

Different, because queer ceased to be singularly about sex and gender becoming instead a dynamic of sex and gender in relation to and action with class, race, ethnicity and regionality in the global context. Queer evolved to include sadism and masochism, prostitution, inversion, transgender, bisexuality, as well as lesbianism and homosexuality.

Queer gets its meaning and its politics from its oppositional relation to the norm. It is at odds with the normal, the dominant. To queer something is to disrupt it, to put it under scrutiny and to attempt to change it.

The CD Queer Issue brings together activists, intellectuals, artists, and educators defining this new Queer after the explosion: queer sex store worker-owners, two spirited performance and visual artists, trans political activists and educators, a post-queer multi-media artist whose work queers identities, scholar activists linking the Canadian state’s old-style coerced confessions of sexual minorities with it’s new more subtle coerced hetero-normative confessions required in family class immigration claims.

Queer, in that tradition of the Body Politic, is “brash, inspiring, pig-headed – and vital,” much like CD itself.

This article appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Canadian Dimension (The queer issue).

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