Describe the evolution of the words Lesbian, Gay, Queer, and Homosexual.
-Queer: only used recently as a term of self-description before it was used in a derogatory
-Homosexual: rarely used as a term of self-indentification nowadays, mostly used in medical
Benkert coined the word “homosexuality” in 1869.
Note the following quotation regarding the movement to queer:
Movement to Queer:
Susan Hayes: AFirst there was Sappho (the good old days).
Then there was the
acceptable homoeroticism of classical Greece, the excesses of Rome.
Then, casually to
skip two millennia, there was Oscar Wilde, sodomy, blackmail and imprisonment,
Forster, Sackville-West, Radclyffe Hall, inversion, censorship; then pansies, butch and
femme, poofs, queens, fag hags, more censorship, blackmail, and Orton.
Then there was
Stonewall (1969) and we all became gay.
There was feminism, too, and some of us
became lesbian feminists and even lesbian separatists.
There was drag and clones and
dykes, and politics and Gay Sweatshop.
Then there was AIDS, which, through and
intense discussion of sexual practices (as opposed to sexual identities), spawned the
Queer movement in America.
Then that supreme manifestation of Thatcher-ite paranoia,
Clause 28, which provoked the shotgun wedding of lesbian and gay politics in the UK.
The child is Queer and a problem child is surely is.”
Within post structuralism, the very notion of identity as a coherent and abiding sense of
self is perceived as a cultural fantasy rather than a demonstrable fact
Follow the path of post-structuralism from: