A Reason for LGBTQ Looking Back Queerly

I’ve been thinking a lot about how many lgbtq blogs cover current events, and how much the past–even the recent past–continually becomes absorbed in our outrageous present.  This absorption is also just plain inevitable–we cannot be conscious of all things at all times.  Obviously.  But, since I’m in the U.S. and mostly looking at U.S. source materials, this trend is also due to the American addiction to “progress” narratives: we love to point out to one another and the rest of the world how far we’ve come and in which ways.  There is a real air of hopefulness to these (very American) ways of producing our narratives, too, and I don’t want to discount that or refuse its usefulness.  I’m aiming for mindfulness here.

That said, I do think it’s time to look back not only to remember how far we’ve come, but to come to grips with our lgbtq past in as many ways and as deeply as possible, a past that is is surely as gorgeous as it is ugly.  My goal here is that by looking back queerly on our lgbtq contemporary history, we can help ourselves–as lgbtq people, those who know and love us, or those who will come to know us–think about homophobia and heteronormativity today anew by looking at the ways these forms of oppression have been deployed.  Just because we’ve moved on to face the next issue does not mean we’ve dealt with it.   In other words, I’m keen on interrupting and queering our forgetfulness, our remembering, and our re-membering of our stories by reclaiming this past and reckoning it to our present as well as the futures we desire and need.

Drawing from my research in various lgbtq archives and a reading of all things sexuality and space (and much more), I’m going to start sharing what I’ve read and seen in a series of blog posts that begin here and now.  I’ll add my thoughts when and where I can and I welcome you to do the same.  Let’s jam.

For those of you reading this on tumblr, come to jgieseking.org/blog for more.