The following comments indicate something of the nuanced nature of the term queer: I’m more inclined to use the words ‘black lesbian, ' because when I hear the word queer I think of white, gay men. (Isling Mack-Nataf; quoted in Smyth 1996, 280) I define myself as gay mostly. I will not use queer because it is not part of my vernacular - but I have nothing against its use. The same debates around naming occur in the ‘black community.' Naming is powerful. Black people and gay people constantly renaming ourselves is a way to shift power from whites and hets respectively. (Inge Blackman; quoted in Smyth 1996, 280) Personally speaking, I do not consider myself a ‘queer’ activist or, for that matter, a ‘queer’ anything. This is not because I do not consider myself an activist; in fact I hold my political work to be one of my most important contributions to all of my communities. But like other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered activists of colour, I find the label ‘queer’ fraught with unspoken assumptions which inhibit the radical political potential of this category. (Cohen 1997, 451).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)