Out, Proud, and Here to Stay
As with most historically marginalized and repressed groups, Queer History is fraught, fractured, and not at all monolithic. Originally, the word “queer” was an adjective used to refer to a strange or peculiar behavior. By the early 20th century however, the word Queer became a noun, and a pejorative one at that since it referred in a condemnatory way to a homosexual. By the 1990s, a sea-change in social attitudes, stemming from two decades of political activism that began with the 1969 Stonewall Riots in NYC, led to an empowering reclaiming of both the word and the personal identifier, “Queer.” This activism was accompanied by a kind of theorizing about queerness that would add to the discourse and, once again, stretch the flexible boundaries of the word itself. Viewed through the lens of popular culture, specifically, epochal films and theatrical productions, as well as groundbreaking theoretical texts, such as Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Queer History is a rich and complicated account of a social and political identity formed in struggle.
Nova Southeastern University
Waites, Kate, "Out, Proud, and Here to Stay" (2022). Queer History Exhibit. 4.