That’s one of the things that “queer” can refer to: the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Tendencies. Routledge, New York 1994, p. 7.
Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence. ‘Queer’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative … [Queer] describes a horizon of possibility whose precise extent and heterogeneous scope cannot in principle be delimited in advance.
David M. Halperin: Saint Foucault: Toward a Gay Hagiography. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1995, p. 62.
QUEERNESS IS NOT yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality.
José Esteban Muñoz: Cusing Utopia. The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York University Press, New York 2009, p. 1.
If the term „queer“ is to be a site of collective contestation, the point of departure for a set of historical reflections and futural imaginings, it will have to remain that which is, in the present, never fully owned, but always and only redeployed, twisted, queered from a prior usage and in the direction of urgent and expanding political purposes.
Judith Butler: Bodies that matter. Routledge, New York 1993, p. 228.
Queer always exceeds the monologue dimension of signification. It is emanating in all directions – in time and space. It bears multiple histories of exclusions, of reassessment, of potentialities, of ambiguities. Queer first describes an orientation, which does not correspond to norms, which suspends traditional representations without founding them new. As attribute of gendered forms of expression and sexual orientations, queer does not signify monolithically. Queer leaves itself open, it remains fluid and dynamic. This marks its force.
Esther Hutfless & Elisabeth Schäfer: Thinking the Transience of the Living / Promising a Queer Philosophy. Download full essay here.
… to be continued …