Queer By Choice

So this entry is likely going to get me in trouble. Warning made.

Background: There's a thread that's now 100+ postings long on the queer group on Ravelry that debates the very old news website queer by choice. At the beginning of the thread I participated on the side of choice because: promoting agency is a good thing, because a insinuating that sexuality is a choice means that it becomes harder to deal with it as a pathology, because it lets queer be a flexible/mobile category that's more inclusive. I've mostly ignored it.

More recently there's been some coalescence in the thread that basically amounts to "you can choose your politics, but you can't choose who you really are, dude."

Which of course misunderstands the argument completely, and leaves us with, what amounts to a sort of strategic constructivism? Is that what we'd even call it? It's pretty weird, at any rate.

I'm trying to not get too into this stuff, as it is, in a sense "work stuff" so I don't want to bore with the details, but, there's a notion of "strategic essentialism," in contemporary queer studies/identity, particularly around trans identities, mostly because its important to draw a line somewhere and throw up your hands in front of sophists and say "it might not be perfect, but lets just say that there's something essential about gender, so we can proceed with a political action, or our lives." I propose that what we're seeing in this thread (and I suspect that this thread is not a particular anomaly,) is the opposite of this some how.

The problem is that the debate, in such circumstances degenerates into sophistry, which I never really like. Also, in the final analysis, I think it's important to have some sort of understanding of a false consciousness, that we're all enraptured by, when it comes to gender; so the dozens of people saying "Nah, I didn't choose, you hippie," are particularly infuriating. And I know how difficult it is to invoke false consciousness, but still people.

Anyway, rant over, for now.

Onward and Upward!

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