The readings in question have proved to be very curious to me, as they provide a unique insight into the areas of culture and social interaction that have been positioned underground throughout most of history. Although the diversity of human sexuality has been a known fact for a considerable time, how mainstream society and art engage with this fact remained more than questionable. The readings made me think about how society views non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities within the scope of a larger understanding of social norms.
To elaborate, I am now interested in how one’s connection to one or several of these labels redefines one’s place in the social hierarchy and expected trajectory of life. The readings lack a consistent definition of the term queer, which is fitting, but overall, it can be summarized as anything outside of the system of heteronormativity. The system in question puts its members under the expectation to get married and have children as parts of their perceived and socially accepted adulthood (Fenster, 81). However, those that do not fit in are then left on the margins of society, contributing to their already often criminalized existence. In response to being ostracized and already living their lives outside of the recently discussed accepted narrative, they form a community of their own. A community that then proceeds to express itself, largely through art.
These circumstances, I believe, lie behind the overlap between the queer, the punk, and other differently othered social groups. Historically, queerness has been linked to protest and counterculture because, in many ways, it remains one, despite significant legal progress concerning equality. I would love to know more about this overlap and what it can say about the structure of modern Western society.
Fenster, Mark. “Queer Punk Fanzines: Identity, Community, And The Articulation Of Homosexuality And Hardcore”. Journal Of Communication Inquiry, vol 17, no. 1, 1993, pp. 73-94. SAGE Publications, Web.