A Part of Queer Culture I Really Vibe With

I found this difficult to answer last year, I kept thinking about all the very easy to interact with things like Drag Race or stickers or the flags up around my house. Not really ‘culture’ per se, just nicely packaged rainbow QUEER ready for the capitalist system. But last year I was grieving, a friend, grieving similar things at the same time as too many people were last year, described grief as a feeling of being heavy. The Cornish Bloke gave us a rough etymology leading back to the Latin ‘gravis’ meaning weighty and then perhaps to ‘gwere’; heavy. Last year was heavy, I was weighed down, Drag Race, brightly colourful, light until it’s not, Drag Race was what I could cope with.

So much Queer Culture is bright and light and underpinned by shared trauma. That is of course, why it’s bright and light. RuPaul is not great on a number of issues but he has got who we are absolutely down, he knows our history, he knows how we play into the liminal and the relationship of edges to the spiritual.

The traumas change and in the West we’re lucky enough to move away from things like the AIDs panic (Gay man can now give blood in the UK, finally they’re asking about anal rather than ‘are you gay?’) but now it’s about transwomen using bathrooms and TERFs. Light and bright is how you get things past censorship and bigotry but I like my culture to have a little more weight to it when I’m not buried in gwere-grief. There’s been such a rise of us in mainstream culture, particularly cartoons like Steven Universe and She-Ra that I’m not sure I can claim that they are parts of Queer Culture that I vibe with so much as Mainstream Culture having more space for Queers.

I briefly wondered if I should mention dancing, it occured to me that the bright colours of the traditional gay bar really represented that bright and light underpinned by the shared trauma of the traditional stench of the gay bar… but that’s not really me. What is me though, is walking into a queer leftie anarchist co-op and distributing stickers over the top of those left by whichever Fash are around. It’s not quite my place but I love being there, I love the vibe of sitting in bean bags and trying to be our best selves. I like the way Queer intersects with Political. It’s why I loved Symone (cause lets go back to the steely backbone hidden by bright and light that is Drag Race).

That’s the part of Queer Culture that I vibe with, embracing the liminal with eyes open and in full knowledge.

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