Friday, March 30, 2007

Yoo Hoo, Non-Gay Cross-Dressers!

Here's a question for you: Are you happy to be included in the category of "Queer?"

According to Corey Scholibo, a respondent for The Advocate's letters, you are (well, not happy, but included). Here's the situation:

The Advocate recently ran an on-line headline which lumped Sam, the cross-dressing son on "The Riches," in with "queer" kids on television--the nephew on "Ugly Betty" had already made the pages of the print magazine (--any why is it virtually no one has commented on the great job the writers and Rami Malek are doing on The War at Home with the character of Kenny?).

I protested with an email to The Advocate: "So far nothing the character of Sam on "The Riches" has done indicates a same-sex sexual orientation. Your headline is misleading--"Queer kid on the block."

It wasn't too long before Scholibo answered, quite nicely, I thought, with:

Gene, Thank you for your response. I agree with you completely that there is nothing in the show that implies that the character is gay, as the story clearly states. Queer is a very encompassing term that often includes cross dressing, as it was forged to imply everything out of the realm of “normal,” and has been taken back by our community as a positive word. Nonetheless it was meant to be an adjective and not a noun, nor imply any sort of social group per say.

Thank you, Corey ScholiboArts & Entertainment Editor

Here's my problem (if there is a problem): when I was growing up, "queer" was not in fashion. When it was used as an adjective for someone with a "sexual perversion" (one of the terms du jour), it only meant gay men. (Remember, I'm talking years away from Christine Jorgensen.) Even lesbians weren't usually included.

When did "our community" (not to get into whoever it is who speaks for the community) expand queer to include transgenders and cross-dressers?

And how do non-gay men and women who are cross-dressers feel about that?

Or have they even noticed?

Just asking.

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