Surprise! You’re Queer (Maybe)
Actor Alan Cumming suggests that one does not need to be gay in order to be queer:
I would like to advocate replacing the word “gay” with “queer” when talking in broad terms about our collective experience. Queer isn’t just about same-sex wedding tackle. Queer is about sensibility. You don’t need to be gay to be queer. Indeed, some of the queerest people I know are straight. My mum is a bit queer. Obama is definitely queer. Little Edie Beale was very queer. I think if more people embraced their queerness, we’d all be the better for it.
I think he may be harkening back to an old school definition of the word “queer” there, with just a little 21st century top spin. I’m not sure it will take. That said, I don’t have an argument about queer being a sensibility somewhat independent from sexuality — which is to say you don’t have to be gay to appreciate (or indeed appropriate) gay culture and iconography.
Which segues quite nicely into my favorite Pet Shop Boys song, I think:
If liking that song makes me queer, man, I don’t ever wanna be straight. Interestingly, I got into the song as part of Dance Dance Revolution. I suspect getting into a song from DDR is probably a little bit queer in itself. It’s a slippery slope, it is. That said, no amount of incipient queerness on my part will ever make me think that the get-ups the Pet Shop Boys are wearing in the video to this song are anything but just plain goofy. Sorry, Neil and Chris. No one could carry those off.