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Apr 1 / Dr. Jen

What is queer?

So, how do I begin to explain queerness, and what it is? Hmmmm….

Here is the beginning of your Queer Theory 101 (What is Queer?).

I work from a feminist viewpoint, and within that I am a social constructionist. What does this mean? This means that I believe that the way we view gender and sexuality is developed within a cultural context.

For example, in the US, men and women typically shave, and we typically shave different parts of the body. Men typically shave their faces and women typically shave their legs, for example. Why is that? Is there a need to do this? Normally no, but we have but a construct around body hair that is gendered.

Social constructionists believe, in a nutshell, that gender and sexuality are constructed as well. We make up what qualifies a person’s gender and sexuality by the labels we place on them. A person with a penis is male. A man dating a man is labeled gay. A person with a vagina is female. A woman dating a man is labeled straight. A transman dating a transwoman can be labeled…huh?

Ah HA! This is where the fun begins, and why queer theory works for me. When we remove the gender binaries of male and female from the equation, suddenly sexuality starts to fall apart, too. And queer theory embraces this eruption of sorts, and encourages people to remove themselves from these binaries of male-female and gay-straight.

Confused yet? Don’t worry, there’s more to come. 

Any questions? Bring it. 

I’m here to help,
Dr. J


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  1. joshy / Apr 5 2012
    • Victoria / Apr 6 2013

      Amazing, I would love to see more elaboration on queer theory :) So few people understand or try to understand

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