ACAR Edition: Queer Department Report

Hilary Clinton once said that “being gay is not a western invention.” In many ways, she is wrong. Western society establishes heteronormative social relations, so that “being gay” (or lesbian, bi, pan, trans*, non-binary for that matter) has to be labelled and marked, to indicate that our identities fall outside of socially constructed norms. There are many non-western cultures that recognise and celebrate sexual and gender diversity in ways that western society does not, however western cultural hegemony white-washes this, with the extreme cases of this hegemony being in the form of colonisation. This is certainly the case in this country, as non-binary gender identities are a norm in many Indigenous cultures of Australia. Decolonisation of concepts of gender and sexuality is crucial if we are to have queer liberation, with this in mind, the Queer Action Collective strives to be intersectional. Although my own experiences as a queer person of colour in queer activist groups (including this one) as well as those of other queer people of colour have often found that these spaces are white dominated and erase our experiences, we are all learning to be more respectful of other voices and aware of the diversity of experiences that we bring together. This is a difficult yet empowering process, as we are all socialised to be racist, sexist, ablist and queerphobic.

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