The words "queer" and "gay" are often used interchangeably in a derogatory manner (that movie was queer or stop acting so queer, man!) however Doty makes the important distinction between the two, saying that "gay" is a very specific term which is defined in the context of an understanding that heterosexuality is natural and authoritative whereas the term "queer" is more empowering and is not necessarily viewed as abnormal.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Queer vs. Gay
Doty seems to be trying to give more of a voice to those who do not fit into the heteronormative molds which do not only include gays and lesbians but include any kind of deviation from this sexual "norm". In fact, he implies that even if a film or TV show has gays and lesbian characters in them, they are not necessarily queer because they could still be representing the homosexual as the "other" or the deviant of the heterosexual when the Queer Theory is trying to reclaim the term "queer" as being empowering rather than derogatory. For example, the movies My Beautiful Laundrette or Brokeback Mountain would probably be not be "queer" movies, in Doty's opinion, since they still reinforce the homosexual stereotype by portraying the gay characters as a disruption of the heteronormative norms, thus reinforcing these norms.