GUEST EDITORIAL: My Queer Agenda — Or ‘Project Straight-Jacket Liberation’
Guest Author: Nikolai Serban
Evangelicals have long accused our community of having a secret plan to take over America, recruit their children, and destroy their Christian Family Values, replacing them with ambiguous yet always nefarious alternatives. This nebulous plot is never clearly stated because in keeping it vague, conservatives are able to connect our Queer Agenda with other mythical plots — such as the anti-Semitic “Deep State”, Communism, and the Satanic panic.
Recently, they’ve returned to a rather old talking point, which is to accuse us of “grooming” children through our Pride Organizations, visibility campaigns, and our efforts to give Queer children life-saving resources in public schools. Of course, the irony is lost on them that it is the Churches that have been repeatedly shown to be the real Groomers, or that imposing a particular sexuality onto children is a uniquely “straight” preoccupation.
As things heat up in our country, we’ve once again become the target in the cross-hairs, and it’s become all that much more important for us all to be visible, and to speak to power without fear. As Pride Month kicks off, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how we can move forward, how we can speak fearlessly to the forces arrayed against us, and how we can outmaneuver our haters.
One of the things we’ve always done is to take the words of our enemies away from them. They called us Queer. Strange. Other. We took that word away from them. Increasingly, we now use it as a blanket word for our disparate community. We revel in our diversity. Where once they lumped us all together, despite our differences, now we stand united. The Queer Community; dynamic, introspective, and embracing of further intersectionality.
I don’t believe any of us have to be experts in Queer Theory, or history, or sociology in order to participate in our community’s growth. In that light, and claiming no special knowledge or expertise, I want to share with you my Queer Agenda, and explain why I feel the way I do about how we, as a community, can continue to grow and move forward.
A couple of days ago, Marjorie Taylor Greene proclaimed that: “Probably, in about four or five generations, no one will be straight anymore…” and my honest first thought was “Yes Please!” because, and, hear me out, I don’t believe in straight people. In my opinion, straightness is not a sexual orientation, it’s toxic heterosexuality. In much the same way that the Gender Revolution has illustrated the difference between someone’s gender identity and, say, toxic masculinity, I believe that straightness fails to describe the heterosexual orientation, and, instead, is nothing more than a series of imposed toxic stereotypes about heterosexuals that serves to oppress them, shame them for deviating from, and pressure them to adhere to.
Straightness, in my estimation, means “normative.” A standard by which to measure everything that deviates from that norm. This is reflected in the meaning of the term “Queer” which, itself, is defined as an umbrella term that represents a broad spectrum of non-normative sexual and gender identities. In my view, if we play this idea out, the idea of straightness is one we should ideologically oppose.
In the words of Dorothy Parker, “heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.” My Queer Agenda is to encourage the end of straightness. “Het” folks should be free to express themselves without the burden of straightness looming over their heads. Put another way, heterosexuals should dump straightness and join the Queer Community because, in my view, at the end of the day, the Queer Community is more than just a collection of “non-normative sexual and gender identities” — it’s an ideology that states there is no such thing as normative.
In a world with straightness, everything else is bent. Its very foundation is one that judges, measures, and weighs from a position of entitlement, and that oppression isn’t just directed at everyone who falls outside of its proclaimed characteristics. Countless heterosexual people suffer under the burden of its toxic paradigm. So, in a way, I hope that what Marjorie Taylor Greene fears actually comes to pass. I hope that this resonates with the “het” folk that read this, because I believe that they can shed straightness, and embrace their orientation as part of a Queer spectrum of sexual and gender identities.