According to another bloke in an old article, “the term queer – formerly a word that nice people didn’t use – has escaped the bounds of quotation marks” (Steven Epstein, 1994:188). He adds that its “growing currency reflects three roughly congruent, yet uneasily related, developments: the emergence of new repertoires of political mobilisation in groups…; the foothold gained by new programmes of lesbian and gay studies within the academy; and – partially in response to both of the above – the rise of an intellectual enterprise calling itself queer theory”. Right here we have the suggestion of an evolution of the word queer. Initially an adjective that Alice may have used in Wonderland, and certainly one that Enid Blyton peppered her works with, the word came to be a derogatory term for those of us who do not identify (or who are suspected of not identifying) as cisgendered heterosexuals. Through another (r)evolution, the LGBTQI+ community reclaimed this word – such linguistic reclamation by a stigmatised group takes place “so as to negate the term’s power to wound” (Steven Epstein, 1994:195). The act of naming comes with great responsibility, and it is easy to wound through the misuse of this power, as some assholes have shown throughout history (see what I did there?).

This newspaper that you are holding or beholding received its name in 1939. The power of naming was in the hands of these now ancient/possibly dead alumni, and for some reason they went with Perdeby, unaware that future generations might have no idea what a perdeby is. I didn’t for a long time. I now know that it is a horse-bee. This paper continues to teach me things, and I hope you will learn a thing or two from this edition. In the office it has come to be known as the ‘Sex Ed.’ You’ll see why.

Bless UP

Website | view posts