At the Borders of Queer Nation
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The Moon Group
I know a number of people who do not identify except as not straight. The new Bard club, founded by bisexuals who felt uncomfortable and unwanted in Bigala1, dislikes labels enough to name themselves after the place they meet (the Moon Room). They talk about issues of coming out, and specifically with coming out as bisexual, and the problems they have shifting in different situations, such as dealing with parents, dealing with people who will accept you as a lesbian but may not as a bisexual, dealing with people who want to know your sexual orientation before your last name. They would disagree with Carol Queen, who says "It seems somehow important to have a sexual orientation. ... they're useful, like knowing whether a new acquaintance is a Scorpio or a Democrat." (1991:17) Sexual orientation has become a very salient category in United States society, but some people are tired of it, because in some ways it does not pertain to them, or it makes the travelling that much more painful when the boundaries are so clearly marked.

It feels like the general rule is: if you want to be political (and you should or you're working against yourself), be as queer as you can in straight contexts where it will make a difference. Or as confounding as you can. Try to give queerness a good name.

When you are in a queer context, you can criticize the rigid boundaries, and identity politics. But remember that this is someone's safe space, where they won't want to be criticized.

Try to have friends who don't care. After all, this identity stuff is "a sloppy synthesis of disparite projects of finding, using, making, preserving, or imposing orders of difference located quite variously in minds, bodies, and relations between and among them." Those projects are in constant flux within each individual, sliding past each other so that a person may be more or less bisexual, queer, intellectual, or friendly from day to day.

  1. This paper was written in 1998; i don't know what happened to the Moon Group. Bigala, as i've explained elsewhere in this nodestring, was the Bard Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

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