I’ve had this blog well over four years now, and I’m quite proud of it. I enjoy having my own space in which to rant or celebrate or discuss the news of the day. I can spend hours playing with widgets and plugins and colour schemes. What I don’t do is blog consistently, and I know that’s a mistake. Since switching to WordPress a couple of years ago, I’ve been watching my stats and know on any given day there are 50 people on my blog, even when I haven’t posted anything new in a month. I always feel a little bit guilty when I see that, even if those numbers are small fry in the blogging world 😀
So, it’s new leaf time! Starting tomorrow, I’m launching an exciting new regime of daily blogging. From now until Christmas, I’ll be filling the interwebs with 500-1000-ish words on a theme close to my heart: queer studies. From the history of how we moved from pederasty to homosexuality, politics, criminality, backlash, pride, and the equality movement, through brief biographies of the people who helped change the world — or were punished by it — and fictional representations of queerfolk from all dates and places. In a few short months, I want to travel from Ancient Greece to modern times; from Buggery Acts to same-sex marriage; from Zeus and Ganymede, Achilles and Patroclus, all the way to m/m romance.
I’ll be writing this stuff because I know and love it. Because it’s always pouring out of me and hell, I’ve got to use that degree somehow 😛 I hope you’ll find it as interesting as I do. Feel free to get involved in the comments, even if it’s only to disagree with me. The world needs more decent debates, and very little of what I’m going to say can be interpreted in black and white.
Before I take the plunge, some housekeeping. You’ll notice a lovely new tab at the top titled Queer Blogging: that’s where I’ll keep permalinks to all the posts, in order, so they’re easier to follow from the beginning as this project gets bigger. I’m anticipating something in the region of 125 posts, so it’s soon going to get messy otherwise! Posts will be split between history, biography, and fiction, and will move in roughly chronological order.
A note on the word “queer.” I’m going to be using it lots, because when we’re talking about same-sex attractions prior to about the 1860s, any modern term is redundant. I completely understand that plenty of people recoil from that word, and with good reason. I know it’s divisive. However, within an academic context it’s also useful for referring in general terms to non-cis/het folk without imposing upon them terminology or identities which are anachronistic or to which they don’t subscribe. “Queer” will be my compromise when I cannot be specific, and no offence is meant in its use, although I appreciate some will nonetheless be taken, and for that I apologise in advance. (I’ll also be using other words in some posts which might also make you cringe — sodomite, molly, etc. These will be used only within the specific context of the timeframe about which I’m writing, to discuss subcultures to which they applied. Times change, meanings evolve, and I won’t alter history to pander to modern sensibilities.)
The only other counter I’ll offer to “queer” is that we shouldn’t surrender words to our oppressors and allow slurs against us to stand unchallenged. Minorities benefit from reclaiming the language of aggression and rendering it redundant. And if you can’t accept that, I still understand, and hope you know that when I use terminology which makes you uncomfortable, I’m not referring to you, but speaking in the abstract.
And on that note, I’ll leave you until tomorrow, when I’ll start my epic history of homosexuality by explaining why there is no such thing as a history of homosexuality 🙂 I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!