Introduction: The Way We Live Now
In the series ‘A Queer History’, Polari Magazine looks back to Early Greece, and the first recorded words about homosexuality around 776 BCE, then forward through the ages to the way we live now.
The introduction to the series is a look at where we are now, and the most important debates of the last year. Equal marriage rights, and the very idea of identity that a debate about equality sparks, are at the very forefront.
From actor and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres to the US President, Barack Obama, this a debate about equal rights. If rights are equal, the idea of identity inevitably changes, because the labels that define identity start to become more fluid. That is exactly what the Queer Avengers were aiming at when they glitter-bombed Germaine Greer, because she wrote that trans women “seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so”, and called trans identities a “delusion”. Equal rights are equal, and not selective. The politics of identity are changing, and Greer is already a dinosaur in that landscape.
When we vote on minority rights of many, if not all, stripes in this country, we tend to vote no. It’s part of the concept of rights: they’re not supposed to be up for a vote.
Rachel Maddow • US Television Host & Political Commentator
Don’t define yourself by your sexuality, don’t define as straight or gay, define yourself as people and help another person if they’re in trouble.
Daniel Radcliffe • British Actor
All I want is to be treated equally under the law.
Ian McKellen • British Actor
I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
Ellen DeGeneres • US Television Host and Actor
Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century. Women’s liberation must mean the right to refuse imposed gender roles, to fight for diverse gender expression.
Queer Avengers • Activists
I’m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It’s not made up. It’s not a lack of decision. For a bisexual, it’s not about gender. That’s not the deciding factor for who they’re attracted to.
Anna Paquin • US Actor
For me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
Barack Obama • US President
As more and more men and women-and youth-come out, attitudes in the general public toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are changing. This is because when one actually knows someone gay, they are less willing to believe the derogatory things said about them, now understanding that such criticisms are untrue. Yes, the president, along with the rest of American society, has been “evolving.
Gene Robinson • Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire
Read Part I of A Queer History:
From the First Written Words on Homosexuality to Alexander the Great