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Don’t Call me Queer

I have long been alarmed by the queer movement's hegemonic tendencies. In a number of spheres, including elite mainstream media, the word "queer" is rapidly displacing the term "lesbian," "gay" and "bisexual." In so doing, queer is disappearing lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

Some of those who use "queer" as a synonym for "gay" or "LGB" in publications such as The New York Times are doing so merely to signal that they are with it. They remember a similar linguistic evolution, the one that went from "Negro" to “African American” to “Black” to "BIPOC." Every now and again, though, the way a writer uses the term "queer" reveals that he is a true believer and not a tourist.

For several years I have been saying that "queer" is neither a sexual orientation nor a gender identity but a scene. “Queer” is a scene that materialized around a set of learned attitudes, beliefs and postures embraced by terminally cool educated urban youth. Queer culture comes in at least three forms:

1. At its Judith-Butler worst, Queer Theory/Not Theory aims to topple all societal norms governing sex and sex roles (I refuse to say "gender"). This manifests itself, for example, in the indoctrination of K-12 students into gender-identity ideology in many American schools.

2. I hold a particular animus against the woke variety of queer that prevails at my university's version of what is known on other campuses as the LGBTQ center. (I am a gay senior citizen taking break from a post-bac degree program at Portland State University "PSU".)

You see, Portland State University's Queer Resource Center (QRC) recognizes only two populations and constituencies: Queer and Trans. The words "gay" and "lesbian" are not to be found in the Queer Resource Center's mission statement. In fact, unless my repeated searches missed it, "gay" appears on the QRC's site only when citing unaffiliated outside organizations' use of the word.

As if that weren't bad enough, the QRC's politics are stridently woke:


The Queer Resource Center supports queer and trans students at Portland State University to achieve their educational goals through advocacy, community, and celebration. The Queer Resource Center prioritizes a racial justice framework to improve campus climate through education, policy change, and campus-wide organizing.


The Queer Resource Center strives to provide students with the support they need to persist to graduation through increasing equity and access for queer and trans students at Portland State University.


It is expected that a good Portland State University queer will model the values of diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism. Its activities calendar is a festival of intersectional racial, ethnic and gender identity group culture. If you're BIPOC and trans, well, the QRC is your home away from home. You’ll look in vain for a gay men’s board game night or any other programs or resources aimed at lesbian, bisexuals or gay students.

When I complained to the QRC about its erasure of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, the reply as good as admitted that the queer hegemony was intentional. In any case, they added, everyone there was fine with it. If I didn't like it, why, they even provided a helpful link to the complaint form.

It is deplorable that PSU’s only official organization for what used to be known as sexual minorities does not recognize or accommodate the university's mainstream gay, lesbian and bisexual students. That the QRC has so thoroughly embraced the leftist ideology of wokeness is unconscionable. It's as if PSU's French club expected students to support the ideology of Marine Le Pen and organized its programming around it.

Still, what else can one expect at a university whose president declared that his "highest priority is sustaining and amplifying [the school's] commitment to racial justice"? That's what PSU's ex-president Steven Percy, a generic-looking middle-aged white guy, announced some two and one-half years ago. During his tenure, the very first item on the list of strategic priorities of the Office of President was "Acting on Equity and Racial Justice." This means:

"We are fighting racism and advancing social justice across our campus by applying an antiracist lens to everything we do, measuring our progress and holding each other to account. We are taking steps to ensure success for all students, more equitable working conditions and an environment where people feel safe, belong, and prosper.” PSU’s new president has revised the web page where that text appears. It remains to be seen whether she will repudiate the illiberal ideology the statement reflects.

The situation at the Queer Resource Center validates the virus model of the spread of woke ideology within organizations. When president Percy sneezed, everyone came down with a case of diversity, equity and inclusion.

A note on the QRC’s home page says: “The [Student] Support Fund is currently on pause until Fall 2023 as the QRC staff restructures our policies and fundraise [sic].” Could it be that someone in the university’s administration has had it with the Center’s extreme queer- and trans-centeredness?

Anyone wishing to learn more about Portland State University's Queer Resource Center can visit its site by clicking on this link: https://www.pdx.edu/queer-resource-center/

3. As for lay queers, well they're just the latest iteration of insufferable, disaffected, leftist urban youth. How do you know who’s queer? Don’t worry. They will tell you. And if they don’t, their queer® uniform will.

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