What is the difference between “homosexual” and “queer”? Is this difference significant? Does this difference matter for the interpretation of biblical images, ideas, or arguments? Does this difference connect to ancient ideas about sexual (or erotic) practices and ideas? If so, what impact (if any) should it have on biblical hermeneutics? This entry aims to address such questions, even as it problematizes what such questions can lead to, within and beyond biblical studies.

“Homosexual” and “Queer” Difference?

“What is the difference between “homosexual” and “queer”?”

Queer. The term “queer” is used in a couple of ways in contemporary English. Often “queer” is used as a noun or adjective for an attribute, a kind of person, or a term of identification or description. In such contexts one can meaningfully say: “I am queer,” or “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.” In practice, this use of queer has often functioned as a replacement for a series of cumbersome abbreviations like LG, LGB, LGBT, or even LGBTIQA, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer or questioning, and ally (though asexual also appears in some contexts). “Queer” can be a convenient umbrella term, then, a way of including a range of people who could be seen as departing from heterosexist and cisgendered expectations, experiences, or worldviews. (“Cisgender” refers to alignment between gender identities, sexed bodies, and gender assignments made at birth.)

This umbrella use for “queer” can be found in a few different contexts in biblical interpretation. For instance, The Queer Bible Commentary introduces its contents by stressing that it will address lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender issues (Guest et al., 2006, p. xiii). In the eyes of its editors, this quartet is what can make a commentary queer. This “big tent” approach is also reflected in earlier proposals for a queer biblical hermeneutics. Robert Goss insists elsewhere:

"The strength of a queer interpretive model is precisely that it is not exclusively gay identified or exclusively lesbian identified. It includes critical feminist hermeneutics and practice. Both feminist and queer interpretive models arise from an interlocking discourse and practice of resistance, conflict, and struggle for liberation." (Goss, 1993, p. 80)

In both of these instances, homosexuals appear under the sign of queer. In fact, in Goss’s earlier formulation “queer” does conceptual work similar to “homosexual,” since both terms can be applied to homosexual females (lesbians) and males (gay males). Still, though “queer” is a point of identification, it does not belong exactly to any one group. In these instances, it was used to identify and foster forms of solidarity across groups. Many of the earliest users of the term “queer” in biblical hermeneutics emphasize analogies and alliances between and among those who might fit with LGBT identities, as well as feminist and other liberation-oriented groups. Is this, then, what makes an approach or a community queer? Does the inclusion of both male and female homosexuals make the difference? Or is the key a distinctly political aim, akin and indebted to feminist actions? Or perhaps bisexual and/or trans folk are the necessary supplement to homosexual (where LG meets the BT) to make something queer?

It is not completely accurate to describe queer as an uncomplicated story of convenience and coalition. The selection of this particular word is purposeful, given the pejorative or derogatory uses of “queer”. It is a term that can evoke bad feelings. As a term that aims to pathologize or marginalize its targets, “queer” means “odd,” “abnormal,” or “perverse.” It has been used both as slang for homosexuals and as a homophobic term aimed at those who do not adequately fit with dominant points of view. Therefore, its use for a different purpose indicates a spirit of reclamation and even defiance in the face of insult and injury. The force and often the excitement of this term comes from the resignifying, even the reversal, in its evaluation. Those groups and scholars who have reclaimed this word do not dispute that it connotes abnormality or nonconformity; rather, they dispute that such a contrary relation to “the normal” and “the natural” is negative. “Queer,” then, can indicate a challenge to regimes of the normal, a desire to resist and contest such a worldview. In this second sense, queer is less an identity and more a disposition, a mode of examining the processes that cast certain people and practices into categories of normal and abnormal and then of interrogating the effects of such processes. “Queer” can also work more like a verb or adverb, an action or a particular way of acting, now qualified, altered, and resituated. In this sense one can “queer” an arrangement of power and privilege, or interpret queerly by attending to certain dynamics.

This latter sense is mostly how I use the term (Marchal, 2011), since this is its more frequent connotation in queer studies. One can trace the origins of the latter meaning not only through political groups like ACT UP or Queer Nation but also through important strains within the academic subdisciplines of both women’s studies and lesbian and gay studies in the 1980s. In the decade that followed, queer studies began to congeal, as the work of scholars like Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (among others) found wider audiences. Their work called a certain kind of critical attention to ideas and practices that seemed normal or natural, particularly within heteronormative contexts. Foucault’s work helped to formulate the key idea of normalization for queer studies. Foucault describes normalization as those exercises in power that perform and combine five particular operations:(1) comparing activities, (2) differentiating between them, (3) arranging them into a hierarchy of value, (4) imposing a homogenized category to which one should conform (within this hierarchy), and (5) excluding those who differ and are, thus, abnormal (Foucault, 1979, pp. 182–184).

Thus, while queer studies could be described as the study about, or from the perspective of, LGBTIQ people (corresponding to the first sense of queer described above), it just as often involves study about these processes called “normalization,” which have often been used against LGBTIQ people (corresponding more to the second sense described). Ken Stone similarly differentiates between two kinds of queer biblical commentary, the first “a reading produced by a reader who is ‘queer,’ where ‘queer’ is understood to communicate lesbian, gay, or bisexual identities, experiences, or social locations” (Stone, 2001, p. 19), and the second those that that “take as their point of departure a critical interrogation and active contestation of the many ways in which the Bible is and has been read to support heteronormative and normalizing configurations of sexual practices and sexual identities” (p. 33).

Could one classify the first sense of queer, then, as belonging to the label “homosexual” (and their allies) and the second sense as somehow more queer, or more fitting some label “queer?” The difficulty with this solution is that many proponents of queer studies and politics would interrogate this labeling process for its potential disciplinary effects. Thus, Butler insists:

"If the term “queer” is to be a site of collective contestation, the point of departure for a set of historical reflections and futural imaginings, it will have to remain that which is, in the present, never fully owned, but always only redeployed, twisted, queered from a prior usage and in the direction of urgent and expanding political purposes." (Butler, 1993, p. 228)

Though this formulation repeats the contrast between the attributive, nominal use and the more verbal sense of “queer” (with a certain emphasis on the latter), it also destabilizes how “queer” can behave in either sense. Elsewhere, Butler argues that queer theories should have no “proper object” (1994). Though it has historical and topical ties to lesbian and gay studies, queer studies is not confined to the study of sexual minorities or sexuality. In fact, one origin story often told for queer theory begins with a key essay by Teresa de Lauretis (1991), in which she calls for greater critical attention to differences within and between sexual minority communities in light of dynamics of gender, race, class, and geography (a not uncommon refrain in women’s studies of this era, indicating the close ties between these subdisciplines). De Lauretis addresses some queers—homosexuals and allies in lesbian and gay studies—by queerly interrogating what (else) she, they, or even “we” could be doing. Thus, queer studies does not belong to any one group, and it aims not to divide its labors between the study of various categories and dynamics of normalization. To do so would inhibit any attempt to interrogate how certain norms are created and enforced, particularly given how people socially construct the meaning of something like “sexuality” differently through gender, race, ethnicity, class, religion, age, ability, and national or colonial factors.

The resistance that many queer theorists show toward limiting their tasks to one set of questions and concerns stresses the mobility of a term like “queer.” Butler highlights the counterintuitive efficacy of this emphasis:

"The political deconstruction of “queer” ought not to paralyze the use of such terms, but, ideally, to extend its range, to make us consider at what expense and for what purposes the terms are being used, and through what relations of power such categories have been wrought." (Butler, 1993, p. 229)

Instead of being a source of frustration, this quality of queer theories allows them to adapt to new contours and critically reflect on their own practices. Since the queer is arrayed in a contesting relation with and against the normal, there is an underlying suspicion about imposing only one meaning or insisting that there is only one task for queer thought and activism. Thus, no definition or description of “queer” within queer theories can be exhaustive; in fact, any claim to give the final, definitive version of what queer is or does would itself be un-queer.

Homosexual. So there are troubles defining exactly what “queer” is; or, put another way, queering troubles the practice of defining terms, particularly (though not only) when such practice works toward normalizing or naturalizing ends. Perhaps, then, one will have greater luck defining and describing “homosexual.” After all, homosexual at times appears as a point of contrast in many discussions of queer. Homosexual seems to connote an identity, whereas queer interrogates processes of identification. One can be a homosexual; queer appears to be more ambiguous.

Indeed, thus far, this entry has proceeded as if people already know what homosexual means, expending greater energy on that which seems more elusive, perhaps because it is of more recent vintage. It might therefore surprise some how modern the concept of homosexuality is. David Halperin makes this point from the beginning of his essay (and the book it opens) by titling it “One Hundred Years of Homosexuality” (1990). Here, Halperin highlights the point that the term “homosexual(ity)” does not appear in English until 1892, an adaptation of the German term first coined in 1869 by Karl-Maria Kertbeny. The term catches on as a sexological classification in the medical literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as it helped to specify this kind of deviation within a range of other deviations also viewed as perversions. Homosexuality was a medicalized pathology that focused attention upon the gender of a person’s sexual object choice. Such a classification coincided with the medical emphasis on sex as dimorphic and bipolar. The emphasis on sexed categories aided a number of political and cultural purposes at the time, countering, for instance, the era’s movements for women’s rights. It also provided a (seemingly) stable basis for the application of homosexual as a classification, since it involved identifying who was attracted to the “same” (homo-) sex (males attracted to males, females to females).

Thus, both “queer” and “homosexual” have origins in efforts to pathologize and marginalize. Neither term is ancient. In fact, “homosexual” is a compound that outrages scholars of Greek and Latin, combining as it does the Greek homo- with the Latin sex/sexualis. Yet, in the modern diagnostic setting of its origin, “homosexual” enjoys the veneer of antiquity and, thus, authority for the professional who deploys it. This perhaps is what distinguishes these terms from each other: “homosexual” is clinical, while “queer” is more colloquial. Though the coining of the former makes it possible for those so diagnosed to identify each other and organize to counter their treatment, queer’s mundane origin implies a more direct and confrontational mode. Homosexual liberation, for instance, aimed at removing homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a psychiatric pathology, staking a claim to variation, but also some normalcy in this variation. Queer, on the other hand, affirms claims about abnormality and strangeness, but reverses claims that such abnormality is problematic. Still, both kinds of action interrogate the authority of classifying disciplines. It may just be that homosexual and queer connote different settings and thus different modes for such challenges.

Impressions can therefore be mistaken when it comes to these terms. The attempt to make “homosexual” universalizable in its medicalized application belies the particular modern context for its earliest uses. Further, the impression that homosexuals are somehow departures or derivations from something or, more pointedly, those someones who precede them—heterosexuals—is upended by the historical priority of the concept homosexuality. Heterosexuality as a concept depends upon homosexuality. Further, “heterosexuality” originated as a pathological term, not as reference to the unmarked, default, seemingly natural or normal kind of sexuality (Halperin, 1990, pp. 158–159). Indeed, recalling original descriptions of heterosexuality as types of perversion could be a productive, if provocative way of resituating heteronormativity’s investment in one particular way of sorting only certain desires, practices, and identifications as acceptable, normal, and good. This sort of fixation is described in other settings as fetish.

There is much within the relatively short histories of homosexuality and heterosexuality that is strange, unexpected, even disruptive to normative claims about genders, bodies, and sexualities. The act of historicizing the terms of sexuality and gender, then, can be rather queer. Indeed, queer theorists have highlighted how dependent heterosexuality is on homosexuality. Heterosexuality demands to be recognized as natural, normal, and therefore good sexuality, the only possible outcome. Yet its definition requires the existence of homosexuality as a contrasting term, disrupting its totalizing claims. Homosexuality affirms this definitional difference, but undermines the qualities that heterosexuality claims for itself. Heterosexuality is revealed as inherently unstable, needing constant explanation and reiteration to produce itself, and its accompanying concepts of gender, as natural (Butler, 1991). These must be repeated, requiring copies of copies of what they are producing as “natural.” This indicates the distinctive cultural work it takes to produce heterosexuality as normative, how incessantly it has to claim its timelessness. The time it takes to continuously shore up the position it anxiously claims for itself indicates how precarious and troubled heterosexuality is.

Historical Differences?

Many scholars insist, with justification, that there were no “homosexuals” in the ancient world. One cardinal moment for those making such declarations of discontinuity between concepts of “sex,” past and present, is found in Foucault’s landmark History of Sexuality:

"Sodomy was a category of forbidden acts; their perpetrator was nothing more than the juridical subject of them. The nineteenth-century homosexual became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being a type of life, a life form, and a morphology…. The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species." (Foucault, 1990, p. 43)

Foucault’s aim in this instance was to contrast the homosexual, as the bearer of a kind of identity, with perverse sexual practices (like sodomy), as acts. Indeed, this contrast between being and doing may linger in various attempts to differentiate homosexual and queer.

The modern use of “homosexual,” then, is a product of the sort of break Foucault is taken to be describing. Homosexual is a kind of sexual orientation, reflecting a person’s individual identity and inner life. One does not have to do certain sexual practices to be a person with this orientation. One need only desire sexual contact with someone of the same sex. “Sameness” is limited to this one factor, obscuring other bases for sorting sexual practices, like certain acts, sensations, timing, or positions, among others. This way of categorizing people on the basis of attraction to one sex or the other, as an expression of inner being, marks the modern homosexual as different from those who had similar kinds of sexual contact before sexual orientation developed as an explanatory schema. Thus, it is with some justification one can also insist there were no heterosexuals in the ancient world, since sorting under the rubric “orientation” also defines heterosexuality.

Yet the reclamation of a usable past has been a persistent project for lesbian and gay studies. If one learns to look at the archive from the right angle, or ask the right sort of questions, one can see all the gays and lesbians who were “hidden from history” (Duberman et al., 1989). These figures are not isolated in the margins, but can be found at the heart of the literary, historical, and social canon (particularly, but not only, in the West). Thus, Sedgwick responds:

"Not only have there been a gay Socrates, Shakespeare, and Proust but…their names are Socrates, Shakespeare, and Proust; and beyond that, legion—dozens or hundreds of the most centrally canonic figures in what the monoculturalists are pleased to consider “our” culture." (Sedgwick, 1990, p. 52)

The affirmative possibilities of such lesbian and gay visibility impact both political and historical horizons. Here, Sedgwick departs from the narratives of historical alterity in the arguments made by Foucault and Halperin. Rather than imagining a great paradigm shift, complete break, or eclipsing supersession from one view of sexual relations to another, Sedgwick traces the possibilities of models coexisting. While Halperin and, in some ways, Foucault have denaturalized assumptions about the past, Sedgwick seeks to denaturalize assumptions about the present, especially regarding “homosexuality as we know it today” (1990, pp. 44–48). This is one reason Sedgwick’s work is taken up in queer studies: Sedgwick can be enlisted to critique the way in which some lesbian and gay history stabilizes both the past and the present, potentially reinforcing disciplinary forces of normalization.

Still, there is some use to narrating the different ideas about sexual practices, ancient and more recent. Denaturalizing assumptions about the past, a site often cited in modern debates about who or what is normal, can be an important strategy in contesting the terms of these debates. The different way ancient sources describe and prescribe sexual activities has even led some scholars to replace the term “homosexual” with “homoerotic” when discussing peoples around the ancient Mediterranean. Ostensibly, this helps to dissociate ancient practices from modern identities shaped by sexual orientation. Yet the replacement is still shaped by the doubled narrowing of focus to sexual-object choice and the classification of humans as “same” (or not) on the basis of sex/gender (retaining the homo-), in keeping with assumptions about sexual orientation.

As indicated above, Halperin makes a strong distinction between ancient and contemporary ideas about sexuality. Discussing the ancient way of categorizing practices, he recommends “not to speak of it as a sexuality at all but to describe it, rather, as a more generalized ethos of penetration and domination” (Halperin, 1990, pp. 34–35). In this ethos sex acts are not mutual activities. They are not done with someone, but they are done to, on, or upon someone, reflecting an asymmetrical hierarchy between participants. Sex acts, in this view, should indicate and correspond to the relative status of the participants: the dominant party, typically imagined as an elite, free adult male, will be the insertive participant, while the receptive “participant” should be socially and politically subordinate to the insertive. In this arrangement there is a remarkable indifference to the sex of the receiving body: females, younger males, and slaves and foreigners (of both sexes) are appropriate and interchangeable receptacles. However, gendered ideas are not absent from these scenarios; they are just differently arranged. The main division is not between male and female but between insertive imagined as “active” and receptive imagined as “passive,” which, in turn, mostly corresponds to ancient ideas about masculinity and femininity. If an elite, free adult male is going to maintain his masculinity, he must act in all ways (including sexually) according to his higher status, dominant, active, and thus insertive. As long as the higher-status male behaves as an impenetrable penetrator, the sex act could be classified as natural.

The proper and thus natural role of a social subordinate in this ancient ethos was to be passive and receptive, and any departure from this grid would be imagined as unnatural. This explains why the ancient Greek word used for “sexual” acts within this grid is chrēsis, or “use,” since a superior makes use of another, inferior body as a receptacle of their penetration. Grappling with this ancient context, of course, impacts the interpretation of biblical texts, including those that ostensibly tell people what “the Bible says” about homosexuality (like Rom 1 or 1 Cor 6), even as it conditions many more besides (within the Pauline corpus, for instance, review 1 Thessalonians, Philemon, and even Philippians in this light). Biblical texts repeat these terminologies of nature and use in troubling ways. The acts reflected in these kinds of texts inevitably reflect the status of those involved, as all proper and natural acts reflect and reinforce the difference between a social superior and inferior.

This sexual-social protocol for sorting acts also clearly demonstrates how status is gendered. This indicates the utility of terms like wo/men and kyriarchy, introduced by the feminist biblical scholar Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (2001, pp. 57–59, 107–109, and 216). Within this system the terms of womanliness or femininity have been applied to both females and non-elite males, who might have been historically classified as somehow “like women.” In this ancient ethos, a feminine or effeminized status is reflected by one’s susceptibility to penetration and is by no means limited to the kinds of people that one might think of as “women” now. This protocol is a prime instance of how gendered terms are also used to define non-elite or subaltern males as women, or wo/men (see Schüssler Fiorenza, 2001, p. 58). Some scholars in Classics recognize this gendered differential within socio-sexual status, offering terms like “unmen.” Jonathan Walters (1991) introduces this helpful label for a series of people because most of our Greek and Roman sources insist that not all adult males were seen as “real men” (viri) in the ancient world. Viri is not a term that can be applied to all adult males. It excludes non-elite working groups, slaves, or any conquered or disreputable person, all of whom were available for penetrative use by their social superiors. Gender, ethnic, imperial, and economic categories intertwine in this system; in searching for sexuality, one instead finds a system of gender and much more.

In these ancient contexts, sexuality may not be an identity, exactly; but acts that one might call sexual are tied to claims about the status of a person (or nonperson, as the case may be). Sexuality or eroticism involved differentiations of gender. Gender, in turn, was a marker of status tied to dynamics of ethnicity, economy, and empire (among others). The intertwining and interlocking of these dynamics reflects Schüssler Fiorenza’s analysis of kyriarchy. As a replacement for patriarchy and its more simplified, dualistic analysis of power in gendered terms alone, kyriarchy highlights how multiple and mutually influential structures of domination and subordination function together in pyramidal relations determined not only by sexism but also by racism, classism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, colonialism, nationalism, and militarism (among others) (Schüssler Fiorenza 2001, pp. 118–124, 211). Kyriarchy is a system where only certain kinds of males are “men”—elite, educated, freeborn, propertied, imperial, and typically from particular racial/ethnic groups—who rule all who might be wo/men—females but also non-elite, uneducated, enslaved, subaltern, and/or often racially or ethnically dominated groups of males. This sort of analysis explains how elite groups in the ancient context could and would differentiate between “real” men and unmen (alongside “other” women), as Walters and others have highlighted.

Erotic contact, then, is not just some “private” matter, nor is it a thing that people do with one part of their bodies. Rather, it is a reflection of the way embodied entities are placed in relation to each other, as an expression of their social status, likely best explained in terms of one’s placement within pyramidal structures of relation like kyriarchy. In narrating the difference that marks ancient worldviews about erotic acts, though, I have come back around to the utility of analytic terms that can be used for a variety of places and times (like kyriarchy). Insisting upon a whole new set of terminologies when discussing the ancient setting of texts, like the biblical ones, might not always be the most helpful strategy. Indeed, in contemporary queer studies, scholars have reflected upon the possibilities within failed masculinities or alternative masculinities (Halberstam, 1998), in ways not so distanced from how ancient elites worried over maintaining their impenetrable penetrator status or puzzled over how to compliment a good elite adult woman as vir-tuous. These anxieties reflect the sort of instability Butler notes for more recent gender and sexual norms (described above). Further, the sorts of characterization, condescension, and condemnation the ancient Romans directed toward their imperial-erotic subordinates as monstrous Others resonates not with modern concepts of the homosexual but with the continued targeting of some racialized groups (the terrorist/Muslim) as perversely motivated, queerly situated, monstrous fags (see Puar and Rai, 2002). There might still be some virtue in considering the strange, even queer continuities or recurrence within sites that cross an (apparent) ancient/modern impasse.

Such continuities and discontinuities, resonances and differences can be traced by reconsidering another gendered and sexual term: lesbian. Some scholars, like Valerie Traub, insist that the historical contingency and epistemological inadequacy of this term should somehow be marked whenever it is used (which is why she italicizes lesbian in Traub, 2002). This is a compelling suggestion, connected to points made above about distinctions across the centuries and false totalizations within inherently unstable identity markers. On the one hand, the modern origin of “lesbian” as a specifically sexological term shares a common medicalized root with the homosexual as cases of gendered inversion. On the other, this gendered nonconformity as a “masculine” female corresponds to many ancient treatments of females who were characterized as improperly “active” (or insertive) because they had erotic contact with other females. While not ignoring the discontinuities, such potential continuities are among the reasons Bernadette Brooten presents her work as a part of lesbian history. By way of analogy, Brooten notes:

"The historical discontinuities are, however, no greater than with such other terms as “slavery,” “marriage,” or “family,” and yet we have no qualms about applying these terms to historical and cross-cultural phenomena, even though, for example, a “family” can include slaves or not, multiple wives or not, or the legal power of a man to kill family members or not." (Brooten, 1996, p. 18)

In such instances, using (rather than evading) a term that seems obvious or always already understood cannot be dismissed as evidence of an essentialist position if it helps to trace historical or cultural differences.

“Lesbian” as a term can matter and materialize in rather different ways than one might expect, especially when trying to draw hard and fast lines between queer, homosexual, and homoerotic. Even from within her deconstructive critique of certain rhetorical and organizational practices, Butler cannot completely dissociate from the word: “This is not to say that I will not appear at political occasions under the sign of lesbian, but that I would like to have it permanently unclear what that sign signifies” (1991, p. 14). Lesbian here sounds as mobile, even labile, as queer elsewhere. Lesbian, then, matters and materializes in different ways within at least some biblical scholarship. Deryn Guest, for instance, presents a consciously and critically lesbian-identified biblical hermeneutic, often by way of stark contrasts to queer theory or hermeneutics. She carefully historicizes the various meanings of “lesbian,” even while maintaining that lesbians have a unique vantage point for interpretation (Guest, 2005, pp. 9–58). Yet the kind of difference this difference makes is in the way lesbians prefer “reading straight texts aslant” (p. 18; cf. 114). This sort of reading practice sounds remarkably, even ironically like the one described at length about (American, upper-to-middle-class, mostly white) gay males in Halperin’s How to Be Gay (2012).

Certain lesbian and gay practices can appear to be more alike than different, bringing us back around to one formulation of “queer” as referring to gays and lesbians under one banner. Of course, the twist in both of these works is that these identities are less matters of being than of doing, echoing queer theorists. These works symptomize a slippage between lesbian and queer, or gay and queer, and then perhaps, in combination, homosexual and queer. Guest, Halperin, and many others describe reading a certain way, approaching a structure, or interpreting a phenomenon (whether it be Judy Garland, Mansfield Park, or the Bible), by attending to certain dynamics. This sounds a great deal like learning to interpret queerly.

Confusion and ambiguities will persist if one seeks to create or maintain strict lines between points of reference like homosexual and queer, ancient and modern, homosexual and heterosexual, gendered and sexual, homoerotic and gay, lesbian and straight. Indeed, after a while one might want to interrogate why and how such borders or lines or zones need to be policed. No doubt, from certain vantage points described here, one could justifiably try to retitle Halperin’s book as How to Do Things Queerly, or crankily submit that Guest, Goss, West, and Bohache’s massive commentary is really a (Mostly) Homosexual Commentary. Yet, from another vantage point, such line drawing and label guarding is ultimately counter to the ethos of queer. In the end questions about the impact of these (and many other) acts present an important trajectory for rethinking and resisting the conditions that construct and constrain still other strange ways of doing and being.

[See also HETEROSEXISM/HETERONORMATIVITY; QUEER READINGS; QUEER THEORY; and SEXUALITY.]

Bibliography

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Joseph A. Marchal