when an individual crosses over from one dominant hegemonic culture to experience the strange subculture of another. Often times placed in racially and sexually segregated ghettos, in order to excite and unsettle the curiosities of the slummer (Bronski, 121). Slumming was prevalent during the New York’s Harlem Renaissance that drew crowds to the spectacular jazz clubs nightly events. Slumming gave the opportunity for people to experience different ways of being that they were not normally familiar by providing another perspective to cultural difference and the permission to facilitate relationships beyond their own cultural understanding.





the ability for speech to be used not only to communicate but to fulfill an action and grant a binding power from that action.

An example of performative speech is the act of a couple saying “I do” at their wedding. Another example is a judge declaring a verdict. “The power of discourse to produce that which it names is thus essentially linked with the question of performitivity. The perfomative is thus one domain in which power acts as a discourse,” (Critically Queer, Butler).



written or spoken communication in the form of words, ideas, and/or concepts that shape who we are and our identities.

Social construction happens through discourse. Discourse shapes our actions and desires.We cannot escape discourse, we are born into it. People with power can modify discourse (Critically Queer, Butler). “Discourse is not life; it’s time is not yours,” (Foucalt in Butler, 17).



  • Throughout historical time, “queer” has changed its meaning, yet always have referred to people, places, or things that are considered to be the opposite of the societal norm. Originally “queer” was used to describe something as “odd,” “strange,” or “quaint.” In the early 18th century, the term “queer” meant something was “bad” or worthless (Bronski, xvii).
  • Later on in the 1920’s, “queer” was negatively used as an expression for homosexuals. Today, some LGBTQIAPK communities have politically reclaimed “queer” to challenge the heteronormative mainstream culture (Bronski, xvii). 
  • Queer is an umbrella term that includes all sexual and gender identities within the LGBTQIAPK (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Kink) community (Serrano, 3).  

compulsory heterosexuality

The assumption (and, therefore, imposition) that heterosexuality is a default; specific to Adrienne Rich’s Compulsory Heterosexuality text, she criticizes the assumption that men have one innate drive (sexual, towards women) and women have two (sexual, towards men, and “reproductive, towards their young”), reinforcing the divide between heterosexual and homosexual, as opposed to the concept of a sort of “lesbian continuum”. (Rich)

ties in directly with gender determinism (Serrano, 139)


Berdache is an incorrect name used by the French explorers and referred to indigenous men and women that behaved and dressed like the opposite sex.  However, these “third sex” roles were widely respected amongst their own indigenous community, and often times implied an elevated, respected, and religious positions within their culture, such as shamans (Bronski, 3).