othering

used to designate a particular community or group of people as something “different” or “less than” what is considered to be socially and legally acceptable for citizenship.

“Othering” is exercised through systematic oppression and is often used to maintain hierarchical notions of white supremacy. Of course, this is not strictly used in the United States and has been employed globally to create status for the hierarchical elite. According to Bronski, “othering” has had two major effect towards minorities and those within the LGBT community. First, beginning with slavery, “othering” was used to help constructed a legal system that guides the perimeters for citizenship and non citizenship, leading the placement of second-class citizenship (Bronski, 23). Later on this legal system was applied to any marginalized group outside the assumed white heteronormative majority, including immigrants, LGBT, and the like. Second, the acceptance of legalized slavery helped reinforce the mainstream ideas about what is morally and sexually normal amongst society (Bronski, 23). This created many boundaries and consequences through binary language that promoted socially accepted normalcy and frowned upon deviant sexual inferiority. Therefore, “othering” was a way of presuming what was considered to be “less than” human according to Christian theology. 

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sex

biological categories based on reproductive differences with sperm producers being ‘male’ and egg producers being ‘female’.

It is also possible for a person to be born with a combination of reproductive traits of both male and female, see intersex. (Stryker, 8)

The Kinsey Scale

a scale of sexual experience ranging from 0 to 6. Zero being associated exclusively with homosexuality and six being associated exclusively with heterosexuality.

Created by Alfred Kinsey, the author of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, in the 1950’s. Kinsey believed that instead describing people as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual that sexuality is best described on a continuum.  (Bronski, 178)

discourse

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).

asexual

a person with no sexual desire.

Although asexual people can have romantic relationships they have no interest in sex. Some asexual people will have sex to fulfill their partners sexual needs but do not have a “sex drive” and don’t initiate sex, where other asexual people never want to have sex and feel repulsed by it. (Evans, Julianna, and Andy H.)

queer

 

  • 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).