The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy

By Scott Tucker | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The Lavender Left

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Oscar Wilde.

The Queer Question is about identity and solidarity in the United States in the closing quarter of this century. Sexual politics and democratic socialism are spoken with fairly distinct accents in these essays, but in a common language. This is neither the language of a party program nor of academic scholarship, but rather words chosen for diverse audiences and occasions over the past decade and a half. I have tried to acknowledge the erotic and utopian dimensions of culture, while resisting romanticism in politics. I have no quarrel with a good slogan or with a good theory, but the words I prefer are closer to conversation and story-telling. These essays are both afterthoughts and forethoughts, they are open letters bearing the post‐ marks of specific times and struggles, addressed to people who can abandon optimism without giving up hope. There are many good reasons to be a democratic socialist, but optimism in the usual sense is not one of them.

The word "queer" is much more convenient than saying "lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transgender" every time, but if the word is not used with some care it is merely fashionable. And worse: it may serve as the

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