Queer is now used to describe people who are neither heterosexual or cisgender (Unitarian Universalist Association, 2018). But it literally meant odd and peculiar and was a negative word used for insulting homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people (UCDAIVS, 2018). Therefore, the word “queer” was resisted by people with different sexualities other than heterosexuals. Later in 1980s, as many LGBTs gained confidence in confronting with hostile discrimination via social movements, they began to embrace and widely used the word “queer” (Raymond, 2013). Meanwhile, with the emergence of “queer theory” in academic scholarship, it was clarified that different sexualities are affected by social and cultural development, but not formed naturally. Queer theory states human sexual orientations are fluid and various, but not binary and fixed, which made queer culture become more open-minded (Raymond).
As the acceptance of queer people has been growing, queer culture including queer slang, queer dance, queer pop music, is being embraced by the mainstream society. For example, the slang “shade” is a word used to subtly insult others, as some respectful political figures like Michelle Obama are said to “throw shade” at others, “shade” has been widely used in the mainstream culture lexicon (Brammer, 2018). Moreover, Lady Gaga, a well-known American singer and a bisexual, has made endeavours to defend the rights of LGBT people and revitalize queerness in pop culture by creating and performing queer dance and queer pop songs. Most importantly, according to Queering Religion, Religious Queers, it is indicated that even religious beliefs can be queered and changed, which is a great breakthrough for queer culture (Mahony, 2015).
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With the integration of queer culture, mainstream culture is undoubtedly enriched and becomes more diversified, creating a more fruitful world. Moreover, the discriminative norm of exclusive heterosexual and gender binary is no longer valid after the integration of queer culture. This means, people should not be restricted in the original heterosexual zone, and queers are able to behave the true selves openly and freely, without being greatly discriminated and dismissed as previously. Therefore, the integration helps LGBT people, not limited to queer people, come out and perform themselves more easily and truly. The rise of queer culture in the mainstream also poses political impacts. Not only should the general society embrace the queer culture, the political environment should also be in favour of queer people as they are now generally accepted to be a part for the mainstream (Raymond, 2013). Therefore, politicians should be respected regardless of their sexual orientations, their political ability should not be valued unfairly just due to their identity of LGBT or simply queer.
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