. This is the essence of queerness: To be queer is to be judged, and to find community with others who have been judged similarly. This is less a matter of radical “inclusivity” and more a kind of qualifying criteria for entry.
In episode 03 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, Zaheer and I tackle the history of queer spaces in Brooklyn. We sit down with curator and writer Hugh Ryan, who helps us define “queer” as a historical construct and shares some amazing hidden queer histories that he has uncovered. We also visit Lesbian Herstory Archives in the neighborhood of Park Slope to talk with co-founder Deborah Edel, and listen to the reflections of one Brooklynite who shared his life and experiences in our oral history collections.
In a very real and measurable way, cisgender identity is no longer unmarked, universal, or assumed. It is denoted, limited, and in conversation with trans identities—or at least we’re moving in that direction.