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Introduction of Queer Theory

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What is queer? Queer is always misunderstood as gay and lesbian. However, the framework of queer includes not merely gay and lesbian but also bisexual, transsexual and other sexual marginalized groups, like transvestites, sado-masochists, and paedophiles.

In theory, queer theory challenges all that is normative. Queer not only disrupts the regulatory fiction of heterosexual coherence but also debunks the fixed identity of homosexuals. In one hand, queer theory dismisses the stability of sexual and gender identities; in the other hand, it also offers a brand-new way to rethink the relationship between sex, gender and sexuality. Because queer is not arranged into any specific identity category, its potential for discussions is greater than homosexual. As a result, queer theory broadens the category of gay and lesbian studies.

The Construction of Sexuality

When we try to talk about what queer is, a common misunderstanding exists. For many people, it is easy to simplify queer as the homosexual. There is a negotiation between homosexuality and queer. And we will discuss it later. In short, when we discuss queer, it is inevitable to mention the homosexual and their sexuality.

There are two opposite viewpoints on the homosexual identity and sexuality. In the opinions of the essentialists, they regard identity as natural and fixed; on the contrary, the constructionists think that identity is fluid. The former view the sexuality is culture-independent and objective; the latter think sexuality is culture-dependent and relative.1

Michael Foucault, a French historian, in his great work, volume 1 The History of Sexuality, indicates that sexuality is constructed and naturalized by power. Sex is regulated, administered and then reproduced by domain discourses on sex. Foucault takes confession as an example. In the process of confession, one's body and mind are administrated. Power works through the discourses to regulate not only one's act but also his desire. As a result, sexuality is not only socially constructed but also naturalized by power.



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