In activist circles, among artists and journalists, with our allies and in the queer community itself, the most common way to frame queerness is through the popular phrase “Love is love.” You see it painted on walls in gayborhoods, waved on flags and worn on shirts during PRIDE or protest events, hear it in acceptance speeches at every entertainment awards ceremony from the Oscars to the Tonys, and in countless speeches by politicians when they want to appeal to their queer constituents. It is ever-present, to the point that its repetition has become rote and (sorry to be blunt here but also not sorry) mindless.
The problem is that the phrase is literally meaningless. Substitute “love” with literally any other noun to see our point (“Car is car.” “Dog is dog.”). Or better yet, substitute any other emotion (“Sad is sad.” “Angry is angry.”). As a phrase, it offers nothing. As an observation, it’s as pointless as can be. As a way of defining a community/orientation/identity, it has virtually no value at all. Yeah, love is love. No shit, Sherlock. What’s your point?
[Photo credit: Yoav Hornung]