One of the primary difficulties that arises in relation to the GLBT movement is the complicated way in which people label themselves and others and further the societal implications of using those labels. In the readings for this week, the inadequacy of the "gay-straight" form of terminology was discussed. The biggest flaw in this "gay-straight binary" is the exclusive way in which it is often used. To be gay or to be straight are very distinct opposites. However, to use this type of terminology often imposes an inflexible vernacular with little room for people who feel in between these two points (bisexuals), or people feel that they belong far outside of merely gay or straight. Thus the term "queer" offers a less binding or confining way of defining oneself.
For our purposes in this class, "queer" seems to take on a definition far beyond something merely of the GLBT community. In its usage, "queer" can be utilized to express something that is outside of what is typically perceived as a cultural norm. By nature "queer" exposes and brings cultural weight to those issues, ideas and people that exist beyond the reach of patriarchy and heteronormativity. In this sense, "queer" does not necessarily pertain to strictly GLBT films, music, television or literature. Rather, to be "queer" could include a film about feminism in the 21st century, or the pursuit of racial and cultural equality because these ideas speak to people who are not foundationally part of a heternormative super-structure.
When one begins to examine the use of the term "queer" in the lexicon of culture and society, ultimately, our understanding and comprehension of heterosexuality must also be brought in to discussion. Can a person in society be completely heterosexual or completely "queer?" As bell hooks discussed in her documentary, at any given time there are numerous societal factors at work influencing the way human beings interact with each other. One's place in society is never stable. And it seems as though to be "queer" is to reconcile with this cultural instability while existing in a heternormative society.