Instructor Reflection-Queer Today: How to Queer a Capitalist Life (12.1)

By George Sanders, Oakland University

The work created by Steph, Mia, and McKenna, “Queer Today: How to Queer a Capitalistic Life,” exemplifies the central aim of our class, Queer Social Theory: to think otherwise. This is especially important given the sentiments that deem some segments of the population to be fearful. The brown and black and trans folks, the non-straight crowd, the people who have been pathologized and discriminated against, the non-native born, the en-wheeled, those who worry about paying for medicine, food, and rent, the neuro-variant, and the many others who have been born out of and into legacies of oppression and marginalization. 

Their work highlights that to queer is to transgress, to question, and disrupt the dominant and trouble the normative. To create and direct new trajectories and new configurations. To cobble together new connections with others and to form novel associations between divergent beliefs and contradictory ideas. 

Because the thing is… fear, by its nature, is conservative. When we are afraid, we contract and retreat to what we perceive to be familiar. Fear, then, reinforces and rigidifies the status quo. Through humor and outrage and love, “Queer Today: How to Queer a Capitalistic Life” emboldens and encourages readers/viewers in the hope that we will think otherwise, to develop new capacities to connect with ourselves and with one another; to interrogate, indict and, at times, incite. 

“Queer Today: How to Queer a Capitalistic Life” is moving, provoking, evoking, touching, inspiring, and enlightening. It is affecting, and it is effectively so. It is a generous piece, particularly when confronted with the fear of the unknown or the unspoken.