Monday, November 4, 2013

The definitive meaning of Queerness - there isn’t one. Guest post by Kylie Brooks

I do not entirely know if  I identify as NeuroQueer, but I wanted to go ahead and discuss the Queer part of NeuroQueer.

What does it mean to be Queer ? What is the purpose of Queerness ?
[Here is a picture of someone's hand signing the letter Q in ASL. Can't see the rest of the person.]

For me, I use the literal meaning of queer as in strange, odd.

Queerness is strangeness or oddness. Okay.

The meaning of Queerness as taken tends to mean not being heteronormative and not being cisnormative.

But doesn’t disability and race run up against heteronormativity and cisnormativity?

I am a Black bisexual trans woman. If I were to be a Black cis straight man, I am quite sure that heteronormativity and cisnormativity would be barriers for me anyway because of my learning disability, my severe to profound sensineural deafness and my cerebral palsy.

How does my short term memory issues and mild cognitive limitations conflict with the tenets of heteronormativity and cisnormativtiy?

How does my being Deaf conflict with the tenets of heteronormativity and cisnormativity?

How does my wheelchair using, non-ambulatory status conflict with the tenets of heteronormativity and cisnormativity?

How does my Blackness and the racialization of Black masculinity conflict with the white supremacist forms of cisheteronormativity?

Queer community, this is a discussion we need to have - a vital one - so that our intersectional complexity can show.

I personally define Queerness as not being cisheteronormative and/or who desire to resist the cisheteronormative society.

Even in the situation which I outlined just now, I believe that I can be straight and cis and queer because my life in my intersections is not supported by the cisheteronormative society with regard to my Deafness, my learning disability and my cerebral palsy.

I think that queer experiences that we have are all unique and situational and should be respected, recognized and acknowledged.

--Kylie Brooks


  1. Hello all! I inviite everyone to discuss this stuff. You can comment here or e-mail me at if you're uncomfortable commenting publicly. Thanks!

  2. Very thought provoking, thank you Kylee Brooks, I will re-read this for sure.