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Galactic Turtle

"The queering of friendship: Rethinking platonic relationships, guided by LGBTQ models"

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Galactic Turtle

Mention of the use of the term "queerplatonic" in ace and aro communities. (ARTICLE)

 

Quote

The idea of platonic boyfriends/girlfriends/partners and "Boston marriages" (a 19th-century phrase describing two women who shared a life and lived together without the support of a man) has been around for a while. Back in the day, sometimes these relationships were actually sexual relationships between folks who couldn't be out as gay because it was illegal, socially unacceptable, and dangerous. But sometimes they were intimate nonsexual friendships.

 

A more modern umbrella term for these relationships is queerplatonic. The word was coined, defined, and redefined by asexual and aromantic people to describe a relationship that is not romantic, but emotionally closer than what we generally think of as friendship. The "queer" part is not about sexuality, but about the queering of our ideas about what relationships look like. As writer and activist Shon Faye puts it, "Queer is about removing labels and replacing them with a question. It is a side eye and a challenge back to mainstream society and politics. It says, 'I don't know the answer, but why are you asking the question?'" Queering relationships is rejecting the restraints of convention, but it's also liberatory truth-finding. It allows us to look at a relationship (and so many other things) stripped of preconceptions and ask, What is this really? What are the components? What is happening inside of it? Anyone of any sexual orientation, gender, or other relationships status can be in a queerplatonic relationship.

 

Having more language and examples that articulate a way to be in relationship with others outside conventional understanding is affirming because I have, and want more, relationships like that. Even though I'm not aromantic or asexual, the paths people with those identities are forging to be wholly who they are makes room for the rest of us too. People are living into identities that aren't accepted or even recognized by society at large. Their insistence on self-definition creates space for all of us to be self-determined in our identities.

I have kind of split feelings about the article I think.

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SithApprentice

I feel like it should be queer-ify-ing if we're making it a verb. "queering" sounds weird, but not sure how I feel about "queerify" or "queerifying" either...

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Galactic Turtle
4 minutes ago, SithEmpress said:

I feel like it should be queer-ify-ing if we're making it a verb. "queering" sounds weird, but not sure how I feel about "queerify" or "queerifying" either...

Yeah, the title left me very ???

 

I feel like the average person who would stumble upon this would be pretty confused.

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KrysLostInSpace

just add her to the list of weirdos

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KiraS

Queering has been a term of art within queer studies since the 80s. Nothing wrong with it. 

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KiraS

There definitely is a thing there in that it seems to be much more common for LGBTQ people to have long-term relationships involving commitment and emotional intimacy who are not sexual partners or not primary sexual partners. And certain mentorship subcultures were structured on a "family" model. 

 

A large majority of straight men identify their wife/partner as their primary or only emotional support person. That's somewhat less true of straight women these days. 

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such

I actually really like this article. There are a lot of similar kind of 'philosophy of relationships' takes out there which speak to a-spec experiences, but always fail to mention that we are already out here, rethinking, re-imagining and living these relationships already. This is an acknowledgement that a-spec identities and experiences are a kind of queerness that has a lot to offer for the entire LGBTQ+ community, if not cishet people too. 

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