14 Pages

The Museum’s Silent Sexual Performance

Queer is an overarching term that seeks to capture the wide array of identities and differences related to sex, sexuality, gender, desire, and expression. Some use of the term queer is to reinforce uncertainty and changes in sexual identities, practices, relationships, and communities of individuals. For many of us growing up, queer was one of the labels used to harm those who were different. In the last couple of decades, queer has been reclaimed and reframed to refer to the broader categories of those who identify as non-heterosexual. The challenge faced by confronting the queer space in museum exhibitions is about understanding what it means to accept the full gamut of sexual lives as society throws off the shackles of a hetero-normative social stereotype. The reality of queer studies is that they have been approached from a minority perspective, but theoretical perspectives suggest that queer theory has the potential to contribute more broadly to the understanding of people in society.