URLF Project: PromotingQueerLiteracy

An Introduction and Roadmap

What is queerness? 
'Queer' is as an umbrella term to describe gender dynamics and consensual sexualities that fall outside of conventional norms, and are thus sidelined by society. This term has historically been used in reference to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people, but as communities have built and queerness has become more visible in society, it has grown to include Asexuals, Intersex people, and other experiences of gender; recognizing that labels themselves are not as rigid as some would like to believe. Queer people face increased rates of rejection, discrimination, and harassment – often leading to their exclusion from mainstream society. However, in contemporary times with greater methods of access, they have fostered means for inclusion, building out their own society to accommodate each other. That is a unifying theme of queerness, how it draws people who otherwise don't have a space, together.

The goal of this project is twofold. First, to shed light on what it means to be queer, in order to normalize queerness and ideally reduce the harm that is done to future generations of queer people. Second, to make representation more accessible so that other queer people can find themselves and this community to build stronger for the future.

This resource takes a historical and literal approach to queerness, detailing queer history as well as what it means to exist in specific queer identities. Queerness, by its nature, can't be described by any one definition, and any attempt to define it will encounter overlap between identities, as well as things that slip through the cracks. Queerness is messy by design, but in the interest of best encapsulating what it means to be queer, each page will include comics from people's lived experiences. Theory, though important, will never be able to match the power of individuals and communities sharing what it means to actually claim space as queer people in the world.

This site was designed to serve as an educational tool for students and educators in middle schools and high schools though it can be utilized by anyone who finds it useful. The information presented was researched and written by one trans woman over the course of a summer at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

If you just want to dive in and look at a specific page, click HERE.

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