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Gender & Women’s Studies
Queerness should be inclusive. It should be an identity with a group that is accessible, unifying, and welcoming. In Sarah Ahmed’s “Queer Feelings,” she makes the assertion that queer people gather together through their own queer pleasures. For the queer community, these queer pleasures come in the form of interests, fashion choice, and anything that brings us closer as a community. In this essay, I focus specifically on queer fashion and make my own assertions about the community at large as a queer person myself. I engage with the origins and developments of queer fashion to see where the influences for today’s fashion lie, and argue that queer expression via clothing is becoming increasingly exclusive by adhering to larger Eurocentric ideals of beauty. In Ahmed’s idea of queer pleasures and the gathering of bodies around these pleasures, I imagine an inclusive grouping of people who share a common identity. But subscribing to larger ideals of beauty creates a dissonance between the queer community’s ideals and realities. I examine the reasons for this dissonance, the impact it has on queer individuals and the greater community, and draw from my own personal experience in the hopes of creating a comprehensive essay that encompasses and addresses this important issue of accessibility to queer expression.
Melendez, Ace, "The Origins and Manifestations of the Modern Queer Look" (2018). Gender and Women's Studies Summer Fellows. 3.