Queering Campus with Karlee:
The beauty of the word “queer” is the fluidity of its definition. While there is a proud reclamation of the word amongst the younger demographic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) folk – appealing for both its simplicity and its inclusivity beyond the acronym – the word goes beyond the politics of sexual orientation.
In embracing one portion of the dated meaning, the action of “queering” will be to highlight the eccentricities of subversive culture. Queer, for the purposes of this column, will be loosely defined as anything that isn’t heteronormative. This includes sexual orientation and gender identity, but its goal is meant to expand the definition of queer to its outermost edges by also discussing polyamory, sex work, body positivity, and any other topics that are marginalized, radical or go against the grain.
I’ve been a queer rights activist my entire college career. I’ve been privileged enough to expand my knowledge of identity politics through my friends and my access to higher education. A proud progressive, I’d like to combat the stigmatization that close-mindedness places on those who identify as queer. The definition of queer is a genuine product of semiotics, the study of signs and designations: it is constantly in flux. While unclear definitions are discomforting, that is precisely this column’s goal. The grace of queer lies not in its ability to sooth, but in its ability to provoke.
Hot Soup with Hansook:
This semester I am celebrating one year of Hot Soup. Hot Soup started out with an op-ed last spring about why the Asian American Studies program at Cal State University, Los Angeles should not be cut, and how doing so would be a racist and unnecessary step backwards for higher education.
Since then, I’ve written my opinions on a variety of issues, such as Asian American stereotypes in the media, Asians in the library, Islamaphobia, justice for undocumented Americans, budget cuts for higher education and on why women should rule the world.
I have shared very personal things and have received criticism from some anonymous regulars who comment online for using the paper for my own emotional needs. Yes, sharing my stories and experiences gives me a somewhat cathartic satisfaction, but I choose to share these stories because I know there are many who can relate.
This semester, Hot Soup will focus on international events and national legislation and politics, especially the GOP presidential race. We are in a historic period of national and international tumult, but we cannot always rely on world leaders, politicians and mainstream media heads to provide us with truthful and poignant analysis. I am suspicious of people in power and I think you should be to.
Soup is a dish best served hot, and this semester, Hot Soup will get even scorching.