In my Queer Pop Culture class, we had a discussion board thread recently talking about items from pop culture that struck us are interesting or important in terms of queer studies. I shared something that I’d recently stumbled across- the video of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau explaining quantum computing to a reporter during his visit to Waterloo.
The reason I shared this was because his explanation struck me as quite possibly the best definition I’ve ever heard for what exactly Queer Studies is. I’m going to copy/paste my post from the class so I don’t have to retype all this, lol, and the video is below in case anyone wants to watch it.
“This week, I came across something I’d never seen before on Facebook. It’s a section of a video with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau explaining (in a nutshell) quantum computing. I found this entire thing fascinating because I find anything “quantum” fascinating (even though it goes right over my head most of the time), but what really got me was the words he used to explain normal computing vs quantum computing.
“In normal computing, there’s either power going through a wire, or not. It’s a one or a zero. They’re binary systems. What quantum states allow for is much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit. Regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, on or off. A quantum state can be much more complex than that because, as we know, things can be both particle and wave at the same time.”
That, honestly, to me…sums up Queer Studies. In the “old” system, everything is binary. Girl/Boy. Straight/Gay or Lesbian. Good/Bad. White/Other. In the new system, there are several more gender identities, several more sexual identities, several racial identities (where white isn’t the dominant race), and things that were previously seen as “bad” are now being redefined as “good” because we are learning more about them. It also sounds to me like intersectionality: things can be both wave and particle. We can be both gay and black. We can be Latinx and Bisexual. We can be Queer and disabled. We can be gender non-conforming and asexual. “Much more complex information.” Nothing is just one and zero anymore, no “one state” has to exist- several states can exist simultaneously. That, to me, sounds exactly like the goal of Queer Studies… recognizing this, embracing this, and understanding this. It also very much sounds to me like a version of utopia- and everyone is excited about quantum computing because of it’s capabilities, that we’re not so hamstrung by the old binary system anymore. It’s allowing for exponential technological growth, as Queer Studies is allowing for exponential personal growth on a global scale. These are just my opinions of course, but I couldn’t help but think of Munoz’s piece when I saw this video.”
I witnessed this actually happening recently (which will be in my forthcoming post about Pride because that experience was hands down one of the most amazing I’ve had in a long, LONG time) a veritable theory in the flesh, the whole “many identities can exist at once” idea. That how we identify and the many ways we do so can and do coexist, and don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
The Munoz piece I’m referring to is Cruising Utopia, which is a *gorgeous* book about the future of Queerdom, and I literally couldn’t recommend it more. He talks about hope being quintessential for the future of “queerness,” which I absolutely agree with. I’ll post about this soon because it really got to me.
Pride piece coming next, and I’ve got pictures. I’m getting ready to release some Hannibal LGBT/ subtext meta coming up on Tumblr (if you’d like to follow any of that, email me and I’ll send you the blog name.) Also have a joint post coming on Maurice with a fellow fan, a post on the amazing subtext in Nightmare on Elm Street 2, still planning on the Let the Right One In subtext post as well.
I’m not done, guys, just busy and a lot of stuff happening and changing- all for the good. I’m still here!
I’m going to be sharing a lot more on here- I come across so much during the day, and I try to bring together huge posts, and I just am over that now, lol. So, if frequent posts annoy you, and you follow me- sorry!
XD (Keep the Faith!)