“…In the 1960s and 70s, the powers-that-be in the public schools, government, and industry taught us that trees and fish, rather than being endless, were renewable,” (Clare 22), writes Eli Clare in his book Exile and Pride. This perspective on sustainability in not only the 60s but modern politics can provide insight into how we view queerness in society. Social issues such as these often become so baked into our self-organization that the simple passage of time, while removing the ability to directly quote, cannot remove an aura of bias. Everything Clare speaks of will forever remain relevant due to its existence in history. Clare’s “worldview developed, layer upon layer” (23). Time adds without ever subtracting. Society taught him not to question that the salmon runs and clearcut forests might be the problem, instead of a lack of hatcheries and replantings. Queer people growing up in this world of ageless time don’t get to believe in themselves as a silent human essence. We never stand alone; there is always noise. We are permitted only to consider tree farms, replacing what was cut down, unquestionable passive action. While we try to fight it, education is viewed through a lens of permanent conveyed knowledge. Until we view it as an inherently biased and active experience, queer people’s escape from the band-aid lens will be a difficult journey.

2 thoughts on “clearcut”

  1. Your post here reminds me of our class reading and discussions about how queer youth have been separated from queer adults along with queer history and culture. Many children grow up not questioning the heterosexist ways in which our society is shaped and functions. We are simply taught to believe that’s how it is, always has been, and always will be, that anything outside of that isn’t “normal”. I really liked how you emphasized the role that education plays in queerness in this post because I feel as though that is a topic that should be talked about more often.

  2. As someone who has spent a good deal of time focusing on sustainability, the social aspect of it is often ignored. I’ve instead been taught about how sustainability is (or isn’t) economically viable and what can be done within the economic systems of today, but discussions of what ought to be done to ensure equity are relegated to specialized courses, often with prerequisites, that aren’t required. I think, as Clare does, that the way we teach sustainability is woefully insufficient and that a focus on what ought to be done will take not only a change in economic mindset, but also a concurrent change in social mindset so marginalized communities are not left behind in sustainability.

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