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L'autre

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Janine Dove-Rumé
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Michel Naumann
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Tri Tran

I. Langue et critique

From Foreign Pasts, Queer Presents? Can a genealogy of querr be traced to etymologies of terms for same-sex sexuality?

Susan Clayton

Résumé

Our historical look at terminology for same-sex sexuality reveals that heteronormativity has depicted it as « other » by linking it with foreignness, and as from the nineteenth century and the coining of neologisms such as inversion, with contrariness. The minority has retaliated, both by making affirmative declarations addressing foreignness and contrariness but also by creating and or promoting terminology, including the recent promotion of queer.

Texte intégral

1Heteronormativity has used terminology to set other sexualities apart; one upshot of which has been nominal retaliation. Today we shall focus on standard terms for same-sex sexuality, bearing in mind current developments in queer theory.

2Same-sex sexuality has enjoyed the status of being labelled for centuries. Some of the oldest terms devised to name it are still used. In the 19th century they were joined by several neologisms and in the 20th by two key ‘recycled’ words: ‘gay’ and more recently ‘queer’.

  • 1 Georges-Elie Sarfati in his analysis of dictionary entries for the word Jew sums up the alternative (...)

3Terms should be considered for their semantics, as well as the strategies of particular groups to promote them. Also we shall assume that no(wo)menclature features amongst the discursive techniques through which reality is constructed; rather than terms being a simple reflection of reality1.

1) CERTAINLY NOT ‘HOME-MADE’

  • 2 Halberstam writes, «Brandon also serves as a marker for a particular set of late-twentieth century (...)

4In A Queer Time and Place Judith Halberstam, when discussing the sexuality of the transgender Brandon Teena, remarks that nowadays geography and unorthodox sexuality spark off social anxiety2. Her observation about present responses to this female husband invites us to a look at the past, which we shall do by analysing terminology.

  • 3 Whilst we cannot devote any time to the debate on the first appearances in standard French and Engl (...)

5For centuries people who have indulged in unorthodox sexuality have been linked with foreignness - as the geographical origins of words such as bugger, sodomite, lesbian or sapphick illustrate. The locations of the first three are evident. Bugger, from Bulgaria, entered English and French because certain sexual practices were attributed to Bulgarian heretics. The etymology of sodomite is the city of Sodom, and lesbian owes its origin to a Greek island, on which the illustrious Sappho lived. Sapphic itself conveys foreignness, being composed from the proper name of a Greek known for her sexuality.3

  • 4 Christine Bard in Les Garçonnes, Paris, Flammarion, 1998, includes a glossary and says of the confl (...)
  • 5 Christine Bard explains, «Associé au début du XXe siècle à l’homosexualité revendiqué fièrement par (...)
  • 6 Le Robert Dictionnaire Alphabétique et analogique de la langue française, vol. 1, Paris, 1977 expla (...)

6The foreign setting of hermaphrodite was the mythological land of the gods; Hermaphroditus was the the son of the Greek deities Hermes and Aphrodite. On Earth the anatomical duality and gender ambiguity of hermaphrodites have been conflated with sexuality; not least same-sex sexuality4. Similarly Amazon has served as a synonym for lesbian, and indeed has been used in this sense assertively. Natalie Clifford Barney is the best example of a proud reclaiming of the term Amazon by a lesbian5. According to etymology Amazons mutilated their bodies, they became breastless (‘a’ here meaning without)6 which again confirms the conflation of gender and sexuality.

  • 7 John Addington Symonds, A Problem in Greek Ethics, London 1908, p. 70. See also Zeus and Ganymede, (...)
  • 8 Judith Butler Gender Trouble, New York and London, 1999, p. 169-170.
  • 9 As the authors of the encyclopedia of Queer Myth Symbol and Spirit note, «In the court of the homoe (...)
  • 10 Judith Butler, op. cit., p. 170

7Mythology inspired another word for sex between men. Ganymede was beautiful so, to quote John Addington Symonds, “Zeus made him the serving-boy of the immortals” and Symonds continues, “We understand the meaning of that tale. Zeus loved him.”7 The myth makers by deciding on the removal from Earth of Ganymede by Zeus operated the cognitive expulsion of this form of love; they thereby rendered it abject. In the words of Judith Butler, “The’abject’designates that which has been expelled from the body, discharged as excrement, literally rendered’Other’”. And she continues to explain how the Other becomes shit, “The boundary between the inner and outer is confounded by those excremental passages in which the inner effectively becomes outer, and this excreting function... is the mode by which Others become shit.”8. Whilst in French the proper name Ganymede is used as a synonym for’giton’or’mignon’9, in English it has mutated into catamite. If we look up dictionary entries of the word, we regularly find in the definitions remarks such as “a boy kept for unnatural purposes”, which illustrates how standard works of reference reinforce the strategy of rendering something or someone abject through their recurring condemnatory definitions. Without such onslaughts heteronormativity would, to quote Butler, “invariably be exploded by precisely the excremental filth that it fears”10. In the case of samesex love we shall suggest that the fear it constitutes, as we can estimate by the onslaughts against it, eflects its omnipresence.

8Foreignness could also be implicit through the borrowing of a word rooted in a foreign language. Thus English and French devised tribade, meaning to rub, from Latin and Greek as if the local languages did not cater for such acts.

9Many of the terms so far mentioned were negatively rated, even became insults. Thus dictionary entries include adjectives such as unnatural; for example the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines tribade as, «A woman who practises unnatural vice with other women.». On the other hand one could argue that words inspired by mythology or legend are not totally divested of the aura associated with the lives of the original illustrious individuals. Indeed narratives of Amazons, or Ganymede enhance a denomination, thereby claiming legitimacy. As Natalie Clifford Barney’s proud association with Amazon confirms.

  • 11 Judith Halberstam wrote about the female husband Brandon Teena, «Brandon’s body becomes the marker (...)

10We have shown how the etymology of numerous words for same-sex sexuality reveal, to quote Halberstam a “disorder that always resides elsewhere”11. But spatial constructions in which to originate human behaviour can operate using different dimensions from the territorial ones so far presented, whether terrestrial or, as in the case of mythology, extraterrestrial. Indeed the 19th century articulated otherness differently as an analysis of neologisms reveals.

2) FROM FOREIGNNESS TO CONTRARINESS

  • 12 As Jean-François Lyotard points out about the satisfaction of creating, «Mais sans doute même ce pl (...)
  • 13 Marc-André Raffalovich, Uranisme et Unisexualité, 1896 préface p. 11

11Coining words engages the brain, which is satisfying and can be fun. But it is also part of consolidating or challenging established power12, which doubtless accounts for the creation of several neologisms for same-sex sexuality in the 19th century. In 1896, a word-drunk Raffalovich, set between brackets four synonyms for the emblematic neologism sexual inversion, «Si l’on demande pourquoi l’inversion sexuelle (uranisme, unisexualité, homosexualité, instinct sexuel contraire) prend aujourd’hui une plus grande importance...»13. And more synonyms were coined.

  • 14 As Jeffrey Weeks explains, in Coming Out Homosexual Politics in Britain from the Nineteenth Century (...)

12In 1869 Dr Karl Westphal devised «contrary sexual feeling» (kontrare Sexualempfindung) which he reckoned resulted from moral insanity and ‘congenital reversal of sexual feeling’14. The concept of ‘reversal’ rests on a similar cognitive articulation as inversion, namely wrongness of direction.

  • 15 Havelock Ellis was not sure about the coining of inversion, “I have not discovered when and where t (...)
  • 16 Jeffrey Weeks, op cit. p. 23.

13The widespread use of invert coincides with Havelock Ellis’s choice of it for the title of what became a key work on samesex sexuality, as from the late nineteenth century15. Also Richard von Krafft Ebing and Freud used the term. Some argue that the general use of invert implied a new cognitive landscape in which nature and natural laws were replaced by concepts of pathology. For instance Jeffrey Weeks, heavily influenced by Michel Foucault’s Histoire de la Sexualité, claims how “The identity that was emerging... was defined in terms of new sanctions: of madness, moral insanity, sickness and disease.”16 An integral feature of the cognitive construct of inversion was that same-sex sexuality was morbid. A clear example in literature of an invert framed by the author’s notion of pathology and morbidity is Stephen in Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness.

  • 17 Dr. Moreau, Les Aberrations du sens génésique, Paris, 1887.

14But for something to be inverted there must be a right way up; sexual inversion implies upside-downness of the sexual order. Also the authority to whom the order is attributed is set outside human reach. Indeed the universe maintaining construct of sexual inversion is articulated on the same assumptions as natural and unnatural. This is also true of Dr Moreau’s term «Aberration du sens génésique»17. ‘Génésique’ from genesis, means that creation and sexuality have a cosmic purpose, departure from which is rated aberrant. The shared outlook of “aberration”, contrary sexual feeling, and inversion indicates cognitive constructs which hinge on a preordained world order of right and wrong.

  • 18 As Rochelle Lieber notes, “... it appears that the main negative affixes of English - in-, un-, non (...)

15Another deprecatory neologism for male - male intimacy was the legal term, ‘gross indecency’, coined by the drafters of the 1885 Labouchere Amendment - of which Oscar Wilde was the most famous victim. Indecency shares a common point with inversion - they are both negations18. Indecency is the antonym of decency and invert of vert, which means to turn in a particular direction. They are negations of what is deemed a rightful order; they represent disorder and contrariness.

16The main difference between terms such as sodomite and invert is that the dimension of otherness has changed from elsewhereness to elsewhitherness. It is perhaps no coincidence that as the horizons of colonialism remapped elsewhereness, the otherness of certain sexual expressions shifted from being associated with foreign territories to become associated with contrary directional flows and became located in a cognitive geography of regulatory space.

17The change in the location of same sex sexuality from elsewhere to elsewhither is one of trajectory; yet in both cases it is made abject, or to repeat Butler, “discharged as excrement, literally rendered ‘Other’.” (p. 169). But what about the individuals whose sexuality has been made “Other”?

3) SOMETHING SEXUAL TO DECLARE

  • 19 Homosexual was coined in the same year as contrary sexual feeling. Havelock outlines the event as f (...)
  • 20 Coined by Ulrichs; and as Jeffrey Weeks notes, “Many of the early pioneers of these views were them (...)
  • 21 Plato, The Symposium, p. 45. The entry for «Uranian, Urning» in Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myt (...)
  • 22 Whilst Havelock Ellis was not himself homosexual, his wife was lesbian.

18Activists of same-sex sexuality have also created terms. In 1869 homosexual was coined19. It entered several languages, which suggests success in replacing the pre-Victorian terms. Another example of minority promotion was uranian or urning20 rooted in literature and legend. In Plato’s Symposium comparison is made between the two Aphrodites “One is the elder and is the daughter of Uranus and had no mother; her we call Heavenly Aphrodite.” The other is Common Aphrodite21 . Gide gave the term pride of place in Corydon by using it in the opening sentence, «L’an 190 [sic] un scandaleux procès remit sur le tapis une fois encore l’irritante question de l’uranisme» (p. 15). However urning has not enjoyed the popularity of the more prosaic homosexual, which suggests the demise of legend to appeal generally - as well as a desire for more functional neologisms. Similarly the decline of legend to appeal would explain why eonism, the neologism coined by Havelock Ellis after the illustrious Chevalier d’Eon to refer to cross-dressing, has been surpassed by the more prosaic word, transvestite22.

  • 23 He felt homogenic was etymologically sound because both roots were Greek (unlike homosexual). He wr (...)
  • 24 Carpenter writes for instance «The records of chivalric love, the feats of enamored knights for the (...)
  • 25 A point made by Corydon’s opponent when he tackles Corydon with the following jibe, «Vais-je appren (...)
  • 26 Edward Carpenter, op. cit., p. 13.

19Edward Carpenter who in 1895 chose homogenic to title his essay on same-sex sexuality (Homogenic Love and its Place in a Free Society)23, praised the heritage of Ancient Greek societies24, otherwise considered as being degraded by their sexual practices25. Carpenter concludes at one point, “... the whole literature and life of the greatest people of antiquity – the Greeks of the Periclean age – was saturated with the passion of homogenic or comrade-love.”26 The example shows how the minority retaliated by proudly brandishing the foreignness it was discredited with. It was part of the struggle for a positive identity - along with the shedding of terms used for centuries for legal interdiction or socio-moral condemnation.

  • 27 William B. Turner, op. cit., p. 139.

20But the search for other terms continued into the 20th century. Gay was a move for a positive identity and expressed a wish to counteract the stigma of pathology and morbidity inherent in several Victorian theories and neologisms concerning same-sex sexuality, not least the terms inversion, but also homosexual. Or to quote Edmund White in his recent autobiography My Lives, “Now I wanted to be a happy gay rather than a rehabilitated homosexual.” (p. 25) Then almost as if in reaction to gay, queer was requisitioned. We would argue that the choice of queer is similar to the lauding of Ancient Greek societies otherwise considered decadent. In the words of William Turner it illustrates “the characteristically queer practice of appropriating pejorative terms for affirmative use.”27 We should bear in mind the use of queer as an insult – so clearly epitomised by the term ‘queer bashing’. In the case of the adoption of queer by the minority the sport involved in word games includes cocking a snook at heteronormativity by assuming a denigration with pride and thereby neutralizing the insult.

  • 28 David Halperin, Saint Foucault Towards a Gay Hagiography, New York, 1995, p. 62.
  • 29 Edward Carpenter, op. cit. p. 24.
  • 30 Quoted in Famous Trials 7 Oscar Wilde, by H. Montgomery Hyde, Middlesex, 1962, p. 203. The press re (...)
  • 31 Judith Halberstam, op. cil, p. 11.
  • 32 Judith Halberstam, op. cit. p. 13.
  • 33 C. T. ONIONS in the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology suggests «First recorded from Dunbar and (...)
  • 34 According to WilliamTurner «Teresa de Lauretis (who) first used the term ‘queer’ in 1991 to describ (...)
  • 35 Anne Lister wrote, 19 March 1825, «A strong excitement last night... In getting out of bed, she sud (...)

21As David Halperin in Saint Foucault says “Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant.”28 And in fact queer has been adopted by other groups, for instance opponents of economic liberalism, which reminds us of early campaigners for same-sex rights such as Edward Carpenter, who at the end of the nineteenth century advocated comrade love and socialism. For instance Carpenter noted how cross-class bonds, “draw members of the different classes together, and (as it often seems to do) none the less strongly because they are members of different classes.”29 His views stirred the same sort of anxiety as Wilde’s relations with working-class prostitutes. Such anxiety is illustrated by the following question put to Wilde by the prosecution during (in this case), the second trial, and “these youths were much inferior to you in station?”30 Questions of social disorder implicit in this remark ran through the three Wilde trials. Since then economic dimensions have changed slightly, and to quote Halberstam, “space has flattened out in the face of creeping globalization”31 but the combinations of socio-economic and sexual unorthodoxy are deemed as disruptive now as in the 19th century, and prompt the same social anxiety as before. Halberstam in 2005 commenting on the murder of the female husband Brandon Teena writes of “a wholly provincial and absolutely small-town terror of cross-class contact”32. The choice of queer is understandable, given that one of its meanings is “to put out of order”. The etymology is old Scottish, possibly the same as oblique, or slanted33. So by not following regular uprightness queer shares with inversion the notion of deviance from a rightful course. The first uses of queer to refer to same sex sexuality have yet to be agreed on. It could be the 1990s34. But it is used in a suggestive way in the diaries of Anne Lister (1791-1840)35. Finally we can note that the postmodern recycling of gay and queer involves demotic words which connote states of being or experience; one sense of queer meaning, to feel out of sorts, and in the case of gay, to feel happy. Both words through their latent meanings hint at states of experience and differ from the neologisms of the nineteenth century coined as classificatory categories (e. g. homosexual or homogenic). Such neologising sidestepped emotional or biographical diversity, producing terms without invoking human experience or legend and they therefore seem uninhabited. The two recycled twentieth century words are suggestive of lived in identities through their associations with feeling and experience, and as such are reminiscent of terms based on the lives and experiences of legendary characters, such as the words Amazon or Ganymede.

CONCLUSIONS

22Our analysis of terminology for same-sex sexuality has revealed that it was made “Other” and abject by equating it with foreignness, and later with contrariness - as the terms sodomite and invert illustrate. Also heteronormativity has reinforced the norm differentiating authorised sexuality and the “Other” forms by conflating sexuality and gender to create cognitive blocks, as hermaphrodite and Amazon indicate. A further feature of social control was to represent the combination of unorthodox sexuality and mixing of social classes as particularly threatening to society.

23The minority concerned has retaliated by for instance praising the qualities of those foreigners with which they were equated, or by assertively reclaiming old terms, for instance Natalie Clifford Barney and the word Amazon. In the nineteenth century the minority also coined words, e. g. homogenic, or homosexual whose main advantage was a break with the past - for such appellations sound like items for classificatory catalogues.

  • 36 David Halperin, op. cit. p. 62.

24More recently the promotion of the word queer by the minority defuses heteronormativity’s strategy to make same-sex sexuality abject (or to repeat Butler “shit”) by brandishing affirmatively a negatively charged word. Queer, to quote David Halperin, “acquires its meaning from its oppositional relation to the norm.”36

25We hope this brief historical analysis of standard terms for same-sex sexuality, has queried and explored the dynamic social process of changing no(wo)menclature by outlining some significant terminological moves to shift the norm.

Bibliographie

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

BARD Christine, Les Garçonnes: modes et fantasmes des Années folles, Paris, Flammarion, 1998

BUTLER Judith, Gender Trouble, New York and London, Routledge, 1999

CARPENTER Edward, Homogenic Love and its place in a free Society, Manchester, The Labour Press Society, 1895. Published by Redundancy Press, London, undated

CONNER Randy, SPARKS David and Mariya SPARKS, Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit, London and New York Cassell, 1997

DOWNING Christine, Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, New York, Continuum, 1990

ELLIS Havelock, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, 1897, Philadelphia, F. A. Davis & Co., 1919

FOUCAULT Michel, La Volonté de Savoir, Paris, Gallimard, 1976

GIDE André, Corydon, 1911 Paris, Editions Gallimard, 1925

HALBERSTAM Judith, In a Queer Time & Place, New York and London, New York University Press, 2005

HALL Radclyffe, The Well of Loneliness, 1928, London, Virago 1982

HALPERIN David, Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995

HYDE Montgomery H., Famous Trials 7 Oscar Wilde, 1948, Middlesex, Penguin Books, Ltd., 1962

KNOPP Lawrence, Sexuality and Urban Space a Framework for Analysis in Mapping Desire, ed. bell David and valentine Gill, London and New York, Routledge 1995, pp. 149-164

LIEBER Rochelle, Morphology and Lexical Semantics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004

LISTER Anne, I Know My Own Heart, The Diaries of Anne Lister 1791-1840, ed. Helena Whitbread, London, Virago, 1988

LISTER Anne, No Priest But Love: The Journals of Anne Lister from 1824-1826, ed. Helena WHITBREAD, New York, New York UP, 1992

LYOTARD Jean-François, La Condition postmoderne, Paris, Les Editions de Minuit, 1979

MOREAU Paul (de Tours), Les Aberrations du sens génésique, Paris, 1887

PLATO, The Symposium, Middlesex, Penguin, 1951

RAFFALOVICH Marc-André, Uranisme et unisexualité. Etudes sur différentes manifestations de l’instinct sexuel, Lyon, Paris, 1896

SARFATI Georges-Elia, Discours ordinaires et identités juives: la représentation des Juifs et du judaisme dans les dictionnaires et les encyclopédies du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, Borg International, 1999

SYMONDS John Addington, A Problem in Greek Ethics Being an inquiry into the Phenomenon of Sexual Inversion, 1873, London, Areopagitiga Society, 1908

TURNER William, A Genealogy of Queer Theory, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2000

WHITE Edmund, My Lives, London, Bloomsbury, 2005

FILMOGRAPHY

PEIRCE Kimberley, Boys Don’t Cry, 1999.

Notes

1 Georges-Elie Sarfati in his analysis of dictionary entries for the word Jew sums up the alternative view as follows, «la vieille théorie du langage-reflet, simple miroir réfléchissant de la société...», Discours ordinaires et identités juives: la représentation des Juifs et du judaisme dans les dictionnaires et les encyclopédies du Moyen Age au Xxe siècle, Paris, 1999, p. 12.

2 Halberstam writes, «Brandon also serves as a marker for a particular set of late-twentieth century anxieties about place, space, locality and metropolitanism» In a Queer Time and Place, New York, 2005, p. 25. Similarly Lawrence Knopp in Sexuality and Urban Space a Framework for Analysis gives other examples of geography and sexuality prompting social anxiety, «Hence the portrayal of gentrified gay neighbourhoods, of other gay entertainment areas... as dangerous...» in Mapping Desire eds., Bell and Valentine, London, 1995, p. 149. The life and murder of Brandon Teena were also the subject of the feature film by Kimberley PEIRCE, Boys Don’t Cry, 1999.

3 Whilst we cannot devote any time to the debate on the first appearances in standard French and English dictionaries of sapphick to mean female - female intimacy, the word was used in this sense long before dictionaries included it in their entries.

4 Christine Bard in Les Garçonnes, Paris, Flammarion, 1998, includes a glossary and says of the conflation of hermaphrodite and same-sex sexuality, «utilisé parfois pour les homosexuels(le) s.» p. 143

5 Christine Bard explains, «Associé au début du XXe siècle à l’homosexualité revendiqué fièrement par Natalie Clifford Barney.» op. cit., p. 141.

6 Le Robert Dictionnaire Alphabétique et analogique de la langue française, vol. 1, Paris, 1977 explains, «de a, priv. et mazos; mamelle»

7 John Addington Symonds, A Problem in Greek Ethics, London 1908, p. 70. See also Zeus and Ganymede, Christine Downing, Myths and Mysteries of Same-sex Love, New York, 1990, p. 148-154

8 Judith Butler Gender Trouble, New York and London, 1999, p. 169-170.

9 As the authors of the encyclopedia of Queer Myth Symbol and Spirit note, «In the court of the homoerotically inclined French king HENRI III, his minions were frequently referred to as ‘ganymedes’. London and New York, 1993, p. 155.

10 Judith Butler, op. cit., p. 170

11 Judith Halberstam wrote about the female husband Brandon Teena, «Brandon’s body becomes the marker of a gender disorder that always resides elsewhere.» op. cit.., p. 71.

12 As Jean-François Lyotard points out about the satisfaction of creating, «Mais sans doute même ce plaisir n’est pas indépendant d’un sentiment de succès, arraché à un adversaire au moins, mais de taille, la langue établie, la connotation.» La Condition Postmoderne, Paris, 1979, p. 23.

13 Marc-André Raffalovich, Uranisme et Unisexualité, 1896 préface p. 11

14 As Jeffrey Weeks explains, in Coming Out Homosexual Politics in Britain from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, London, 1977 (p. 27).

15 Havelock Ellis was not sure about the coining of inversion, “I have not discovered when and where the term ‘sexual inversion’ was first used.... So far as I am aware, ‘sexual inversion’ was first used in English, as the best term, by J. A. Symonds in 1883 in his privately printed essay, A Problem in Greek Ethics...” (p. 3) However, as he pointed out it crossed European language frontiers rapidly, “‘Sexual Inversion’ (in French ‘inversion sexuelle,’ and in Italian ‘inversione sessuale) is the term which has from the first been chiefly used in France and Italy, ever since Charcot and Magnan, in 1882,…”, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Vol 2, p. 3

16 Jeffrey Weeks, op cit. p. 23.

17 Dr. Moreau, Les Aberrations du sens génésique, Paris, 1887.

18 As Rochelle Lieber notes, “... it appears that the main negative affixes of English - in-, un-, non-, and dis-, can often express a whole range of privative, negative (both contrary and contradictory), and for that matter reversative meanings.”, Morphology and Lexical Semantics, Cambridge, 2004, p. 113.

19 Homosexual was coined in the same year as contrary sexual feeling. Havelock outlines the event as follows “This was devised (by a little-known Hungarian doctor, Benkert, who used the pseudonym Kartbeny) in the same year (1869)...” op. cit., p. 2

20 Coined by Ulrichs; and as Jeffrey Weeks notes, “Many of the early pioneers of these views were themselves homosexual. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a German lawyer and writer, and himself homosexual...., op cit., p. 26

21 Plato, The Symposium, p. 45. The entry for «Uranian, Urning» in Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit edited by Randy P. Conner supplies the following explanation, “the Symposium of Plato wherein the goddess Aphrodite Urania is proclaimed the patron of same-sex love” p. 334

22 Whilst Havelock Ellis was not himself homosexual, his wife was lesbian.

23 He felt homogenic was etymologically sound because both roots were Greek (unlike homosexual). He wrote, «‘Homosexual’, generally used in scientific works, is of course a bastard word. ‘Homogenic’ has been suggested, as being from two roots, both Greek, i. e. homos ‘same’ and genos ‘sex’.» Homogenic Love, p. 4.

24 Carpenter writes for instance «The records of chivalric love, the feats of enamored knights for their ladies’ sakes... are easily paralleled, if not surpassed, by the stories of the Greek comrades-in-arms...» Homogenic Love, op. cit., p. 4.

25 A point made by Corydon’s opponent when he tackles Corydon with the following jibe, «Vais-je apprendre de vous l’étendue des ravages de la pédérastie en Grèce?» Corydon, p. 99.

26 Edward Carpenter, op. cit., p. 13.

27 William B. Turner, op. cit., p. 139.

28 David Halperin, Saint Foucault Towards a Gay Hagiography, New York, 1995, p. 62.

29 Edward Carpenter, op. cit. p. 24.

30 Quoted in Famous Trials 7 Oscar Wilde, by H. Montgomery Hyde, Middlesex, 1962, p. 203. The press reflected the prosecution’s concern for Wilde’s disregard for social class. The People reported a question put to Wilde about paying for young men’s clothes, “You dressed him up, in fact, in order that he might look more like your equal?”, April 7, 1895, p. 9, cols. 3 and 4.

31 Judith Halberstam, op. cil, p. 11.

32 Judith Halberstam, op. cit. p. 13.

33 C. T. ONIONS in the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology suggests «First recorded from Dunbar and Gavin Douglas; identical in form with and perh. of the same origin as sl. Queer bad... poss. – G. quer cross, oblique, squint, perverse (MHG. twer; see Thwart).» p. 731. Gavin Douglas (1474?-1522) was a Scottish poet and bishop of Dunkeld.

34 According to WilliamTurner «Teresa de Lauretis (who) first used the term ‘queer’ in 1991 to describe her intellectual endeavours.» op. cit. p. 5.

35 Anne Lister wrote, 19 March 1825, «A strong excitement last night... In getting out of bed, she suddenly touching my queer, I started back.», No Priest but Love., New York, 1992, p. 85. Or again in I Know My own Heart about obtaining lotion for her V. D. (caught from her lover) she wrote, “.... my aunt asked so many questions she almost posed me. I said it was to soften my hands. I believe she suspects something for she said, ‘Well, you’re a queer one...”, London, 1988, p. 164.

36 David Halperin, op. cit. p. 62.

Auteur

Université Paris VII

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2008

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540