Queerness is not infectious

As a child there was a ritualised chant which used to wind its away around the playground – that someone had the “lurgy”. To be that someone was to be infected, and infectious, other, a source of contagion to be warned against.

Queer bodies are not infectious

As a teen iceburgs warned me, an embroynic and greatly confused queer, that the very bodies of those around me were a danger to be guarded against. Simply touching one would spread the deadly lurgy, and we would sink, beneath the waves without constant vigilance.

Queerness is not an infection

As an adult grown adults on twitter take up the lurgy chant. Apparently queerness is so infectious that a child seeing a non binary alien in a library reading programme will catch this deadly disease, it is the iceburg, the source of contagion which we must safeguard against at all costs.

Queerness is not a disease.

Despite the legal advances of the past twenty years many in the UK (and elsewhere) still hold to the medical model of pathologization of LGBTQ identities. To be queer is to have that lurgy so feared in childhood, a difference invisible, an otherness which makes the carrier a danger to all. Queerness is seen as a disease which might, if one is lucky invoke pity, but which can be passed on, simply by contact. Not just contact with the queer host, but anything they touch. In a biblical cleansing therefore even the ground they walk on, the books they appear in, the spaces they inhabit, must be salted and cleansed. It is the only way to prevent the vulnerable from catching the deadly sickness.

Queerness is not contagious.

No child becomes queer because they caught the queer bug, no adult becomes queer because they were infected by something, or someone they touched. Our bodies are sources of pain, and pride, and beauty, and ugliness, joy and sorrow. They are not the agent of infection because being queer is not a disease, or a disability, it is not something you can catch without constant vigilance. The framing of us as sites of infection is used to stir up old fears, red crosses marking our doors as a danger to all who cross our threshold.

Imagine being threatened by a childs mascot?

Imagine seeing other humans living their lives in the fullness of joy and sorrow as a threat?

Imagine believing one only has to come into contact with queerness to be infected?

Queerness is not contagious

Queerness is not a disease

Queerness is not an infection

Queer bodies are not infectious.

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