Queerness is an issue of language. In English battles are waged for the neutral third person pronoun, in French endings are gotten rid of, and in my native Russian endings are added. In Chinese the word “queer” means the same as “comrade”, and in Bengali there is only one, very technical word that means “homosexual”, It’s a messy, diverse journey, which, hopefully, someone will one day document in a work of non-fiction. (Maybe I should?)
Meanwhile, queer writers do the job of reinventing language to suit their needs every day. And some are better at it than others. Jos Charles, a transgender poet, makes the language trans. She takes the Middle English and our regular English for the binary, binds them together, and then creates something completely different and previously undiscovered. The result is daring, witty, funny, and absolutely splendid. Never before have I seen the decay of binaries, and biological presets engendered in language with such might.
feeld by Jos Charles
Published by Milkweed Editions in 2018