The Pink Line; The Book of Queer Prophets; United Queerdom – reviews

As we can’t gather this Pride month in person, one thing we might think on at home is the really important work done over the past decade to problematise, expand, redraw and recentre different identities and ideas of self underneath the umbrella of “queer”. Questions of what it means to be a trans person of colour, a gay cis male poet or a devoutly Catholic lesbian areall now recognised as unique, despite some commonality of struggle. Ten years ago it might have felt, in mainstream culture, that to escape the rigidity of heteronormativity was to step simply into another box; perhaps bigger, perhaps airier, in which one might feel slightly freer. Now we are coming to acknowledge, too slowly, a continuum, of which heterosexuality is just one small fingernail mark on the long measurement of how we might loveand who we might love. How best to cohere the spectrum so it fits within the confines of a book?  One of the many powerful moments occurs when Zaki, whom Gevisser meets in western Cairo, is speaking about a friend who wanted to come out on Facebook. There’s so much in Gevisser’s book: jumping across continents, through different progressive and regressive moral times, reminding us how rights so hard won swing back and are removed so easily with the heavy pendulum of law.