Queer ecology is a bridge between ecological criticism and queer theory. The word ecology is derived from the Greek word oikos, which means ‘home’ or ‘surroundings’ and summed as the study of organisms relationship to each other and to their physical, environmental surroundings. The word queer is derived from the German word quer, which means ‘transverse’, ‘oblique’, ‘sideways’, or more understandably “a moment of unfamiliarity” or not at home. These two words based on those definitions seem like they would seldom correlate. However the fact of the matter is that we would normally want to separate the two based on our foundations in understanding nature, the human experience, environmentalism, and gender and sex. This is even more of an imperative reason as to why Queer ecology needs to exist. As Morton said, “Ecology is Queer Theory and Queer Theory is Queer Ecology.”
There is no one static definition on what it means for any organism, especially humans in all our complexities to be queer because we often categorize queer people as “other” when they probably should be integrated into our normative viewpoints. Queer is a product of various theories influenced by cultural pressures into the structures we create and it is an alternative.
“Ideas and practices of nature, including both bodies and landscapes, are located in particular productions of sexuality, and sex is, both historically and in the present, located in particular formations in nature. The critical analysis of these locations and co-productions is what we mean by “queer ecology…” (Mortimer-Sandilands, pg.4)
Queer ecology (and queer theory) challenges what sexualities we deem as “natural” or “normal” and our biology diverting from social, physical, and conceptual constructions. Queer ecology challenges the notion of fixed identities framed around our genders and sexes, orientations, and sexualities. It further challenges the binaries of homosexuality and heterosexuality through a sex and gender-based lens.
To be deviant means to depart from usual or accepted social and sexual standards. The word is derived from English and Latin, and means ‘to turn away’ or ‘to divert’. At one point in time the word was used offensively towards homosexual to essentially shun their sexuality and personhood has some unnatural, sexual misconduct, and queer. One can begin to see why queer and deviant might be used contextually to describe similarity. The problem with this is that misconstrues the notion the sexuality, gender, and sex is fluid– trying to define that as something “unnatural” when it is inherently natural.
“…These modes of bi-political knowledge to be logically separate and distinct, it remains the case that the historical origins of modern understandings of sex, sexuality, sexual identity, and sexual orientation are grounded in biological discourses that are heavily influenced by evolutionary thought, and conversely that evolutionary thought is supported by modern...