Hi! What do you think of when the Larries say that they aren't stereotyping Louis when they say he has a 'gay wrist', but that a limp wrist is 'queer coding' and that sort of thing? Is that a thing? And if so, where does one draw the line? I've seen them use that argument so often, but it always just seems like an excuse for them to rely on stereotypes to me because they really have little else to go on at the moment. Thanks! Xxx
Hello, anon. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond to your question, but I wanted to try to substantiate my response with some academically sound, non-fandom sources, and that… took a bit longer than I was anticipating. Before I go any further, I want to preface this whole post by saying that I use the word “queer” as an umbrella term that encompasses all LGBTQIAP+ people, and I have a zero-tolerance policy towards people policing my use of this word, so anyone who intends to send me messages or reblog my post just to snap at me for using “the Q slur” should maybe just… not do that. Anyway, moving right along.
Queer coding is absolutely a thing, but it is a term that applies to creative content, not to human beings. An actual living, breathing human does not “queer code” themselves, and any posts that are circulating on this site in which people attempt to argue that queer people use certain characteristics to identify themselves to each other in public (read: any posts in which people say that queer people can be identified on sight according to various homophobic stereotypes) are wildly inaccurate. Allow me to explain why!
If you throw “queer coding” into a search engine, many of your results will be posts like this one. Complete and utter randoms on tumblr, going off about queer coding or queer theory as it relates to their own fandom. And that’s great, freedom of speech, sharing information, etc., but it’s also not an academically reliable source for your information. I can tell you guys that I have my degree in English Literature (I do) and my minor in Gender Studies (also true), but unless I plan to post pictures of my degree and my student ID (I do not plan to do this at all), you guys have absolutely no way of verifying that I have any idea what I’m actually talking about.
So, instead of demanding that you just take my word for it, I would love to provide you guys with some links to outside sources for my definitions and examples of what queer coding actually means, outside of the smoking crater where the One Direction fandom used to be. I accessed a few of these sources through my university database, which means they can only be accessed with a student ID. In those cases, I will use direct quotations and provide the titles, authors, and publication years so that you can try to hunt the articles down yourselves.