The ABC of Queer: W for Whitewash

Chalked lime, which is where whitewash comes from (and also the burning substance that Oscar Wilde writes so movingly of in The Ballad of Reading Goal) is a temperamental thing. Whitewash a thing in too little lime and the rot and decay starts showing very quickly. Whitewash a thing in too much lime and the lime eats into the thing it’s meant to preserve. In other words the lime and whitewash are metaphors for transparency, or lack thereof.

The post-modern period has only complicated this by splitting whitewashing into an increasing spectrum of stained-glass socio-political washed hues (blue washing, green washing, et cetera). It is often difficult to tell whether the concept of ‘washing’ itself in queer terms is anything other then a loaded gun (see LOADED GUN). With regards to Queer Theory certain hues/tones/perspectives are of more interest (see GAYWASHING, see PINKWASHING, see QUEERWASHING, see STRAIGHTWASHING)…

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