Episode 8 Transcript

Billie Grace  0:00  
Hello,

zoe glen  0:00  
hi. Welcome back. It's episode eight.

Billie Grace  0:06  
Yes.

zoe glen  0:07  
Of The Not-God Pod.

Billie Grace  0:10  
Yeah.

zoe glen  0:11  
Today we are bringing you the much anticipated queer things:Part two, 

Billie Grace  0:16  
yay.

zoe glen  0:21  
Prepare for chaos.

Billie Grace  0:24  
If the first one taught you anything, it is that we have a lot of thoughts, but not many of them are entirely coherent on this subject.

zoe glen  0:35  
We're gonna try our best.

Billie Grace  0:37  
Yes.

zoe glen  0:41  
The reason for the return of the theme. Okay, two reasons. One is that we titled the first one part one, so therefore we kind of obliged ourselves to do a follow up. But Reason two, is that next month, we have an actual live performance at Theatre in the pound scratch night as part of the Voila Europe festival week. So we will be performing a short Work in Progress version of how do you talk about a manless woman?, which is a queer themed piece. So we thought we resurrect the subject in honour of that work.

Billie Grace  1:29  
Yes, totally not literally just to try and plug this thing that's like short 15 minute Work in Progress performance, but we would love it if you guys would come to because we would love your feedback.

zoe glen  1:40  
If you're in London, only one pound. They'll also be other cool shows on on the night. Yeah.

Billie Grace  1:45  
Yeah, we'll tell you all the details at the end. And it will be like written in the description. Yes. It's all over social media already. So...come...but anyway.

zoe glen  1:59  
Hence the topic.. and as how do you talk about a manless woman is a queer reading of a romance novel of primarily Elena Ferrante's the days of abandonment, we thought that we would talk about queer readings, queering, all of that good stuff today and kind of in relation specifically to that project, and also, in general, and kind of going in how that manifests in our practice. A little bit about the kind of academic literature surrounding it. All those good things.

Billie Grace  2:42  
Yeah, yes. um.. so yeah, I mean, it is a queer reading of technically this book, not entirely sure how accurately it will keep to this story, just to anybody who might actually want to come to see it.

zoe glen  2:59  
It's a queer reading of tropes found within that book. 

Billie Grace  3:04  
Yes, yes. It's a clear reading of I've read this book, thought it was amazing, and then realised that the characters existed over all of literature. Yeah, yes. Do you want to tell us perhaps what queering or what a queer reading is? Is it the same thing?

zoe glen  3:26  
Yes. Okay. So, we're going to begin the podcast with a definition because we also didn't actually necessarily know the specifics, so our good friend Wikipedia has provided. So queering is the verb form of the word queer and comes from the shortened version of the phrase queer reading. It is a technique that came out of queer theory in the late 1980s through the 1990s, and is used as a way to challenge heteronormativity by analysing places in a text that use heterosexuality or identity boundaries. queering is a method that can be applied to literature, as well as film to look for places where things such as gender, sexuality, masculinity, and femininity can be challenged and questioned. Originally, the method of queering dealt more strictly with gender and sexuality, but quickly expanded to become more of an umbrella term for addressing identity as well as a range of systems of oppression and identity politics. Even the term queer itself can be queered because much of queer theory involves working to fight against normalisation even in the field itself. In the context of queer theory, queering is something we do rather than something we are or are not. Wikipedia. 2021.

Billie Grace  4:42  
Yeah. Do we want to talk a little bit about that last sentence of the queer theory say that it is something we do, rather than are or aren't?

zoe glen  4:57  
Yes, so we thought this was very interesting. Because, yes, in the instance of this project, we are doing a queer reading very much, intentionally. And we're kind of Yeah, like it says in this definition, like analysing places in a text that use heterosexuality, like comp-het that kind of a thing. So for example, in this text, it's very like, even though the male character is not really in the

Billie Grace  5:36  
Yeah, Bernie has like maybe five lines of dialogue

zoe glen  5:39  
Yeah. Like he shows up occasionally to say hi to his kids. He's very much like the centrepiece of it. So that's kind of a thing that we're analysing is this idea that the women's narrative can't exist without this man as the centrepiece even though his presence is not actually....

Billie Grace  6:01  
...there...the book is about him. Yet, he is not there.

zoe glen  6:04  
Yeah, exactly. And there's lots of ideas of like, ageing, and expectations of femininity and those sorts of things in it, that, yeah, we're kind of intentionally analysing from a queer perspective and queering as something we do. But then, we also based off this little, quote, kind of thought that there's other instances in other bits of our work where we are like doing queering as a result of being queer.

Billie Grace  6:44  
Yes, so by circumstance,

zoe glen  6:47  
yeah. Just by like the way we interact with source material with themes with bringing ourselves into a room or onto a project. Yeah, even this, the project itself is not about queerness, which honestly, it's kind of quite spectacular that we've got this far in, and this is the first thing we're doing where we're like, this is the main thing.

Billie Grace  7:15  
This is true. Yeah. We've we've had a few other projects in the past. I mean, look, witchiness I feel like it's also kind of queer.

zoe glen  7:25  
It's definitely a part of queer culture. 

Billie Grace  7:28  
Yeah, I don't think I know a single straight witch.

zoe glen  7:32  
yeah, it's very much a Yeah, a part of queer culture. And there is a big intersection there. And yeah, even there, it's like, we bring our perspective as queer people and of that bit of queer culture, especially the kind of millennial Gen Z, queer culture into our work on, like, looking at themes of spirituality. So by there, it's like we are doing queering within that work 

Billie Grace  8:04  
Yeah, 100%

zoe glen  8:05  
Even if it's not a queer reading, yeah, you know,

Billie Grace  8:10  
even if its not intentional it's just...because we are queer.

zoe glen  8:14  
so it's like, we  showed up, we had some thoughts. Oh, whoops 

Billie Grace  8:20  
Now it's queer. oh, do, oh, do we want to just like give an umbrella term of what queer is as an umbrella term?

zoe glen  8:30  
Yeah, go for it.

Billie Grace  8:31  
Is that useful? So I mean, queer originated as a derogatory term back in, I want to say like the 80s 90s. A while ago, maybe a while ago, a while ago, for essentially non straight people. So it was very much to do with being a member of LGBTQ A plus etc. Community,

zoe glen  8:53  
also to clarify here and that we have a tendency to use straight as meaning...cishet, and not straight as meaning....Everyone else.

Billie Grace  9:03  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. We, when we say straight, we mean, cishet. Yeah, but yeah, and queer has since been reclaimed. And is now used as an umbrella term to mean, anybody who isn't cishet essentially. And cishet means heterosexual and cisgender. And cisgender means not transgender? I think, I think that should cover Yeah, all of all of that terminology. So I, for example, call myself queer, and not lesbian, or bi or anything else, just because it's a nice umbrella term. That includes both my sexuality and gender. And that is my personal relationship with the word said, and I think you have your own personal relationship with the word.

zoe glen  9:55  
Yeah. And I think it's also worth bearing in mind like lots of people will say I identify as a lesbian but identify as being part of the queer community

Billie Grace  10:03  
Community. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Because the queer community is essentially what what we are now calling the LGBT community. Yeah, LGBTQIA plus, basically, because there are so many letters being added, I think, as a community, we just went, let's go with queer.

zoe glen  10:23  
It also kind of allows people to, like not have to pick, like one or more specific letters, if like, that doesn't feel right to them, or they're unsure or like, figuring things out. It's like, you know, kind of a nice option to have there. But yes, that is what we mean by queer.

Billie Grace  10:50  
Yes, yes. And so that is the perspective that we are coming from also looking at queer theory, which then diverges quite a bit from that basic identity of sexuality or gender.

zoe glen  11:06  
Yeah. So am I about to go into theory? Yes, I guess I am. Yeah, so we were kind of talking about this distinction of like, queer theory is rooted in this in like Gender and Sexuality Studies. But then kind of takes disaggregates itself applies itself to other contexts, become something that isn't necessarily directly related to that and whether or not we kind of think that's okay, if that's something we agree with. And we were talking about, there's a theory by Sara Ahmed, which is titled queer phenomenology, which is a personal favourite academic theory, which I am now going to try to explain to you. And basically, she takes ideas from phenomenology that basically like the world appears to us and that reality as it presents itself to us is a continually extending straight line. And that the more cultural norms are upheld, the more they are visible to us. She basically says what is straight is what is in view, what is on the line is what we see. And then what is off the line is, what is queer and what is relegated to the background. So then, as she goes on to talk about the intersection of sexuality and race, and she talks about diversity and inclusion in institutions, and kind of about how inclusion and attending to intersectionality, and those sorts of things is bringing the background or what is queer, what is off the line, what is not considered the cultural norm into view, so like a conscious undoing of the like, I've forgotten the like, big term, but where it's like the like white cis-het, patriarchal, societal default, basically, you're talking about a conscious undoing that in the context of queering, which is related to gender and sexuality and her gender and sexuality, but is not exclusive to that context. And then we were kind of, I guess, paralleling this with our own practice in which there is a lot of conscious acts of undoing the norm, which is what we're trying to do with like, NGC hub and directory and with the way that we practice when we're in a room together also, we're trying to do acts of consciously undoing the norm, which is, by definition and in line with that theory and in line with a lot of queer theory, queering. Yes. Even though some of it centres on themes of gender, sexuality, some of it doesn't at all, sometimes it's there, incidentally. Yeah. So then the thing is, basically, is it right to disaggregate that? Yes. And we were kind of like, is it like fine for an academic like Ahmed, who identifies as queer to take queer theory and apply it to subverting other things within institutions? And that'd be queering? Yes, that feels fine. Is it fine for us as a queer led company to have these act of consciously undoing the norm and consider that queering.... Yeah, we think so. Yes,

Billie Grace  14:55  
we think so. We think so. Because we are queer And so anything that we do, I think is inherently queer.

zoe glen  15:05  
Yeah, but then it's like, if somebody who didn't hold that identity was doing technically the same thing of this subversion of the norm of this, like bringing interview of like, what is off the line and is labelled queer in Ahmed's theory or highlighting moments in something where there is comphet kind of narratives or chrononormativity? Or those sorts of things who didn't have that identity.... would that be queering?

Billie Grace  15:40  
Lots of people appear to think it is. And lots of queer theory seems to validate that.

zoe glen  15:50  
Yeah, cuz if we go back to this quote that we kind of centred on at the start, we've got this queering is something we do rather than something we are or are not. But it's like, can you do queering if you are not queer? Yeah, is the question. Like, is like personal identity inherent to that as a process? Or not? We we don't have the answers. I'm not sure academia has the answers.

Billie Grace  16:25  
No, I think academia has gotten a little bit ahead of itself with this whole thing.

zoe glen  16:31  
There is a lot of writing about what is quite a simple concept.

Billie Grace  16:34  
Yeah. To me, it's slightly feels like we might want a different word. Yeah, basically, to almost mean the same thing, but to still give space to, like the queer community as in the LGBTQI plus community to call ourselves queer, because because in a in a kind of twisted way, like our community has done the work of reclaiming that word of making it a non derogatory term. And while I understand the appeal of calling anything that does not fit in with hetero normativity, and chrononormativity queer because it does not fit in with this line going into space, is that is that the theory?

zoe glen  17:31  
Yeah basically

Billie Grace  17:36  
Like I understand the appeal of wanting to use a word that was used in a derogatory term, and that has that history. It feels at the same time maybe like taking away from the community, which has fought for it, and which has kind of done that initial work of reclaiming it.

zoe glen  17:56  
It's also it's also like, and I might be off the mark here. And if I am, we can edit this up. I think I'm also losing my voice this going really well. No, it's okay. I think that to do the act of queering something for lack of a Yeah, like you said, there is no other term, yeah. Or do like highlighting or subverting of moments where the like, kind of cis-het-norm is being upheld, as if you are doing that, as somebody who is not queer, what you are doing is Ally ship to the queer community. Right. 

Billie Grace  18:46  
Right. 

zoe glen  18:48  
Which is fine. Great, cool. Thanks. But I think we see this in kind of lots of activism surrounding marginalised groups being an ally is not the same thing as being part of that group.

Billie Grace  19:05  
Yes, essentially, and I think this is essentially where I find issue with this theory or this way of relating to the theory. Yeah, it just feels a little bit like taking away space and taking away voices from you can't say taking away voices like but like silencing actual queer voices. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Because yeah, it's all well and good for, I don't know, I was about to say, Slavitza from Zagreb but nobody other than like the two listeners from Zagreb will understand..

zoe glen  19:51  
We see you two listeners from Zagreb!

Billie Grace  19:57  
it's all well and good for some random you You know, for a straight in relation mom off to, to say that she is queer because she stood up to her husband when he tried to push her into a heteronormative patriarchal situation. But is that what you're doing? Or is what you're doing? Feminism, maybe or something else that works together with queer theory with the queer struggle?

But yeah. I don't know.

zoe glen  20:30  
It's also a thing of like, I don't know, if you are, like, cishet you can kind of, I guess, pick and choose a bit more when to be aware of Yeah, things, you know.

Billie Grace  20:47  
Yeah, exactly.

zoe glen  20:49  
Whereas being like, Oh, I think this is important, or like, I understand this as an issue. And therefore, I'm going to choose to say something to support this or do something to support this. Great, cool, thanks again. But like, it is different to existing in a way where like, by virtue of just existing as yourself, you are challenging things, you know?

Billie Grace  21:14  
Exactly. Because then going back to like what we were saying earlier in that every single thing that we do, no matter what the actual context of it is, we are queering the thing just by being there, so just by us being queer running directory, directory, could be read as like a queering of, I don't know, spotlight, you know, like, yeah, if we want to put it in terms like that every single thing that we do every single application that we do every single conversation we have,

zoe glen  21:47  
it's like in there. Yeah, it's queer

Billie Grace  21:49  
it just because we are queer. And we did not get to choose to not do that. Yeah, and which is, I think, where the issue

zoe glen  21:59  
to go back to the like, it's something we do rather than something we are, it's like, it's something we do as a result of who we are, yes, through our lived experience as who we are. And I think that kind of has to be like, if we were going to redefine it, maybe will become like academics, like publishing papers in our resource space, but like, if we were going to redefine it. I think it would be like, yes, it is a conscious, not conscious, it's an act of doing, but it can be both conscious and unconscious, and it is something that we cannot help but do as a result of who we are. 

Billie Grace  22:51  
Yeah. Yeah.

zoe glen  22:53  
And therefore, while we are absolutely not saying that there is isn't space for that people who don't identify as queer to like, do acts of subverting this cultural norm be that in, in general, or specifically cultural norms to do with gender and sexuality. The disaggregation of the term from the lived experience that has happened in some bits of academia feels odd. And I think our conclusion is that there should be some other term for that kind of ally ship equivalent of Acts. Yeah, like ally ship act of queering, in quotation marks, because the lived experience of queerness is essential to acts of queering.

Billie Grace  23:44  
Yes, I agree. I wonder if those words do actually already exist. 

zoe glen  23:49  
Oh probably...we based this off our previous knowledge and a quote off Wikipedia

Billie Grace  23:54  
but I'm also like, I'm fully wondering, like, are those words literally just subversion? subverting the patriarchy feminism? Like, is that what it is? Because that's what it is. Which this and those are all great things. Absolutely. But, you know,

zoe glen  24:11  
that's, these are our thoughts on queer readings. Who has who gets to this? Do what?....Academia, bits of theory that we know. We promised you chaos we delivered...

Billie Grace  24:27  
Yeah, yeah. This was set as a let's talk about the show that we are making. To be perfectly honest with you, these are probably the most coherent thoughts that we have about the show. Yeah. This is what the show is about, kind of, I guess, um,

zoe glen  24:48  
because I think it's interesting also, to kind of go back back to where we started with the that we're doing a queer reading of this source text is that the character and Why we're doing a queer reading of it is not queer like she's like a cishet woman has been married with kids. Yeah. But yes. It's like, the way it's written, you really feel for her as a character. And it's like, we're like, oh, she could really benefit from some, like, you know, like a, from some queer theory from some, like, Have you considered that like, this is not the only way to live life or like be a woman or

Billie Grace  25:35  
essentially, the book itself deals with that. And like the book, it's like, you see the character of Oh, my God, is she called Olga?

zoe glen  25:45  
yeah she, I think she is, you see her suffer at the hands of like heteronormativity.

Billie Grace  25:53  
And you see her, like, acknowledge that that's what's happening. Yeah, you do not however, see.

zoe glen  25:59  
A, an alternative be presented to her?

Billie Grace  26:02  
Yeah, you see her just be upset about it? Which like, I understand also, I mean, I love you know, if we didn't like the book, we wouldn't Yeah. So I'm just like, I'm very interested in that. And I think Olga is a wonderful character, but I guess maybe we're gonna have to have conversations also about how much? To what extent do we queer this character? while still keeping the integrity of the trope that we are trying to?

zoe glen  26:36  
Yeah, and how much do we place What is presented in the source alongside other things? You know?

Billie Grace  26:46  
And how queer can it go while still being about a straight marriage?

zoe glen  26:54  
Yeah, that's gonna be the experiment.

Billie Grace  27:00  
Come see our show if you want the answer to that one.

zoe glen  27:02  
Maybe we'll maybe we'll make queer things. Part three at some point about the process of actually doing the thing because at the moment, we're very much like in the in the thinking stage. But yeah, comes come and see us. It is November 15. At the cockpit, it's a theatre in the pound at the cockpit. The voila special edition.

Billie Grace  27:29  
I think so. 

zoe glen  27:32  
yeah, there's loads of marketing on our social media. There's also a link to tickets in the link tree and you can find in all of our buyers, etc. If you're a London based, we'd love to have you there. While we've got you here, you should follow us on social media. We are absolutely at the not God Complex on Instagram and Facebook, we are at not God Complex on Twitter. You can also find us at our website, which is not good complex.com Or you can email us which is thenotgodcomplex@outlook.com. I think that's the whole spiel. We'd love to hear from you. We're always on the lookout for podcast guests. Podcasts suggestions. Um, yeah, we hope you enjoyed this, we hope it was as coherent as queer chaos can be. Yeah. And we will speak to you next month for episode nine, by which point, well... by the time you here it we'll have made and performed the first iteration of this thing. Yeah, um, yeah, we dont know when we're gonna record it. So

Billie Grace  28:43  
if you like, we'd love to have people come to that show. Tell us what they thought of the show. And then if you've listened to this episode, and thought about what queering is, I personally would love to have in person discussions with people about queering and whatever we end up making. Yes, your thoughts.

zoe glen  29:07  
There's also a so basically, that there will be a short performance and then like a q&a situation, I believe. So come talk to us ask us questions. We're always up for a chat up for some slightly convoluted but important thinking.

Billie Grace  29:23  
Yeah. I'm fully more nervous about the q&a than the show. 

zoe glen  29:26  
I think it'll be fine. We're gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay. Cool. Thank you for listening. Yeah. And we will speak to you next month. Yeah. Bye

Billie Grace  29:41  
bye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai
 

Billie Grace  0:00  
Hello,

zoe glen  0:00  
hi. Welcome back. It's episode eight.

Billie Grace  0:06  
Yes.

zoe glen  0:07  
Of The Not-God Pod.

Billie Grace  0:10  
Yeah.

zoe glen  0:11  
Today we are bringing you the much anticipated queer things:Part two, 

Billie Grace  0:16  
yay.

zoe glen  0:21  
Prepare for chaos.

Billie Grace  0:24  
If the first one taught you anything, it is that we have a lot of thoughts, but not many of them are entirely coherent on this subject.

zoe glen  0:35  
We're gonna try our best.

Billie Grace  0:37  
Yes.

zoe glen  0:41  
The reason for the return of the theme. Okay, two reasons. One is that we titled the first one part one, so therefore we kind of obliged ourselves to do a follow up. But Reason two, is that next month, we have an actual live performance at Theatre in the pound scratch night as part of the Voila Europe festival week. So we will be performing a short Work in Progress version of how do you talk about a manless woman?, which is a queer themed piece. So we thought we resurrect the subject in honour of that work.

Billie Grace  1:29  
Yes, totally not literally just to try and plug this thing that's like short 15 minute Work in Progress performance, but we would love it if you guys would come to because we would love your feedback.

zoe glen  1:40  
If you're in London, only one pound. They'll also be other cool shows on on the night. Yeah.

Billie Grace  1:45  
Yeah, we'll tell you all the details at the end. And it will be like written in the description. Yes. It's all over social media already. So...come...but anyway.

zoe glen  1:59  
Hence the topic.. and as how do you talk about a manless woman is a queer reading of a romance novel of primarily Elena Ferrante's the days of abandonment, we thought that we would talk about queer readings, queering, all of that good stuff today and kind of in relation specifically to that project, and also, in general, and kind of going in how that manifests in our practice. A little bit about the kind of academic literature surrounding it. All those good things.

Billie Grace  2:42  
Yeah, yes. um.. so yeah, I mean, it is a queer reading of technically this book, not entirely sure how accurately it will keep to this story, just to anybody who might actually want to come to see it.

zoe glen  2:59  
It's a queer reading of tropes found within that book. 

Billie Grace  3:04  
Yes, yes. It's a clear reading of I've read this book, thought it was amazing, and then realised that the characters existed over all of literature. Yeah, yes. Do you want to tell us perhaps what queering or what a queer reading is? Is it the same thing?

zoe glen  3:26  
Yes. Okay. So, we're going to begin the podcast with a definition because we also didn't actually necessarily know the specifics, so our good friend Wikipedia has provided. So queering is the verb form of the word queer and comes from the shortened version of the phrase queer reading. It is a technique that came out of queer theory in the late 1980s through the 1990s, and is used as a way to challenge heteronormativity by analysing places in a text that use heterosexuality or identity boundaries. queering is a method that can be applied to literature, as well as film to look for places where things such as gender, sexuality, masculinity, and femininity can be challenged and questioned. Originally, the method of queering dealt more strictly with gender and sexuality, but quickly expanded to become more of an umbrella term for addressing identity as well as a range of systems of oppression and identity politics. Even the term queer itself can be queered because much of queer theory involves working to fight against normalisation even in the field itself. In the context of queer theory, queering is something we do rather than something we are or are not. Wikipedia. 2021.

Billie Grace  4:42  
Yeah. Do we want to talk a little bit about that last sentence of the queer theory say that it is something we do, rather than are or aren't?

zoe glen  4:57  
Yes, so we thought this was very interesting. Because, yes, in the instance of this project, we are doing a queer reading very much, intentionally. And we're kind of Yeah, like it says in this definition, like analysing places in a text that use heterosexuality, like comp-het that kind of a thing. So for example, in this text, it's very like, even though the male character is not really in the

Billie Grace  5:36  
Yeah, Bernie has like maybe five lines of dialogue

zoe glen  5:39  
Yeah. Like he shows up occasionally to say hi to his kids. He's very much like the centrepiece of it. So that's kind of a thing that we're analysing is this idea that the women's narrative can't exist without this man as the centrepiece even though his presence is not actually....

Billie Grace  6:01  
...there...the book is about him. Yet, he is not there.

zoe glen  6:04  
Yeah, exactly. And there's lots of ideas of like, ageing, and expectations of femininity and those sorts of things in it, that, yeah, we're kind of intentionally analysing from a queer perspective and queering as something we do. But then, we also based off this little, quote, kind of thought that there's other instances in other bits of our work where we are like doing queering as a result of being queer.

Billie Grace  6:44  
Yes, so by circumstance,

zoe glen  6:47  
yeah. Just by like the way we interact with source material with themes with bringing ourselves into a room or onto a project. Yeah, even this, the project itself is not about queerness, which honestly, it's kind of quite spectacular that we've got this far in, and this is the first thing we're doing where we're like, this is the main thing.

Billie Grace  7:15  
This is true. Yeah. We've we've had a few other projects in the past. I mean, look, witchiness I feel like it's also kind of queer.

zoe glen  7:25  
It's definitely a part of queer culture. 

Billie Grace  7:28  
Yeah, I don't think I know a single straight witch.

zoe glen  7:32  
yeah, it's very much a Yeah, a part of queer culture. And there is a big intersection there. And yeah, even there, it's like, we bring our perspective as queer people and of that bit of queer culture, especially the kind of millennial Gen Z, queer culture into our work on, like, looking at themes of spirituality. So by there, it's like we are doing queering within that work 

Billie Grace  8:04  
Yeah, 100%

zoe glen  8:05  
Even if it's not a queer reading, yeah, you know,

Billie Grace  8:10  
even if its not intentional it's just...because we are queer.

zoe glen  8:14  
so it's like, we  showed up, we had some thoughts. Oh, whoops 

Billie Grace  8:20  
Now it's queer. oh, do, oh, do we want to just like give an umbrella term of what queer is as an umbrella term?

zoe glen  8:30  
Yeah, go for it.

Billie Grace  8:31  
Is that useful? So I mean, queer originated as a derogatory term back in, I want to say like the 80s 90s. A while ago, maybe a while ago, a while ago, for essentially non straight people. So it was very much to do with being a member of LGBTQ A plus etc. Community,

zoe glen  8:53  
also to clarify here and that we have a tendency to use straight as meaning...cishet, and not straight as meaning....Everyone else.

Billie Grace  9:03  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. We, when we say straight, we mean, cishet. Yeah, but yeah, and queer has since been reclaimed. And is now used as an umbrella term to mean, anybody who isn't cishet essentially. And cishet means heterosexual and cisgender. And cisgender means not transgender? I think, I think that should cover Yeah, all of all of that terminology. So I, for example, call myself queer, and not lesbian, or bi or anything else, just because it's a nice umbrella term. That includes both my sexuality and gender. And that is my personal relationship with the word said, and I think you have your own personal relationship with the word.

zoe glen  9:55  
Yeah. And I think it's also worth bearing in mind like lots of people will say I identify as a lesbian but identify as being part of the queer community

Billie Grace  10:03  
Community. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Because the queer community is essentially what what we are now calling the LGBT community. Yeah, LGBTQIA plus, basically, because there are so many letters being added, I think, as a community, we just went, let's go with queer.

zoe glen  10:23  
It also kind of allows people to, like not have to pick, like one or more specific letters, if like, that doesn't feel right to them, or they're unsure or like, figuring things out. It's like, you know, kind of a nice option to have there. But yes, that is what we mean by queer.

Billie Grace  10:50  
Yes, yes. And so that is the perspective that we are coming from also looking at queer theory, which then diverges quite a bit from that basic identity of sexuality or gender.

zoe glen  11:06  
Yeah. So am I about to go into theory? Yes, I guess I am. Yeah, so we were kind of talking about this distinction of like, queer theory is rooted in this in like Gender and Sexuality Studies. But then kind of takes disaggregates itself applies itself to other contexts, become something that isn't necessarily directly related to that and whether or not we kind of think that's okay, if that's something we agree with. And we were talking about, there's a theory by Sara Ahmed, which is titled queer phenomenology, which is a personal favourite academic theory, which I am now going to try to explain to you. And basically, she takes ideas from phenomenology that basically like the world appears to us and that reality as it presents itself to us is a continually extending straight line. And that the more cultural norms are upheld, the more they are visible to us. She basically says what is straight is what is in view, what is on the line is what we see. And then what is off the line is, what is queer and what is relegated to the background. So then, as she goes on to talk about the intersection of sexuality and race, and she talks about diversity and inclusion in institutions, and kind of about how inclusion and attending to intersectionality, and those sorts of things is bringing the background or what is queer, what is off the line, what is not considered the cultural norm into view, so like a conscious undoing of the like, I've forgotten the like, big term, but where it's like the like white cis-het, patriarchal, societal default, basically, you're talking about a conscious undoing that in the context of queering, which is related to gender and sexuality and her gender and sexuality, but is not exclusive to that context. And then we were kind of, I guess, paralleling this with our own practice in which there is a lot of conscious acts of undoing the norm, which is what we're trying to do with like, NGC hub and directory and with the way that we practice when we're in a room together also, we're trying to do acts of consciously undoing the norm, which is, by definition and in line with that theory and in line with a lot of queer theory, queering. Yes. Even though some of it centres on themes of gender, sexuality, some of it doesn't at all, sometimes it's there, incidentally. Yeah. So then the thing is, basically, is it right to disaggregate that? Yes. And we were kind of like, is it like fine for an academic like Ahmed, who identifies as queer to take queer theory and apply it to subverting other things within institutions? And that'd be queering? Yes, that feels fine. Is it fine for us as a queer led company to have these act of consciously undoing the norm and consider that queering.... Yeah, we think so. Yes,

Billie Grace  14:55  
we think so. We think so. Because we are queer And so anything that we do, I think is inherently queer.

zoe glen  15:05  
Yeah, but then it's like, if somebody who didn't hold that identity was doing technically the same thing of this subversion of the norm of this, like bringing interview of like, what is off the line and is labelled queer in Ahmed's theory or highlighting moments in something where there is comphet kind of narratives or chrononormativity? Or those sorts of things who didn't have that identity.... would that be queering?

Billie Grace  15:40  
Lots of people appear to think it is. And lots of queer theory seems to validate that.

zoe glen  15:50  
Yeah, cuz if we go back to this quote that we kind of centred on at the start, we've got this queering is something we do rather than something we are or are not. But it's like, can you do queering if you are not queer? Yeah, is the question. Like, is like personal identity inherent to that as a process? Or not? We we don't have the answers. I'm not sure academia has the answers.

Billie Grace  16:25  
No, I think academia has gotten a little bit ahead of itself with this whole thing.

zoe glen  16:31  
There is a lot of writing about what is quite a simple concept.

Billie Grace  16:34  
Yeah. To me, it's slightly feels like we might want a different word. Yeah, basically, to almost mean the same thing, but to still give space to, like the queer community as in the LGBTQI plus community to call ourselves queer, because because in a in a kind of twisted way, like our community has done the work of reclaiming that word of making it a non derogatory term. And while I understand the appeal of calling anything that does not fit in with hetero normativity, and chrononormativity queer because it does not fit in with this line going into space, is that is that the theory?

zoe glen  17:31  
Yeah basically

Billie Grace  17:36  
Like I understand the appeal of wanting to use a word that was used in a derogatory term, and that has that history. It feels at the same time maybe like taking away from the community, which has fought for it, and which has kind of done that initial work of reclaiming it.

zoe glen  17:56  
It's also it's also like, and I might be off the mark here. And if I am, we can edit this up. I think I'm also losing my voice this going really well. No, it's okay. I think that to do the act of queering something for lack of a Yeah, like you said, there is no other term, yeah. Or do like highlighting or subverting of moments where the like, kind of cis-het-norm is being upheld, as if you are doing that, as somebody who is not queer, what you are doing is Ally ship to the queer community. Right. 

Billie Grace  18:46  
Right. 

zoe glen  18:48  
Which is fine. Great, cool. Thanks. But I think we see this in kind of lots of activism surrounding marginalised groups being an ally is not the same thing as being part of that group.

Billie Grace  19:05  
Yes, essentially, and I think this is essentially where I find issue with this theory or this way of relating to the theory. Yeah, it just feels a little bit like taking away space and taking away voices from you can't say taking away voices like but like silencing actual queer voices. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Because yeah, it's all well and good for, I don't know, I was about to say, Slavitza from Zagreb but nobody other than like the two listeners from Zagreb will understand..

zoe glen  19:51  
We see you two listeners from Zagreb!

Billie Grace  19:57  
it's all well and good for some random you You know, for a straight in relation mom off to, to say that she is queer because she stood up to her husband when he tried to push her into a heteronormative patriarchal situation. But is that what you're doing? Or is what you're doing? Feminism, maybe or something else that works together with queer theory with the queer struggle?

But yeah. I don't know.

zoe glen  20:30  
It's also a thing of like, I don't know, if you are, like, cishet you can kind of, I guess, pick and choose a bit more when to be aware of Yeah, things, you know.

Billie Grace  20:47  
Yeah, exactly.

zoe glen  20:49  
Whereas being like, Oh, I think this is important, or like, I understand this as an issue. And therefore, I'm going to choose to say something to support this or do something to support this. Great, cool, thanks again. But like, it is different to existing in a way where like, by virtue of just existing as yourself, you are challenging things, you know?

Billie Grace  21:14  
Exactly. Because then going back to like what we were saying earlier in that every single thing that we do, no matter what the actual context of it is, we are queering the thing just by being there, so just by us being queer running directory, directory, could be read as like a queering of, I don't know, spotlight, you know, like, yeah, if we want to put it in terms like that every single thing that we do every single application that we do every single conversation we have,

zoe glen  21:47  
it's like in there. Yeah, it's queer

Billie Grace  21:49  
it just because we are queer. And we did not get to choose to not do that. Yeah, and which is, I think, where the issue

zoe glen  21:59  
to go back to the like, it's something we do rather than something we are, it's like, it's something we do as a result of who we are, yes, through our lived experience as who we are. And I think that kind of has to be like, if we were going to redefine it, maybe will become like academics, like publishing papers in our resource space, but like, if we were going to redefine it. I think it would be like, yes, it is a conscious, not conscious, it's an act of doing, but it can be both conscious and unconscious, and it is something that we cannot help but do as a result of who we are. 

Billie Grace  22:51  
Yeah. Yeah.

zoe glen  22:53  
And therefore, while we are absolutely not saying that there is isn't space for that people who don't identify as queer to like, do acts of subverting this cultural norm be that in, in general, or specifically cultural norms to do with gender and sexuality. The disaggregation of the term from the lived experience that has happened in some bits of academia feels odd. And I think our conclusion is that there should be some other term for that kind of ally ship equivalent of Acts. Yeah, like ally ship act of queering, in quotation marks, because the lived experience of queerness is essential to acts of queering.

Billie Grace  23:44  
Yes, I agree. I wonder if those words do actually already exist. 

zoe glen  23:49  
Oh probably...we based this off our previous knowledge and a quote off Wikipedia

Billie Grace  23:54  
but I'm also like, I'm fully wondering, like, are those words literally just subversion? subverting the patriarchy feminism? Like, is that what it is? Because that's what it is. Which this and those are all great things. Absolutely. But, you know,

zoe glen  24:11  
that's, these are our thoughts on queer readings. Who has who gets to this? Do what?....Academia, bits of theory that we know. We promised you chaos we delivered...

Billie Grace  24:27  
Yeah, yeah. This was set as a let's talk about the show that we are making. To be perfectly honest with you, these are probably the most coherent thoughts that we have about the show. Yeah. This is what the show is about, kind of, I guess, um,

zoe glen  24:48  
because I think it's interesting also, to kind of go back back to where we started with the that we're doing a queer reading of this source text is that the character and Why we're doing a queer reading of it is not queer like she's like a cishet woman has been married with kids. Yeah. But yes. It's like, the way it's written, you really feel for her as a character. And it's like, we're like, oh, she could really benefit from some, like, you know, like a, from some queer theory from some, like, Have you considered that like, this is not the only way to live life or like be a woman or

Billie Grace  25:35  
essentially, the book itself deals with that. And like the book, it's like, you see the character of Oh, my God, is she called Olga?

zoe glen  25:45  
yeah she, I think she is, you see her suffer at the hands of like heteronormativity.

Billie Grace  25:53  
And you see her, like, acknowledge that that's what's happening. Yeah, you do not however, see.

zoe glen  25:59  
A, an alternative be presented to her?

Billie Grace  26:02  
Yeah, you see her just be upset about it? Which like, I understand also, I mean, I love you know, if we didn't like the book, we wouldn't Yeah. So I'm just like, I'm very interested in that. And I think Olga is a wonderful character, but I guess maybe we're gonna have to have conversations also about how much? To what extent do we queer this character? while still keeping the integrity of the trope that we are trying to?

zoe glen  26:36  
Yeah, and how much do we place What is presented in the source alongside other things? You know?

Billie Grace  26:46  
And how queer can it go while still being about a straight marriage?

zoe glen  26:54  
Yeah, that's gonna be the experiment.

Billie Grace  27:00  
Come see our show if you want the answer to that one.

zoe glen  27:02  
Maybe we'll maybe we'll make queer things. Part three at some point about the process of actually doing the thing because at the moment, we're very much like in the in the thinking stage. But yeah, comes come and see us. It is November 15. At the cockpit, it's a theatre in the pound at the cockpit. The voila special edition.

Billie Grace  27:29  
I think so. 

zoe glen  27:32  
yeah, there's loads of marketing on our social media. There's also a link to tickets in the link tree and you can find in all of our buyers, etc. If you're a London based, we'd love to have you there. While we've got you here, you should follow us on social media. We are absolutely at the not God Complex on Instagram and Facebook, we are at not God Complex on Twitter. You can also find us at our website, which is not good complex.com Or you can email us which is thenotgodcomplex@outlook.com. I think that's the whole spiel. We'd love to hear from you. We're always on the lookout for podcast guests. Podcasts suggestions. Um, yeah, we hope you enjoyed this, we hope it was as coherent as queer chaos can be. Yeah. And we will speak to you next month for episode nine, by which point, well... by the time you here it we'll have made and performed the first iteration of this thing. Yeah, um, yeah, we dont know when we're gonna record it. So

Billie Grace  28:43  
if you like, we'd love to have people come to that show. Tell us what they thought of the show. And then if you've listened to this episode, and thought about what queering is, I personally would love to have in person discussions with people about queering and whatever we end up making. Yes, your thoughts.

zoe glen  29:07  
There's also a so basically, that there will be a short performance and then like a q&a situation, I believe. So come talk to us ask us questions. We're always up for a chat up for some slightly convoluted but important thinking.

Billie Grace  29:23  
Yeah. I'm fully more nervous about the q&a than the show. 

zoe glen  29:26  
I think it'll be fine. We're gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay. Cool. Thank you for listening. Yeah. And we will speak to you next month. Yeah. Bye

Billie Grace  29:41  
bye.