Logical generics and gay identity
Gays identity is usually cast in generics--statements about an indeterminate number of members in a given category. Sometimes these generic statements often get built up into folk definitions, vague and imprecise ways to talk about objects. Other times generics get co-opted into authentic definitions, definitions that pick out a few traits and assert that real members of the class have these traits and members that do not are simply members by a technicality. I assess how we adopt these generic traits into our language and what are the ramifications of using generic traits as a social identity. I analyze the use of authentic definitions in Queer Theory, particularly Michael Warner's use of authentic traits to define a normative Queer identity. I do not just simply focus on what are the effects, but how these folk or authentic definitions gain currency and, furthermore, how can they be changed. I conclude with an analytic account of what it means to be gay and argue that such an account will undercut many of the problems associated with folk or authentic definitions about being gay.