Jonathan Weinberg‘s academically robust article aside, these works by Duane Michals, Things Are Queer, 1973 illustrates the allegorical point beautifully. how and what we choose to see… and how and what we choose to do with it.
On the face of it, Michals’s subject has nothing to do with homosexuality (though its landscape of bathroom, dark corridor, and voyeurism may have vague sexual connotations). The queer of Things Are Queer is not a matter of specific sexual identities but of the world itself. The world is queer, because it is known only through representations that are fragmentary and in themselves queer. Their meanings are always relative, a matter of relationships and constructions. In contradiction to its title, the series seems to say the things themselves are not queer, rather what is queer is the certainty by which we label things normal and abnormal, decent and obscene, gay and straight.