Queer by William S. Burroughs: A Book Review

william1A conservative  reader might ask his Goodreads friends , “ Is William Burroughs gay? “  as if Burrough  knows  how it feels  like  being  queer, an offensive  slang for homosexual. If he is, it  is neither here nor there because he  is able to depict the reality of the homosexual world , categorically,   the desire to establish an intimate relationship with a straight guy. So if you are gay, you might be able to empathize the situation of the protagonist. But if you are a straight  guy, you might end up realizing that not all gays are  “ lecherously fellatioes” by nature. They are not far  different from “coquettishly fellatrixes” .(laughs )

The book depicts the life of the queer ,  particularly how they get into an intimate relationship with the same sex. In the story, although not quite clear , the protagonist, Lee wants to build an intimate relationship with Allerton. The  story is not clear if he is a straight guy, but the story says that  he does not like to make  friends with a queer. Eventually, Lee and Allerton becomes friends since Lee is determined to get along with him. They spend time together in the same bed. Again , the story is not quite clear if they make love, for Allerton does not want Lee to keep on touching him. In effect, Lee has  secret sexual desire for Allerton; however, he has fear to get in on the act, for Allerton appears to be a straight guy.

If you are a queer, you may be able to empathize with the deeper side of Lee. But admit  it. This is the fact  to some extent  that queers’ real intention whenever they make friends with a guy is to build an intimate relationship. No wonder that the common perception of guys is  that queers are cock-suckers. (laughs) But not all queers have this  kind of   sexual behavior pattern. As a matter of fact, such queers are not far different from   coquettish women. People are not just used to this kind of  sexual human evolution.

In the Philippines, queers appear  to be divided into four  categories : they are closet gays, open gays, transvestites, and the transgendered.   Closet gays are known as peppermint or paminta in Filipino because they are bound to get pulverized to come out in the open.  Open gays appear to be  naïve , but still they are known for their effeminate mannerisms unlike transvestites and the transgendered  for their flamboyantly feministic fashion. The latter three kinds of gays  are likely to be socially accepted because they are more open to their self-identities (despite the fact that the atmosphere is not yet completely conducive. )However, peppermints have a hard time; consequently, they face different dilemmas.

It is my first William Burroughs’s novel. Whenever I thumbed  it through on  my list, I always wondered why its title is Queer since its paperback picture looks immaterial. When I got the chance to read it, I got Burroughs’s method to his madness: internalizing queers’ feelings.

For this reason, impressed by his unique twist of writing, I heard that his critically acclaimed NAKED LUNCH is a good read. I will buy it at any cost as soon as I spot it. ^^

Rating: 3 / 5 stars


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