Some linguists believe that the word comes from the "secret language" of Polari, which was created and used by queer people in Britain in the 19th and 20th century.
The language began to fall out of use after homosexuality was decriminalized in Britain in 1967.
Those legends are still here, they’re still breathing." queer as camp — which is not the case. But no matter what happens on the first Monday in May, at least we’ll have Rihanna.
"Queer style is really broad and diverse, and whenever it challenges what the mainstream thinks of as androgyny devoid of any femininity, people are very freaked out by that," says Anita Dolce Vita, creative director of queer style publications dapper Q and Hi, Femme! They’re like, ‘that’s drag’ or ‘that’s camp.’ They don’t look at it as real art, real fashion, a real aesthetic." While some types of queer fashion and culture, like drag, As Zhang puts it, “I wouldn’t say camp is synonymous with queer, but I would say that you can’t have camp without queer.” Will the “Camp: Notes On Fashion” exhibit and gala honor camp’s roots?
Between 1964 and now, our culture has witnessed several long swings of the pendulum known as “irony vs. Irony (or camp, or artifice, or facetiousness, whatever you prefer) becomes a societal pre-occupation.
Time ticks on, something happens, or people get bored.
"I believe it’s part of the Black culture through the ages, sometimes adopted by the gay community," former In fact, it's impossible to discuss camp without looking at the influence of queer folks, particularly queer and trans people of color.
QTPOC have always been a driving force behind camp, from creating ballroom culture to innovating the arts like camp icons from Josephine Baker to Ru Paul.
"There’s something going on when these cultural references are used. What lens are these exhibitions being funneled through? “If there isn’t a very diverse group of curators, or group of hands working on the project, then it’s not going to include that culture.” Any institution attempting to celebrate camp, she says, should "include gay men of color and gay women of color and people who currently participate in drag and Carnival.
We're losing that memory, because people think it’s just a fun thing to say, but it’s actually rooted in a history of resistance forms of cultural production."Christie says that she expects Black camp — like Black '70s funk, Caribbean Carnival costumes, Blaxploitation movies, and "pimp/player fashion" — to be left out of the Met’s exhibit. Bootsy Collins and Chaka Khan are well and alive, and I’m sure they have their costumes archived somewhere.