I know I really didn't say much in the conversation we had on Tuesday, but nonetheless I think they were important to address since a lot of us have very strong feelings about these certain issues. I want to start off by meditating one the "labels" point that we all got pretty hung up on. I understand that many of us want to say that we don't care about labeling people, beliefs, sexualities, whatever. I think we need to understand that from the start of large societies in the world people have been labeling people. Today, we label our clothes, TV shows, etc. What I think is a negative aspect about this whole "labeling" dilemma we brought up is the fact that we use labels in negative lights most of the time. I think Sedgwick is saying the same thing when she brings up the strictness of canon, and even the creation of the "closet" in our society today.
On page 71 Sedgwick writes: "The closet" and "coming out," now verging on all-purpose phrases for the potent crossing and recrossing of almost any politically charged lines of representation, have been the gravest and most magnetic of those figures."
I think what Sedgwick is trying to get us to understand is the fact that our society, politically, socially, and morally, are attracted to using these labels of "coming out," "closet," and even "gay." This has plagued an opportunity to make our society more open, and meaningful as a whole. If we adopt a gay canon, it wouldn't exclude all the other great works of literature, or put the gay canon high up on a shelf where no other texts can be paired with it. It will increase an open-mindedness toward situations and conflicts that have been swept under the rug by human beings because we have a hard time facing the truth that we are not the same cookie cutter molds of beings like Son Mi in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Sedgwick wants the literature we read to become less rigid as a "Canon." In fact, if we adopt these canons we can only diversify and make the canon that has been in place for years look itself in the mirror and question if it needs to change or not.
Maybe I just went on a little tangent so I'm going to attempt to wrap this shit up nicely. We are delved in a society where there will always be labels. Good and bad. What makes them bad is the fact that our society puts a negative connotation, and the masses follow that connotation. Just like the masses follow the classic canon. I think we need to open our minds to the fact that with or without labels, we can actually do some good by delving into these labels, finding out where or why they came about, taking a good long look at ourselves and try to figure out a way to change the labels to an open-minded, and accepting identification of human beings. Sure, it's idealistic as hell but the conversation we all had on Tuesday is just a small step for changing something in this highly judgmental and prejudiced world.