$2 Is Queer
I’ve always been a fan of the $2 bill. It is useful, oddly very crisp, and always makes for a nice conversation starter. Plus PBR is about two bucks at a bar.
This past week, I got 20 two-dollar bills to use around town. I realized through these purchases that the $2 presents an opportunity to queer up society. I’m not saying it will make everything rainbows, unicorns, and unisex bathrooms. It is just one of the numerous pebbles that will help roll the boulder down the hill.
The $2 is queer. We all heard the idiom “As queer as a three dollar bill” but this is true of the two too. It isn’t used often in commerce and, thus, it is marginalized in economics. As according to Wiki, it makes up less than 1% of the entire US money circulation, which is comparable to some estimates about LGBT population levels. The bills history is a wavering story of acceptance to the point it was discontinued/outlawed. This mirrors queer acceptance as the historical acceptance though American history is wavering. Thus, queers and $2 are both victims of marginalization and wavering levels of tolerance.
Using the $2 is a queer performance. Drag is the standard idea of a queer performance as it critiques gender expression/identity norms. Using the $2 is both a performance critiquing capitalism and ideas of normality. Cash registers are really designed for $2s so it can be inconvenient for a storeowner to accept them, which provides a challenge for the capitols mantra of accumulating capitol. Automated machines like vending or self-checkouts reject $2 as they aren’t programmed to use them. Thus, these major companies are losing funding because they will NOT accept money.
The more important part of the performance comes from person to person exchanges of $2s. One has to specifically ask a bank teller for them. Then the storeowners get excited. They normally don’t think in terms of $2 so it becomes a shock to get them.
It can spark a conversation about marginalization, history, memories, etc. Thus, it personalizes the commercial exchange vs. just the normal and mindless money for goods exchange. More importantly, it catches people like a storeowner off guard.
We just aren’t programmed to think about a two as we normally think in terms of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, etc. Therefore, the people have to reevaluate how they think about order, money and such. This is queering up people’s mind because they must take into account the marginalized and a “normal” part of society that is often overlooked. Drag confronts overlooked gender norms and makes them reevaluated gender identity classifications so lets take this approach to our money. The $2 queers commerce.
Some other queering aspects include the images of the signing of the Declaration of Independence so people are reminded about freedom We queers are declaring our independence so lets have our money reflect that?
So basically, us queers need to start to use the $2. It queers up commerce. It makes people a bit happy to see something new and interesting. Lets make capitalism as queer as a two dollar bill.
Jon Henry comes from the small town of Washington, Virginia. Xe finished xes degree at the University of Richmond and was named GayRVA.com's Out.Spoken. Richmonder of the Year for 2011. When not in class, xe is either in the studio or rabble rousing with other queer activists. Follow xem on Twitter.
I for one won’t use it and believe the term plays directly into the hands of our Christofascist enemies.February 11, 2016
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