Judith Butler, "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" pp.313, 314
Reconsider then the homophobic charge that queens and butches and femmes are imitations of the heterosexual real. Here "imitation" carries the meaning of "derivative" or "secondary" , a copy of an origin which is itself the ground of all copies, but which is itself a copy of nothing. Logically, this notion of an "origin" is suspect, for how can something operate as an origin if there are no secondary consequences which retrospectively confirm the originality of that origin? The origin requires its derivations in order to affirm itself as an origin, for origins only make sense to the extent that they are differentiated from that which they precede as derivatives. Hence, if it were not for that notion of the homosexual as copy, there would be no construct of heterosexuality as origin. then it seems fair to concede that the copy comes before the origin, and that homosexuality is thus the origin, and heterosexuality the copy.
But simple inversions are not really possible. For it is as a copy that homosexuality can be argued to precede heterosexuality as the origin. In other words, the entire framework of copy and origin proves radically unstable as each position inverts into the other and confounds the possibility of any stable way to locate the temporal or logical priority of either term.
But let us consider this problematic inversion from a psychic/political perspective. If the structure of gender imitation is such that the imitated is to some degree produced, or rather reproduced - by imitation (see again Derrida's inversion and displacement of mimesis in "the Double Session"), then to claim that gay and lesbian identities are implicated in heterosexual norms or in hegemonic culture generally is not to derive gayness from straightness. On the contrary, imitation does not copy that which is prior, but produces and inverts the very terms of priority and derivativeness. Hence, if gay identities are implicated in heterosexuality , that is not the same as claiming that heterosexuality is the only cultural network in which they are implicated. These are, quite literally, inverted imitations, ones which invert the order of imitated and imitation, and which , in the process, expose the fundamental dependency of "the origin" on that which it claims to produce as a secondary effect.