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A memoir from the award-winning author of "My Lesbian Husband," Barrie Jean Borich's "Body Geographic" turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself.
One coordinate of Borich's story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and the other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich's own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family's, and her fellow travelers' in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain--from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian--"Body Geographic" is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.
Provides a new interpretation of space and sexuality, with topics ranging from pregnant embodiment to the performance of sexual identities in video diaries, from lesbian geographies to mapping the erotics of the city.
How does a subculture appropriate space within the dominant culture? What is the city's relationship to the body? Geographers from England and New Zealand apply queer theory in their consideration of the human body as a vehicle for understanding relationships between people and place. These provocative essays examine the body as an entity constricted by gender, sexuality, race, class, nationality, and disability. They also look at sexual identity as it relates to communities, and how humans "do" gender through regulated practices such as heterosexuality. Pleasure Zones tackles topics such as the politics of gay men's health; the relationship of sex and death to the city; erotic urban landscapes, and how public policy labels lesbians. Each essay attempts to reconcile queer theory and social and cultural theory with the discipline of geography. The result is an illuminating and accessible look at the formation of personal and collective identities. Building on two decades of geography that recognizes the body as a politicized site of struggle, and applying the perspective of the sexual dissident, Pleasure Zones brings a fascinating variety of human experiences into sharp relief.
In the summer of 2015, shortly after Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender, the NAACP official and political activist Rachel Dolezal was "outed" by her parents as white, touching off a heated debate in the media about the fluidity of gender and race. If Jenner could legitimately identify as a woman, could Dolezal legitimately identify as black? Taking the controversial pairing of "transgender" and "transracial" as his starting point, Rogers Brubaker shows how gender and race, long understood as stable, inborn, and unambiguous, have in the past few decades opened up--in different ways and to different degrees--to the forces of change and choice. Transgender identities have moved from the margins to the mainstream with dizzying speed, and ethnoracial boundaries have blurred. Paradoxically, while sex has a much deeper biological basis than race, choosing or changing one's sex or gender is more widely accepted than choosing or changing one's race. Yet while few accepted Dolezal's claim to be black, racial identities are becoming more fluid as ancestry--increasingly understood as mixed--loses its authority over identity, and as race and ethnicity, like gender, come to be understood as something we do, not just something we have. By rethinking race and ethnicity through the multifaceted lens of the transgender experience--encompassing not just a movement from one category to another but positions between and beyond existing categories--Brubaker underscores the malleability, contingency, and arbitrariness of racial categories. At a critical time when gender and race are being reimagined and reconstructed, Trans explores fruitful new paths for thinking about identity.
Love and Money argues that we can't understand contemporary queer cultures without looking through the lens of social class. Resisting old divisions between culture and economy, identity and privilege, left and queer, recognition and redistribution, Love and Money offers supple approaches to capturing class experience and class form in and around queerness. Contrary to familiar dismissals, not every queer television or movie character is like Will Truman on Will and Grace-rich, white, healthy, professional, detached from politics, community, and sex. Through ethnographic encounters with readers and cultural producers and such texts as Boys Don't Cry, Brokeback Mountain, By Hook or By Crook, and wedding announcements in the New York Times, Love and Money sees both queerness and class across a range of idioms and practices in everyday life. How, it asks, do readers of Dorothy Allison's novels use her work to find a queer class voice? How do gender and race broker queer class fantasy? How do independent filmmakers cross back and forth between industry and queer sectors, changing both places as they go and challenging queer ideas about bad commerce and bad taste? With an eye to the nuances and harms of class difference in queerness and a wish to use culture to forge queer and class affinities, Love and Money returns class and its politics to the study of queer life.
Recent critical and historical work on the late-Victorian period
has furnished a vocabulary for discussing gender and sexuality.
These popular terms include categories such as homo/hetero,
patriarchal/feminist, and masculine/effeminate. This collection
exploits this framework--while refining and resisting it in
places--to show how certain Victorians imagined difference in ways
that continue to challenge us today.
Activism and Marginalization in the AIDS Crisis shows readers how the advent of HIV-disease has brought into question the utility of certain forms of "activism" as they relate to understanding and fighting the social impacts of disease. This informative and powerful book is centrally concerned about the ways in which institutionally governed social constructions of HIV/AIDS affect policy and public images of the disease more so than activist efforts. It asserts that an accounting of the power institutional structures have over the dominant social constructions of HIV disease is fundamental to adequate forms of present and future AIDS activism. Chapters in Activism and Marginalization in the AIDS Crisis demonstrate how, despite what is thought of as the "successful activism" of the past decade, the claims of the HIV-positive are still being ignored, still being marginalized, and still being administratively "handled" and exploited even as the plight of those who find themselves HIV-positive worsens. Although chapters reject the assertion that activism has been a highly effective remedy to HIV-positive voicelessness, authors do not deny that activists have been vocal, but that they continue to be ignored despite their vocality.Contributors in Activism and Marginalization in the AIDS Crisis offer numerous examples of institutional control and demonstrate that institutional structures, and not activists, are controlling the public meaning of HIV-related issues. Readers learn how messages about HIV/AIDS are produced, negotiated, modified, and sustained through institutional mechanisms that serve mostly institutional interests rather than those of the HIV-positive. In gaining an understanding of these issues, readers will begin to learn how to modify and strengthen activist efforts with valuable insight on: the lack of HIV-positive voices in mainstream news portrayals of HIV/AIDS research on constructions of HIV-disease at the state government level social constructions and how they affect HIV/AIDS policy the political construction of AIDS and interest-based struggles the emergent "bio-politics" of HIV and homosexuality in the U.S. how institutional power works to govern public understanding of HIV diseaseInstitutional structures are defined in this book as groups engaged in and defined by the production of various "truths" which sustain them. Institutional power may be defined as the capacity to regulate, constrain, and disseminate versions of "truth." Activism and Marginalization in the AIDS Crisis reveals how HIV activist groups have been outmaneuvered when it comes to the production and dissemination of various "truths" about HIV/AIDS by institutional structures more deeply steeped in social legitimacy and which have a superior capacity for message dissemination.HIV/AIDS activists, HIV-positive persons and those with AIDS, HIV/AIDS educators, public and institutional policymakers, health professionals, and the general public will find this book essential to understanding the social constructions of HIV/AIDS, how these affect HIV/AIDS-related policy and public opinion, and how to begin to cipher through the plethora of information to find and promote the "truth."
We like to think of ourselves as possessing an essential self, a core identity that is who we really are, regardless of where we live, work, or play. But places actually make us much more than we might think, argues Japonica Brown-Saracino in this novel ethnographic study of lesbian, bisexual, and queer individuals in four small cities across the United States. Taking us into communities in Ithaca, New York; San Luis Obispo, California; Greenfield, Massachusetts; and Portland, Maine; Brown-Saracino shows how LBQ migrants craft a unique sense of self that corresponds to their new homes. How Places Make Us demonstrates that sexual identities are responsive to city ecology. Despite the fact that the LBQ residents share many demographic and cultural traits, their approaches to sexual identity politics and to ties with other LBQ individuals and heterosexual residents vary markedly by where they live. Subtly distinct local ecologies shape what it feels like to be a sexual minority, including the degree to which one feels accepted, how many other LBQ individuals one encounters in daily life, and how often a city declares its embrace of difference. In short, city ecology shapes how one "does" LBQ in a specific place. Ultimately, Brown-Saracino shows that there isn't one general way of approaching sexual identity because humans are not only social, but fundamentally local creatures. Even in a globalized world, the most personal of questions who am I? is in fact answered collectively by the city in which we live.
LGBT activism is often imagined as a self-contained struggle, inspired by but set apart from other social movements. Lavender and Red recounts a far different story: a history of queer radicals who understood their sexual liberation as intertwined with solidarity against imperialism, war, and racism. This politics was born in the late 1960s but survived well past Stonewall, propelling a gay and lesbian left that flourished through the end of the Cold War. The gay and lesbian left found its center in the San Francisco Bay Area, a place where sexual self-determination and revolutionary internationalism converged. Across the 1970s, its activists embraced socialist and women of color feminism and crafted queer opposition to militarism and the New Right. In the Reagan years, they challenged U.S. intervention in Central America, collaborated with their peers in Nicaragua, and mentored the first direct action against AIDS. Bringing together archival research, oral histories, and vibrant images, Emily K. Hobson rediscovers the radical queer past for a generation of activists today.
In Private Affairs, Phillip Brian Harper explores the social and cultural significance of the private, proposing that, far from a universal right, privacy is limited by one's racial-and sexual-minority status. Ranging across cinema, literature, sculpture, and lived encounters-from Rodin's "The Kiss "to Jenny Livingston's "Paris is Burning"-Private Affairs demonstrates how the very concept of privacy creates personal and sociopolitical hierarchies in contemporary America.
A key study in the psychobiology of sexual orientation and its true causes.Since the ground-breaking work of Simon LeVay and Dean Hamer in the early 1990s, a tremendous amount of new research has been carried out by scientists who now understand a great deal more about the biology of sexual attraction. In this book the authors show that attempts to find a sociological cause for homosexuality have little foundation and argue that popular efforts to blame parents or teachers for a child's homosexuality are futile and unjust. Combining their own findings with all the available quantifiable research, the authors have, with this study, provided an urgently needed addition to the major work that has been done in this field.
Explore the titillating world of gay male video pornography in One-Handed Histories: The Eroto-Politics of Gay Male Video Pornography. Author John Burger has compiled years of research on gay male films and videos and covers such interesting topics as: gay male porn history and theory pre-AIDS and post-AIDS awareness the portrayal of safe sex in videos popular memory gay history porn video productionBurger contends that gay male video pornography (GMVP) is "a warehouse of our cultural heritage and memory, as well as an important site for the production and modification of this heritage and memory." He looks at gay porn from social and historical perspectives, using popular memory as the starting point. As a form of popular memory, gay porn allows for numerous revisions and re-writings of American history, which has somewhat excluded gay men. One-Handed Histories assists the reader in placing GMVP in its correct social and historical setting and thus removes much of its stigma as obscene or useless. Gay scholars and even gay porn consumers will enjoy the alternative readings of these films; readings which might instill an interest and pride in gay male history. General gay male readers will discover in One-Handed Histories gay male sexual trends from the late 60s on and how this gay male history is documented by pornography.
This landmark book empowers educators to become visible, positive influences and role models for gay and lesbian students in their classrooms and schools. As most homosexual educators, and even students, remain invisible due to possible hostilities of "coming out," this eye-opening book presents recent research to help gay and lesbian teachers break their silence. It encourages them to speak out on issues of homosexuality where curricula, civil rights, personal freedoms, and social entitlements are concerned. It promotes the development of school-based intervention for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.While the controversy over education and homosexuality is one of the most personally threatening in this nation's history, the timely research presented in Coming Out of the Classroom Closet will hearten gay and lesbian educators to continue to strive for fair treatment as peers and for equal representation in educational materials. Pointing to reports of greater social support and legal protection than is assumed by most in the educational system, this book should be required reading for all persons concerned about continuing to provide high-quality education at all levels--college and university, secondary, and even elementary.Chapters of Coming Out of the Classroom Closet look closely at many issues surrounding the issue of homosexuality in schools, including a history of treatment of gay and lesbian educators and their legal rights; effects of internalized homophobia on homosexual educators; gay and lesbian student's perceptions of their counselors and teachers ability to understand and help; beliefs, lack of knowledge, and lack of training of counselors and teachers about the needs of gay and lesbian youth; images of gays and lesbians in sexuality and health textbooks; important AIDS education; and the issue of homophobia.
Today's debates about transgender inclusion and public restrooms may seem unmistakably contemporary, but they have a surprisingly long and storied history in the United States-one that concerns more than mere "potty politics." Alexander K. Davis takes readers behind the scenes of two hundred years' worth of conflicts over the existence, separation, and equity of gendered public restrooms, documenting at each step how bathrooms have been entangled with bigger cultural matters: the importance of the public good, the reach of institutional inclusion, the nature of gender difference, and, above all, the myriad privileges of social status. Chronicling the debut of nineteenth-century "comfort stations," twentieth-century mandates requiring equal-but-separate men's and women's rooms, and twenty-first-century uproar over laws like North Carolina's "bathroom bill," Davis reveals how public restrooms are far from marginal or unimportant social spaces. Instead, they are-and always have been-consequential sites in which ideology, institutions, and inequality collide.
The institution of marriage stands at a critical juncture. As gay marriage equality gains acceptance in law and public opinion, questions abound regarding marriage's future. Will same-sex marriage lead to more radical marriage reform? Should it? Antonin Scalia and many others on the right warn of a slippery slope from same-sex marriage toward polygamy, adult incest, and the dissolution of marriage as we know it. Equally, many academics, activists, and intellectuals on the left contend that there is no place for monogamous marriage as a special status defined by law. Just Married demonstrates that both sides are wrong: the same principles of democratic justice that demand marriage equality for same-sex couples also lend support to monogamous marriage. Stephen Macedo displays the groundlessness of arguments against same-sex marriage and defends marriage as a public institution against those who would eliminate its special status or supplant it with private arrangements. Arguing that monogamy reflects and cultivates our most basic democratic values, Macedo opposes the legal recognition of polygamy, but agrees with progressives that public policies should do more to support nontraditional caring and caregiving relationships. Throughout, Macedo explores the meaning of contemporary marriage and the reasons for its fragility and its enduring significance. His defense of reformed marriage against slippery slope alarmists on the right, and radical critics of marriage on the left, vindicates the justice and common sense of the emerging consensus. Casting new light on today's debates over the future of marriage, Just Married lays the groundwork for a stronger institution.
Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she's a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn't changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called "flyover country" rather than moving to the liberal coasts. In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: "Something gay every day." Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more. Capturing profound cultural shifts underway in unexpected places and revealing a national network of chosen family fighting for a better world, Real Queer America is a treasure trove of uplifting stories and a much-needed source of hope and inspiration in these divided times.
Although sexual minorities in Africa continue to face harsh penalties for same-sex relationships, strong anti-homophobic resistance exists across the continent. This book systematically charts the emergence and effects of politicized homophobia in Malawi and shows how it has been used as a strategy by political elites to consolidate their moral and political authority, through punishing LGBT people and dividing social movements. Here, Ashley Currier pays particular attention to the impact of politicized homophobia on different social movements, specifically HIV/AIDS, human rights, LGBT rights, and women's rights movements. Her timely account intervenes in Afro-pessimist portrayals of the African continent as a hotbed of homophobia and unravels the tensions and contradictions underlying Western perceptions of Malawi. It shows that, in reality, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people happily call Malawi home, in spite of heightened antigay vitriol that has generated unwanted visibility for them.
With Stand by Me, Jim Downs rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together-as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues-to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life.
Ever since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, "gay pride" has been the
rallying cry of the gay rights movement and the political force
behind the emergence of the field of lesbian and gay studies. But
has something been lost, forgotten, or buried beneath the drive to
transform homosexuality from a perversion to a proud social
identity? Have the political requirements of gay pride repressed
discussion of the more uncomfortable or undignified aspects of
In 2015, Ireland will hold a referendum on the subject of extending marriage rights to same-sex people in the State. This referendum is the culmination of one of the most rapid and transformative changes in Irish society over the last century. In this book, Una Mullally charts the development of the debate from its origins to the present day. Based on interviews with all the key figures involved, from politics and activism to journalism and the media, the book paints a vivid picture of where we have come from and how we have arrived at this defining moment for Ireland.
"I don't regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure. I did it to the full, as one should do anything one does. I lived on honeycomb." Oscar Wilde Although it is over 120 years since his infamous trial for indecency, Oscar Wilde has never held greater fascination for us. This packed illustrated biography tells the life of Oscar Wilde through his own words - private letters, poems, plays, stories and legendary witticisms. It includes his relationships with key artists and writers of the time, including John Ruskin, Charles Ricketts, and Lillie Langtry. It is illustrated throughout with paintings, engravings, contemporary photographs, cartoons and caricatures of Wilde and his social circle. With illustrations and paintings by Aubrey Beardsley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, James Whistler and Max Beerbohm, it is a beautiful evocation of the glittering fin de siecle word by its most fascinating wordsmith and aesthete. The book details Wilde's ruin after the trial and its outcome. The profundity of his writing from prison and exile form an epitaph, not only to his own life, but also for the era that carelessly delighted in it.
"Riveting...Not only the definitive examination of the riots but an
absorbing history of pre-Stonewall America, and how the oppression
and pent-up rage of those years finally ignited on a hot New York
night." - Boston Globe
Imagine trying to tell someone something about yourself and your desires for which there are no words. What if the mere attempt at expression was bound to misfire, to efface the truth of that ineluctable something? In Someone, Michael Lucey considers characters from twentieth-century French literary texts whose sexual forms prove difficult to conceptualize or represent. The characters expressing these "misfit" sexualities gravitate towards same-sex encounters. Yet they differ in subtle but crucial ways from mainstream gay or lesbian identities--whether because of a discordance between gender identity and sexuality, practices specific to a certain place and time, or the fleetingness or non-exclusivity of desire. Investigating works by Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Jean Genet, and others, Lucey probes both the range of same-sex sexual forms in twentieth-century France and the innovative literary language authors have used to explore these evanescent forms. As a portrait of fragile sexualities that involve awkward and delicate maneuvers and modes of articulation, Someone reveals just how messy the ways in which we experience and perceive sexuality remain, even to ourselves.
Winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association's 44th Division (the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues)
The summer of 2008 was the summer of love and commitment for gays and lesbians in the United States. Thousands of same-sex couples stood in line for wedding licenses all over California in the first few days after same-sex marriage was legalized. On the other side of the country, Massachusetts, the very first state to give gay couples marriage rights, took the last step to full equality by allowing same-sex couples from other states to marry there as well. These happy times for same-sex couples were the hallmark of true equality for some, yet others questioned whether the very bedrock of society was crumbling. What would this new step portend?
In order to find out the impact of same-sex marriage, M. V. Lee Badgett traveled to a land where it has been legal for same-sex couples to marry since 2001: the Netherlands. Badgett interviews gay couples to find out how this step has affected their lives. We learn about the often surprising changes to their relationships, the reactions of their families, and work colleagues. Moreover, Badgett is interested in the ways that the institution itself has been altered for the larger society. How has the concept of marriage changed? When Gay People Get Married gives readers a primer on the current state of the same-sex marriage debate, and a new way of framing the issue that provides valuable new insights into the political, social, and personal stakes involved.
The experiences of other countries and these pioneering American states serve as a crystal ball as we grapple with this polarizing issue in the American context. The evidence shows both that marriage changes gay people more than gay people change marriage, and that it is the most liberal countries and states making the first move to recognize gay couples. In the end, Badgett compellingly shows that allowing gay couples to marry does not destroy the institution of marriage and that many gay couples do benefit, in expected as well as surprising ways, from the legal, social, and political rights that the institution offers.
Tony Kushner's award-winning epic play ""Angels in America"" was remarkable not only for its sensitive engagement of Jewish-American and gay culture but also for bringing these themes to a mainstream audience. While the play represented a watershed in American theater and culture, it belies a hundred years of previous attention to queer Jewish identity in twentieth-century American literature, drama, and film. In ""The Passing Game"", Warren Hoffman sheds light on this long history, taking up both Yiddish and English narratives that explore the tensions among Jewish identity, queer sexuality, performance, and American citizenship. With fresh insight Hoffman examines the 1907 Yiddish play ""God of Vengeance"" by Sholem Asch, the cross-dressing films of Yiddish actress Molly Picon, and several short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer. He also analyzes the English-language novels ""The Rise of David Levinsky"" (Abraham Cahan), ""Wasteland"" (Jo Sinclair), and Portnoy's ""Complaint"" (Phillip Roth). Hoffman highlights the ways in which the characters in these canonical texts attempt to 'pass' as white, straight, and American in the early and mid - twentieth century. This pioneering work is a welcome contribution to the study of Jewish American literature and culture.
How do gay and lesbian teachers grapple with their professional and
sexual identities at work, given that these identities are
constructed as mutually exclusive, even indeed as mutually opposed?
Using rich interview and ethnographic materials from Texas and
California, "School's Out" explores how teachers struggle to create
a classroom persona that balances who they are and what's expected
of them in a climate of pervasive homophobia. Catherine Connell
takes readers into the private and professional lives of gay and
lesbian educators, along the way developing the innovative concept
of racialized homophobia, which thwarts challenges to sexual
injustices in schools. She also uses her own experiences as one
point of intersection with the ideas in this volume.
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