Writer Victoria A. Brownworth believes San Francisco Pride’s messy grand marshal debacle makes a mockery out of the tradition of pride in general.
- It is cisheteronormative as fuck and pathologizes LGBT people. It makes our acceptance conditional on being unable to avoid being queer. “I tried to be a good boy, I tried soooo hard to be straight, but I just couldn’t help myself and turned out queer. I know I failed at…
Q u e e r . C o l l e c t i o n s: I am working on a new article that discusses heteronormativity v. homonormativity, and I want to read from YOU!
So feel free to respond to any (or all) of the following questions:
- What do the words ‘heteronormative’ and ‘homonormative’ mean to you? (How do you define them?)
- How do they affect your every day life?
- Where did you first read/hear about these words (if at all)?
- What are your most common experiences involving heteronormativity and/or homonormativity?
- What, in your opinion, is the best way to combat normativity?
NOTE: DO NOT send me fanmail via Project Queer. Please use the above links located at my personal blog. Thank you.
Those with nothing to lose are often those who push hardest when the time comes; this was true at the Stonewall riots, and continued into the gay liberation movement, much to the dismay of those whose idea of “gay liberation” was either inclusion in straight society or managed revolution. These forces of gay normativity and revolutionary management marginalized, erased, and silenced those whose bodies, histories, or ethical orientations refused dominant models.
“…it was spoken of less and less, or in any case with a growing moderation…nothing further was demanded of it than to define itself from day to day. The legitimate couple, with its regular sexuality, had a right to more discretion. It tended to function as a norm, one that was stricter, perhaps,…
Foucault also introduces further concepts on the timeline of sexuality in the Western world in History of Sexuality (1976), including the role of confession (thank you Catholic Church!) and the move to pathologization of non-normative sexualities via the growth of scientific discourse (moving away from an “arc erotica” pleasure-based system of sexuality).
The respective expansion of medicine, hygiene+industrialization, and psychoanalysis all contributed to the heteronormativitization of society you describe.
Here’s the word of the day, kids:
HOMONORMATIVITY - ‘A politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption’ ( L. Duggan 2003 )
Basically, homonormativity sees (primarily) gay and lesbian people working towards the assimilation of non-heterosexual people into heteronormative structures of kyriarchy. For example, instead of challenging the constraints of the heteronormative gender system and working to destabilize historically hegemonic institutions, the homonormative project aims to make space for gay people within the already existing (and problematic) gender system [so we find a gender hierarchy with femininity at the bottom; “No fats, no fems” sound familiar?] and all the institutions attached to them, including marriage and standards of civility.
How come you never told me?
Two days ago, Andy broke the story of Christian cartoonist “Joe King’s” bizarre “I’m Not Gay, I’m Just a Sissy” calendar, which was for sale at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. The calendar, which promised “12 Months of Sexual Confusion, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That,” proposed to make buyers laugh by making fun of straight-identified men with “sissy” characteristics. Or so it seems. The whole exercise was a bit of a muddle, frankly — the February illustration was entitled “We’ve All Got AIDS,” and an illustration purporting to make fun of sissy Oscar night parties was used to illustrate November.
So you know that post going around of a Westboro Baptist Protester wearing a Glee shirt?
and everyone’s like OMGZ WE CAUGHT YOU, YOU HYPOCRITE.
But I can’t help but think
Watching Glee does not by any means make you a social justice activist or mean that you’re not a queer/trans-hating asshole.
That show is pretty fucking offensive sometimes and often perpetuates stereotypes/racism/sexism/cissexism/heterosexism/normativity (and this is coming from someone who watches it).
I’m just sayin.
Russian minister’s call for national version of St Petersburg’s anti-gay law was “only about paedophilia”
A press spokesman for the Russian deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Kozak has said his comments earlier today calling for a national law similar to the one being proposed in St Petersburg were misinterpreted.
St Petersburg is considering a law which would issue fines for the “promotion” of homosexuality, “lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism” and “paedophilia” to minors.
The law has only two sections, one on LGBT ideas and one on paedophilia.
He added: “We should think about this topic on the federal level”.
What is wrong with heteronormativity?
It leaves people feeling alienated and alone.
It is bad for LGBT people and other people who are outside of it.
It sets up an ‘us and them’ which enables homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to exist.
It is questionable whether the ‘normative’ form of heterosexuality actually is normal.
Our treatment of others should not be based on how normal, or not, they are.
It is bad for those who have some desires or feelings outside the ‘norm’.
It puts pressure on those who are inside it to stay inside it, and may prevent them for finding the kinds of sex and relationships that work for them.
What can we do about it?
Move to a model of sexual diversity rather than normality/abnormality.
A schoolchild bullied over their sexuality claims a teacher advised them to act “less gay”.
The statement was included in a report for Essex County Council following a specialist conference for teachers and pupils at the Young Essex Assembly to discuss their day to day experiences of bullying in schools.
The comment, made by a pupil during the discussions, was published in the report which followed and which will shape new anti-bullying information packs. The school is not named.
The report says: “Teachers received very little training at college around bullying and most would welcome additional support and guidance.”
According to Stonewall figures, 65 per cent of young lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.
Half of those who have experienced homophobic bullying have skipped school as a result.
Essex County Council said of the comments: “The Young Essex Assembly held a conference to allow children to talk in an open and constructive environment about bullying within schools.
“All the information and anecdotal evidence gathered at the event will shape the work of the Young Essex Assembly; as a result they are developing an anti-bullying information pack which will be given to trainee teachers to help them understand and cope with the serious issue of bullying.”
Is this woman for real?