Is “Gay” Over?

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2 Responses

  1. GBQ3oftheJC says:

    Very interesting post. Are you suggesting that legal change is more fundamental than cultural change?

    I think the relation between the two is very complex. One might argue that, say, after Ellen’s coming out, and the non-horrified reception of the vast majority of Americans, there was a lot less pressure on the court to be sure backward states like TX could stigmatize gays.

    On the other hand, I’ve been reading a lot of EK Sedgwick and Michael Bronski lately, and they imply what I take to be your message: that very early cases involving gay rights (such as the one involving a Montgomery Cty schoolteacher in the late 1970s) were the foundation on which cultural change could occur. Because those cases did not censure or treat with disgust the gay person (even when ruling against him or her); rather, they accepted the fact that people could be gay as a given.

    PErhaps that is why the current “sedimentation of anti-gay discourse” (to follow bill eskridge’s language) is focusing so much on propagandizing the mutability of gay identity. To call it a sin, you’ve got to call it a choice.

  2. Anthony Byrd says:

    Thank you, Michelle, for your post. I’m longing for the day when gays and lesbians (and Yep, I’m gay) cease to look for our identity in gay (or even gay-for-pay) celebrities and begin to dig deeper when choosing to delve into our history.