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The Gay Agenda

Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice


Edited By Gerald Walton

The «gay agenda» is a rhetorical strategy deployed by the religious right and other social conservatives to magnify fear and hostility of queers. Queers are accused, among other things, of strategizing to recruit children into sexually deviant lifestyles; dismantling family and marriage as cornerstones of civilization; and forcing the entertainment industry and court systems to do their bidding. Queers certainly do have an agenda but it is not the one that the religious right claims it is. It is to assert their presence in the public space; claim and name their identities; and strategize for social justice in law, schools, and workplaces. The Gay Agenda: Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice claims and reclaims the language of «agenda» and turns the rhetoric of the religious right on its ear. The contributors provide insightful and sharp commentary on gay agendas for human rights, marriage and family, cultural influences, schooling and education, and politics and law.


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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the Christian fundamentalists, extremists, and social conservatives, particularly those in my home province of British Columbia, whose attitudes, bigotry, and political activism compelled me to break free of the "ex-gay" industry, and 20 years later, engage in this book project. Huge thanks go to my partner, Aaron Wilson, whose support of me, my work, and this project is rock solid. Kudos go to Ozlem Sensoy for going above and beyond the call of duty, as usual. I would like to thank these scholars, activists, and authors- queers and straight allies alike-whose generous feedback helped to shape and strengthen the chapters in this book: Lee Airton, Michael Barron, Becky Bridgman, Ann Chinnery, Matthew A. Eichler, Yuri Forbes-Petrovich, Helene Frohard-Dourlent, Andree Gacoin, John J. Guiney Yallop, Scott Gust, Rodney Hunt, Darla Linville, Elizabeth Meyer, Robert Mizzi, Shannon Moore, Vicki Nygaard, Jan Oakley, Karleen Pendleton Jimenez, Claudia Ruitenberg, Irina Schmitt, Amy Shema, Tobias Sperlich, Darren Stanley, Rachael Sullivan, Taiva Tegler, and Scott Thompson. Thank you to political cartoonist Ben Sargent for generously (and quickly!) giving permission to reprint one of his cartoons in this volume, and also to Toby Goodfellow for responding to my plea in the 11th hour for an hourglass. Typesetting, design, and hourglass photo credits: G. Walton.

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