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The Gay Agenda

Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice


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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5. The Quare Agenda of RuPaul’s Drag U, by Lisa Weems


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The Quare Agenda of RuPaul’s Drag U

Lisa Weems

I can still remember the first time that I came across the term “the gay agenda.” It was 20 years ago and I still cringe at the memory. Actually, the term that was used was “the homosexual agenda” and it was written in big bold print on a newsletter from Focus on the Family,1 one of the oldest and most powerful right-wing Evangelical Christian organizations in the United States, led by Dr. James Dobson. I was 18 years old when I found the newsletter on my father’s desk. At the time, I wasn’t shocked to see the newsletter there or by the hateful and absurd propaganda regarding homosexuals as “dangerous pedophiles” and the need for Focus on the Family to rid society of these filthy criminals. My parents, both raised in fairly secular households, became devout fundamentalist Christians shortly after their marriage. My sense is that they did so in an attempt to “save” themselves and their children from the hardships they experienced when they were growing up. I think it was much easier for them to believe that a lack of faith, morals, and deference to God were to blame for their suffering, rather than the cruel yet mundane dynamics of domestic and sexual violence, racial discrimination, and poverty experienced in their everyday life in rural Nebraska. Thus, ever since I can remember, my brother, sisters, and I...

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