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Queer Praxis

Questions for LGBTQ Worldmaking

Edited By Dustin Bradley Goltz and Jason Zingsheim

Amidst rapid advances of mainstream gay and lesbian platforms, questions of essential sexual identities, queered rituals of family, queered notions of intimacy, queer considerations of time, and the possibility and value of queered systems of relation are largely absent. Resisting the public face of a normative and homogenous gay and lesbian community, and embracing a broadened conception of queerness, this book brings together 29 writers – a diverse community of scholars, lovers, and activists – to explore queer theory and embodied experiences within interpersonal relations and society at large. Enacting a critical intervention into the queer theoretical landscape, the book offers an alternative engagement where contributors centralize lived experience. Theoretical engagements are generated in relation and in dialogue with one another exploring collectivity, multiple points of entrance, and the living nature of critical theory. Readers gain familiarity with key concepts in queer thought, but also observe how these ideas can be navigated and negotiated in the social world. Queer Praxis serves as a model for queer relationality, enlisting transnational feminist, critical communication, and performance studies approaches to build dialogue across and through differing subjectivities.
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5. Let Me Queer This Union for You

Extract



SCOTT DILLARD

I have stood in front of three different couples over the course of the past ten years providing them with a ceremony that somehow in each of their eyes and in the eyes of the state sanctified and legalized their unions. These unions were witnessed by family, friends, and whatever spirit and/or God each of the couples and the witnesses believes in. I stood as a conduit for the sanctification of these unions, and my signature on official documents made me an agent of the state. This ritual of joining couples together in some form of marriage is complicated business for me. As an interfaith minister I am called to provide these services for people where they stand in relation to religion and their own spiritual understanding. I impose nothing. I stand in joy with the couples even as I look on in envy at providing with the stroke of the pen something that is denied to me and my partner. My queer body is central to the act of union in these spaces and because it can only participate as an agent of the state and not a beneficiary of the state in my own union, my queerness at the center of these ceremonies continually draws attention to the privileges afforded some and not others. Each of these ceremonies is remarkably similar and yet fraught with complicated differences that stand as testament to why ritual is never the same twice.

Ceremony...

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