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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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13. Postcards from the Edge

Extract

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DUSTIN BRADLEY GOLTZ AND KIMBERLEE PÉREZ

KIMBERLEE: The four of us on a street corner in Phoenix, the boys in togas. Rae and I shoot photos. Latinos in an auto shop across the street stare…point…laugh…mock us. I feel unsafe, pulled from identifications to these men. Uncomfortable in this setting, a threat of violence hovers in the space between us.

DUSTY: I struggle with her account. Jay and I stand in togas on a street corner in Phoenix, on a garbage can at a bus stop, draped in white, holding signs. “It’s not a wedding, it’s a Gayla.” Two Latino men across the street at the auto shop laugh at us, they point, they chuckle, they see and respond to our spectacle. Two fags on a street corner in playful protest, a public declaration. Rae and Kimberlee, in plain clothes, snap photos and adjust props. It was a great day, we laughed a lot, we got breakfast afterwards. It was a Gayla memory Jay and I cherish.

Months later, Kimberlee narrates this event as a threat, of looming violence. I get angry, as this memory is no longer shared but rewritten, hijacked, betrayed. Why go to violence when there are the laughs, the smiles, and joy fueling this day? In this space, if there is any threat, it is no more pronounced than anytime Jay and I are publically read as couple (which is both real to us...

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