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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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15. Exchanging Letters

Extract

1

DUSTIN BRADLEY GOLTZ AND KIMBERLEE PÉREZ

Kimberlee, with Dusty’s help (but not passive at all) dresses herself in Dusty’s shoulder pads, kneepads, and hockey gloves. Dusty hands Kimberlee a monologue he has written for her.

DUSTY: I wanted to feel this in your writing as much as you wanted to feel it in mine. L’Chaim.

KIMBERLEE: Really? Really? My investment in coalitional work is a privileged investment, a blinding aspiration of whiteness in its efforts to recenter and defend itself? Really? Exactly how much effort, how much of “the work” you demand so regularly in your writing, did you place into hearing me, knowing me, feeling me? As a biracial woman, I know the dangers of broad stroke master narratives that define and constrain our bodies and our stories—and does my willingness to engage dialogues, my unwillingness to demonize everyone subjected to whiteness (including you) render my story irrelevant?

How did the product of all this labor become the essentialism of whiteness, the refusal for whiteness to speak to experience, the inability of a body, a life, a relation tied to whiteness to be anything other than WHITE? Why does the impulse to complicate and dialogue scare you so much, force you into rigid abstractions to halt discussions, possibilities, relations? Do I challenge your narrative of innocent victimhood? You don’t get to write me, and then write me off. You ARE NOT the solitary determination of how...

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