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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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Section II: Questioning the Limits of Future: The Shaming Power of “Should,” “Ought,” and “Happily Ever After”

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Section II

Questioning the Limits of Future: The Shaming Power of “Should,” “Ought,” and “Happily Ever After”

What if you don’t marry your high school sweetheart, move to the suburbs and have 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, and a white picket fence by age 27? Engaging contemporary queer discussions of time, temporality, and futurity, this section examines the daily material violences and shaming enacted through normative frameworks of time and future. Heteronormative shame conceptualizes the ways participation in and aspirations for “proper” joining ceremonies (whether heterosexual, gay and lesbian, or queer) reify straight-based temporal narratives of what constitutes “successful,” “important,” and “significant” relations. In other words, everyone is expected to participate (or desire participation) in particular forms of relationship at specific points in their life. Those who “fall short,” or simply choose otherwise, are disciplined as “failures.” Queering temporality forefronts alternative timelines and meanings for what may be deemed livable, successful, and desirable lives.

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